Skip to main content

Best Cities for US Jobs

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Raleigh is Number One

Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh

Business Data From Reliable Organizations

To compile a "Top 25" list of city rankings, five data categories have been used often by the US Department of Labor, as well as by CNNMoney Magazine, AT&T, US News and World Reports, Forbes, Kiplinger, Bloomberg, and a number of leading independent employment specialists.

From 2000 through 2018, I find is that the same 20 cities vie for the highest ranking slots in the ranking lists from year to year.

The criteria used by most publications for rating cities include:

  1. Low Unemployment Rate
  2. Job Growth
  3. Income Growth
  4. Median Household Income
  5. Cost of Living

In 2006, used five-year averages for job and income growth, so the 2001 recession was included. In 2007, they used growth data for 2003 through 2006 and the recession is in the past figures. In 2006 New York, San Francisco, and Chicago were all in the bottom 15, but not in 2007 - they rose with recovery. During 2015 - 2016, they continue to improve.

Overall, in New York and Los Angeles, highly educated job seekers will find opportunities. The major metropolitan areas have high median incomes, but also are fraught with unemployment, expensive housing, and low job growth rates.

America's biggest cities have more problems with their education systems and with infrastructure than smaller towns. They also have large urban centers or "inner cities' with economic and crime problems as well as opportunities to develop businesses.

From 2000 through 2018, I find is that the same 20 cities vie for the highest ranking slots in the ranking lists from year to year.

Top 5 Cities 2010 - 2020

Best American Cities

The largest 100 metropolitan areas of America were measured for selected data, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The actual data were compiled from Moody's

#1 Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina

July 1, 2018 on SimplyHired and Indeed:

  • Raleigh - 30,000 jobs
  • North Carolina - 103,000 jobs
  • South Carolina - 55,000 jobs

March 4, 2013 on SimpyHired:

  • Raleigh - 40,703 Jobs
  • North Carolina - 182,963 Jobs
  • South Carolina - 76, 573 Jobs

Smart City - Is it a Smartest City?

  • Raleigh and Cary have in the past during the 2000s both been named the worst and best place in NC for jobs. However, their presence in America's Research Triangle has boosted their economies and job growth to consistently positive numbers. They are the best.
  • North Carolina's housing market has been relatively stable, so Raleigh has few possibilities of an inevitable economic downturn. The three universities in the area, Duke, the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University, attract more highly educated employees and technology firms.

Largest Employers in Raleigh

  1. State of North Carolina Government
  2. Wake County Public School System
  3. IBM Corporation
  4. WakeMed Health
  5. North Carolina State University
  6. Cisco Systems
  7. Rex Hospital and Healthcare
  8. SAS Institute
  9. GalaxoSmithKline
  10. Duke Energy
  11. Wake County Government
  12. City of Raleigh Government
  13. Fidelity Investments
  14. Wake Tech Community College
  15. RTI International
Scroll to Continue

#2 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

Phoenix has a good housing market with a lower cost of living. Arizona has attracted many technology companies and especially in biotech. There is substantial migration from southern California into Phoenix at this time, including companies and households. It's like a cheaper way to live in California, and nearby.

#3 Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Median Household Income Rank: 40
  • Unemployment Rank: 15
  • Income Growth Rank: 6
  • Cost Of Living Rank: 49
  • Job Growth Rank: 13

Jacksonville moved up in the rankings with a fair housing market. There is a lot of defense spending in Jacksonville that contributes to job growth in the local area job market.

#4 Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.

  • Median Household Income Rank: 57
  • Unemployment Rank: 6
  • Income Growth Rank: 3
  • Cost of Living Rank: 57
  • Job Growth Rank: 4

Orlando is suffering somewhat from a housing slumps, while travel and tourism keep the local economy vital. The American dollar (USD) will likely remain weak against the Euro, so international tourism to Florida should remain stable or increase.

Successful Florida Workforce Offices in Orlando:

  • JobVantage South Orange County; 1563 Florida Mall Ave; Orlando, Florida 32809; Phone: 407-531-1232
  • JobVantage East Orange County; 4360 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803; Phone: 407-531-1227
  • ZuCan; 609 N Powers Dr, Suite 340, Orlando 32818; Phone: 407-531-1223

#5 Washington, D.C.

