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Where Americans are moving for jobs

Top U.S. cities for job hunters
Top U.S. cities for job hunters 01:38

As the job market heats up, many Americans are looking to move up -- and maybe move out. 

About a quarter of applications submitted by job seekers were for openings outside the candidate's metro area, career website Glassdoor found in a report published Friday.

The data used in this study are from online job applications on Glassdoor. The sample included more than 120,000 unique users in the 40 largest U.S. metro areas, who applied to more than 600,000 jobs during a typical week from Jan. 8 to Jan. 14, 2018. 

The most coveted destinations for today's job seekers, based on the percentage of applications, tended to be closer to other, smaller metro areas. The top "move out" metros tended to be those smaller cities -- places people might go to start their career, like Providence, Rhode Island, before jumping to a more lucrative position in a pricier town, like Boston.

San Jose's churn puts it on both lists: The city attracts top tech talent, but the area's cost of living has skyrocketed.

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"What we find is that the big move-out cities are often smaller metros that are close by another metro that is booming with many job openings," Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain said in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch. In San Jose's case, that may mean a job seeker looks to make a move to San Francisco or Seattle ... and vice versa.

The most mobile professions tend to be those that require advanced degrees and pay higher wages. The top of that list was chemical engineer: 73 percent of applications were outside of the job seeker's metro area. Least mobile were professions that required a lower skill set, like bartending.

Men were 3 percentage points more likely than women to aim for a new town, Glassdoor found -- and job applicants were 7 percentage points less likely to city-hop with each decade they aged.

Chamberlain said those numbers have implications for companies looking to hire and diversify their workforce.

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"When it comes to recruiting, if your goal is to attract more senior workers, or get more women to apply for jobs, you're going to need to make a special outreach effort is what the data is saying."

Top 10 cities where workers are looking to move

  1. San Francisco

  2. New York City

  3. San Jose, California

  4. Los Angeles

  5. Washington, D.C.

  6. Boston

  7. Chicago

  8. Seattle

  9. Dallas-Fort Worth

  10. Austin, Texas

Top 10 cities where workers are looking to move out

  1. Providence, Rhode Island

  2. San Jose, California

  3. Riverside, California

  4. Baltimore

  5. Sacramento, California

  6. Columbus, Ohio

  7. Pittsburgh

  8. Charlotte, North Carolina

  9. Cincinnati

  10. Cleveland   

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