  • Median Household Income Rank: 14
  • Unemployment Rank: 4
  • Income Growth Rank: 19
  • Cost Of Living Rank: 86
  • Job Growth Rank: 15

Federal spending will probably keep Washington's economy strong this year. When the US government outsources work to private companies, many of those jobs stay in the Washington DC-Maryland-Virginia area. The housing market in Washington is starting to slow, and could downturn the city economy as well as that of Maryland and parts of Virginia.

Growth in American Jobs from 2012 - 2018

  • During June 2018, listed about 5 million job openings.
  • During Autumn 2015, America enjoyed job listings of 8 to 10 million positions, with nearly a million listed in Truck Driving alone.
  • On March 4, 2013, America had 5.9 million jobs advertised.
  • In October 2012 after the Second Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, job listings rose to over 7,000,000 for the first times in years.

The Oil Fields around North Dakota are still needing workers and that may be the most concentrated area for jobs in America - North and South Dakota in the Bakken and Wiliston Basin Oil Fields.

Interestingly, a new television series for 2015 - 2016 focused on the North Dakota Oil Boom (Blood and Oil on ABC, starring Don Johnson). Trailers showed a setting that was a cross between Alaska during Gold Rush days and the TV show Dallas.

Aerospace jobs are beginning to increase as well, given the success of NASA/Private Sector investments in the US and foreign-partnership arrangements America has gained since August 2011. Good has invested $30 Million to stimulate design of Lunar Landers, to be launched in 2013 and two years ahead of schedule. Google and James Cameron have invested heavily in the Asteroid Mining Industry.



#6 Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City benefits from high incomes among a very well educated workforce. It has only a small IT sector, but larger logistics and distribution serving the Rocky Mountain west.

#7 Honolulu, Hawaii

The unemployment rate in Honolulu is extremely low. The major industries are travel and tourism, and these types of companies are having difficulty to finding service employees. However, it should be easy to find work in the service industry there for those who want to migrate in.

#8 Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada

Las Vegas' economy is strong, with income and job growth up. The housing market produces high risk, because many of the housing units built recently were bought with adjustable rate mortgages. As interest rates rise, many homeowners are in risk of default. Tourism remains strong with increasing numbers of international visitors. The convention business is increasing all the time.

Hotel Paris in Las Vegas

Hotel Paris in Las Vegas

#9 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach FL

Fort Lauderdale made the top ten in 2007, but with a major risk in the housing market. Economic growth should be positive throughout the year.

#10 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA

Job growth in Virginia Beach has increased because of ship building, naval facilities, and increasing tourism. A Ford assembly plant in the metro area will be closing and Virginia Beach may lose a jet fighter wing at Oceana Naval Air Station to Jacksonville. However, one of Altria's Phillip Morris plants will reopen and provide more jobs.

#11 Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick MD

Bethesda's economy is accelerated because it is close to Washington, DC. As government spending remains high, the economy should do well. The large aerospace firm Lockheed-Martin has headquarters here, as do other defense and other contractors.

#12 Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice FL

Travel and tourism will provide Sarasota strong economic growth. There will be a slowdown in construction, however, and unemployment will start to tick upward as the housing market slows down.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

#13 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

Tampa has attracted back-office operations for a number of financial and insurance firms. It is affordable as far as cost of living goes, and it has a large metro area. Income growth and job growth are increasing.

#14 Richmond VA

Richmond benefits from its proximity to Washington, DC. Virginia's state government has strong revenue growth. The housing market is still strong in Richmond. Its income growth and job growth rankings slumped a bit this year.

#15 Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.

The city has a high median income because of the insurance and banking industries, as well as agribusiness. High corn prices in relation to ethanol have raised the demand for consumer products and financial services.

#16 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla.

West Palm Beach is still doing well, but has an excess housing supply. Tourism helps. West Palm Beach is a destination for many domestic and international tourists.

St. Petersburg Butterfly Garden

St. Petersburg Butterfly Garden

#17 Little Rock-North Little Rock, Ark.

Little Rock has a stable employment in government jobs and the Little Rock Air Force Base. The University of Arkansas is the top employer overall. Outside of the public sector, the economy is diverse. Low business and housing costs are beneficial.

#18 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Nashville area is becoming a regional center for offices and transportation. Five or ten years ago, services were not strong, but a strong service economy has popped up.

#19 Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.

Many foreign firms are headquartered in Orange County, because of its proximity to Los Angeles. The economy is largely about technology, defense, and aerospace. However, it is one of the most expensive places in America.

#20 Tucson, Ariz.

Tucson is anchored by the University of Arizona. Its IT sector is growing, because of the university and city's proximity to the west coast. Tucson also shares a housing slowdown with Phoenix, Las Vegas and the Florida cities.

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

#21 Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City's economy is built on oil drilling and technology. The airport just had a major innovation and Delta Airlines is adding more jobs. It also enjoys status as a car-rental service hub.

#22 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

There are many corporate headquarters in Atlanta, and after the recession, many of the companies stopped hiring. Its outlook is stronger now, but there are risks if Delta is acquired and jobs are cut.

#23 Austin-Round Rock TX

Austin rose in the rankings as a result of income increases and job growth. It enjoys a strong outlook with its University of Texas, good state revenue, and a high quality of life. Texas also maintains a large pool of active 55+ workers.

#24 Albuquerque NM

Albuquerque is small and affordable and an attractive place to retire. Its economy is based in research labs and defense installations.

#25 Sacramento CA

California's capital is a lower-cost alternative to San Francisco.

State government provides stability to the economy, providing steady growth, while the technology sector has its ups and downs. Jobs have been list in California during the Recession of 2008 - 2010, but commercial and passenger space flight and green businesses are beginning to create new job titles.



© 2007 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 04, 2013:

Today, we have 40,700+ jobs open and advertised within a 25-mile radius of Raleigh. Within the city there are 35, 286 jobs and most require at least an associate's degree in IT. Non-degreed jobs include higher-paid Technicians, and sales and grocery positions.

The Research Triangle that includes Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is a hot spot for job development.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 31, 2012:

Hi Tammy - What you say seems inaccurate -- I have found just now 26,759 open jobs within a 25-mile radius of Orlando, Florida. These jobs are largely in licensed Healthcare positions, IT jobs like Software Engineers, jobs for Salespeople, and jobs for Sales Representatives. Most require at least college degrees. From your post, I suggest that you ask for Education & Training and Job Placement help at the closest workforce office to you at

JobVantage South Orange County; 1563 Florida Mall Ave; Orlando, Florida 32809; Phone: 407-531-1232


JobVantage East Orange County; 4360 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32803; Phone: 407-531-1227


ZuCan; 609 N Powers Dr, Suite 340, Orlando 32818; Phone: 407-531-1223

Best of success to you!

Tammy Moreno on May 31, 2012:

Orlando FL , not true at all , the people are without a job. There is no permanent jobs and the government does not help allowing the corporation to hire for temporary jobs and there is no benefit or nothing. the health benefit are very expensive to tell you one day at emergency room is $10,000 dollars. Florida is down in jobs right now.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 25, 2012:

Found the WIA jobs office contact:

Atlanta Workforce Center, Phone 404-658-9675

Address: 818 Pollard Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Call before you go over there and find exactly what to do. Good luck!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 25, 2012:

When you arrive, go first to the Atlanta jobs office. It is likely in the phone directory under County Listings and would involve jobs and family services. Good lick!

Adobea Dorothy on January 25, 2012:

hello patty i am a Ghanaian yet to come to america i have no idea where to start my job search can you help please. i plan staying in Atlanta Georgia. i have diplma in accounting but am ready to do any job that i would be offered. thanks soo much in advance

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 23, 2012:

Hello Leticia Quinonez on January 23, 2012 -

Thank you for your questions; you must be worried about your friends. I hope you are looking in your own Greater Boston Area for positions and living arrangements for them. Living nearby, they could benefit from your experiences and help.

Far, far, far from being jobless, Seattle today has at least 77,800 job vacancies at this moment listed on the Internet, with more in the Hidden Job Market and more not listed online. An older woman age 63 can benefit from going to the King County jobs and family services-type office to be evaluated for work, matched with open positions, and be given support services like aid in finding housing, food, transportation subsidies, healthcare, and others. The same is true in any county in the nation, although some have less help to give and sometimes job seekers must be determined to sit and wait until someone will help. They must not give up.

I have links to all the cities above posted (noted by blue letters/words) and Seattle is elsewhere on HubPages.

Search HP for "Seattle Jobs." Others have also written about these jobs, so there is plenty of info here.

As for Pakistan - go to and at the bottom of the home page, see links for India and perhaps Pakistan.

Much success to you and your friends and best wishes to you all.

Leticia Quinonez on January 22, 2012:

Hi I have 2 friends who are looking for work one is in Seattle Washington and the other one is in Lahore Pakistan Now the one who is a female on social security who is looking for clerical work where she can work part time at least 20 hours a week but she obviously can't land any work at all doing clerical work because she says there is no more work in Seattle Washington at all so she has been looking for over 6 years for a job and she is at least 63 years old as of now and still desires work in the clerical field today. It's very well hopeless for her to land a job in washington right now because the economy is so bad out there. I also have a friend living in Lahore Pakistan having no income at all but lives with his mother and has nothing to live on but at least he and his mother is not outdoors at all. He is desiring a business of his own and also wants to start some business with his computer as well but no cash or income to start on and he really needs to get somewhere around 2000 dollars to start his business that he has told me about last night. Geez there's so much bad markets going on out there to where it's extremely very difficult for anyone to land work and a decent place of their own to live without living in homeless shelters with junkies strung out on all the drugs and alcohol in any city and state in the usa nowdays. Can you tell me how to get work for both of my friends in the usa and Pakistan? Thanks and YAHUWAH bless you all always in His true love and service.

Tom on September 25, 2011:

Philadelphia Burbs....Best over-all place to live....Poconoes..(Skiing).Down town Philly.(Culture, Night life)..Jersey shore...(Vacation)...can't beat it!!

merinda on September 19, 2011:

huhhhh las vegas baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devern on February 12, 2011:

tulsa oklahoma is a great affordable place to live and work

Licenced on January 31, 2011:

a nice job! thanks

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 24, 2011:

Someone wrote in to say that there are no jobs in North or South Carolina. Not so! -

January 24, 2011 on job lisings

North Carolina - 115,464 Jobs

South Carolina - 48,660 Jobs

businessesforsale from Sydney, Australia on December 17, 2010:

Awesome hub. I really enjoyed reading this. I was also surprised not to see Dallas make the cut....

MOSES NJENGA on November 19, 2010:

am an enthusiastic gentleman in Kenya, cleared my college diploma and wish to work while taking my degree programme in the united states am looking on my way out, to work and learn in an environment far from home to familiarize with the global tourism,i can sponsor myself with the help of wellwishers and donors. thank you looking forward to hear from you.

Moe on October 29, 2010:

I'm about 3 years looking for a job in Michigan and i couldn't get anything.

I think I'm gonna move to one of these cities.

Pedro on September 27, 2010:

This is a good place for guidance and help.

We are all human beings who need some good information

and can anyone help me in the following:-

1. Best city/place to start work with minimum

qualification in the jobs which are readily

available to work in hotels, guest houses, domestic

help, motels, schools, general stores, petrol pump,

cleaning jobs at airports, baggage handlers for

airlnes since there is recession now in usa.

Your help and guidance is welcomed for a poor guy like

me who is jobless right now and willing to re-locate

a new place to earn my daily bread.

Please spare sometime and awaiting your comments etc.

Thank you

Mike Scott on September 24, 2010:

Please anyone can help and guide me as follows;

1. The best place/city to find jobs like general clerk,

factory worker in packing etc., places where there

are a lot of jobs for high school graduates with no

trade or profession.

2. The prices of buying houses in the range of

dollars 10000 to 40000/-

3. Cost of living is low where one can save somey money

by working hard.

You can reach me on email

if you are sincerely helping a human being in need

with clean mind, heart, conscience to help in genuine


Thank you for your time and God bless you always

Have a great day

Priya on September 03, 2010:

hey im looking forward to do my MS in NCSU, Raleigh a good place for job,study and safety?

Bridget Davidson on August 10, 2010:

The best jobs in logistics are in Arizona!

Shawn Scarborough from The Lone Star State on July 23, 2010:

This is a great hub, should be very helpful to all those seeking jobs. Sorry to see that Dallas didn't make the list.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on June 04, 2010:

Collins Otaru - It is much more effective to find an actual company or individual that is willing to hire you and sponsor you into the USA on a visa classified as for working.

collins otaru on June 04, 2010:

can anyone in God's name provide an web address of employment agencies.who are responsible for hiring expartrait. i want to relocate to american from my country.this help will really be appreciated.thanks

Eddy2106 from Chicago Suburb, IL on February 18, 2010:

It's amazing how every of your hubs has more than 90 as its score, you have to write a hub on how you do all of this.

myawn from Florida on February 11, 2010:

Where I live in Florida most of the work is Medical or tourist related. Tampa area I have heard is better.

scheng1 on December 03, 2009:

Hopefully jobs are more evenly distributed, otherwise small towns will be ghost towns soon.

Nan on November 06, 2009:

Thanks for the information, I will share with people who want to move, and don't know where it is a better place to move.

Nolen Hart from Southwest on October 12, 2009:

Austin was listed at number four on a list of cities most likely to recover from the recession soon. It might have crept up the list since your article was written. Thanks for the excellent information. It is surely going to be helpful to those considering relocation.

joebhoy from Manila on October 09, 2009:

thanks for sharing.

medarj on July 26, 2009:

yes !! nice hub

portronics on April 02, 2009:

Good Data... its useful for anyone who want to get into USA for jobs..

jennifer v. on January 06, 2009:

great hub! i <3 las vegas!

jdh351 on December 06, 2008:

I would really like to move to D.C. This confirms it! I love that city.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 25, 2008:

Lisa - I remember going to North Carolina three summers in a row for a week in high school, as if it were yasterday. You are fortunate to live in such surroundings, so thanks for the testimonial for our readers!


Lisa Nance from North Carolina Mountains on November 25, 2008:

I can understand why Raleigh, NC is number one on the list. I used to live there and it has great weather, great entertainment, great food, great shopping and the big three universities are all within driving distance.

But I'm a little prejudiced since I was born and raised and still live in North Carolina!

great hub, Patty!

jessicaasher on October 01, 2008:

i think it;s fanating topic to talk about

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2008:

Perfect! You may get a ton of traffic for that one, but then I suspect you always do! :)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 12, 2008:

I did a Hub on setting up residence in another US State; I'll probably do a Hub for coming to work in America as a companion piece.

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2008:

Thx, Patti!!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 12, 2008:

I had a friend in the US from Canada with a Green Card some years ago...I will look into this in the next few days. Some interesting is going on I think.

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2008:

I know that we are not eligible for the Green Card Lottery. Anytime that I've jokingly (sort of) mentioned what you suggest to a business person, they turn tail and run.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 12, 2008:

If a Canadian can persude an American employer to become their sponsor, offering them work in writing, this might speed things up a bit. How does Canada make up the official list, do you know? I'll look it up as well.

Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on September 12, 2008:

Any idea Patty, how a Canadian can work in these cities if they're not on the list of people eligible for work visas?

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 12, 2008:

I hope you will help people find a good value for their investments in housing, Niki. I'm sure readers will look at your site. Thanks.

Niki Nemeth on September 11, 2008:


Niki Nemeth on September 11, 2008:

If you notice Clearwater / Tampa area is #13 on the list. This area is not only great for getting a job, but also for affordible housing.

It is an excellent time to buy properties here in the middle of the pre-foreclosure and foreclosure boom. There is no scarcity of great homes for great prices.

Please contact me if you are looking to move into the area and would like to learn about real estate prices.

KSTEAM from Scottsdale, AZ on September 10, 2008:

Great topic and information.

I am in Arizona and was very impressed when we moved here with the jobs, opportunites and reasonable cost of living. They are constantly building here, it's great. Extremely Hot summers, but other than that weather is beautiful from around Mid-September until March.

tech for geek on July 04, 2008:

great hub....i guess JN is are an angel....

Job Nigeria on April 24, 2008: are an angel.....

you help many people with your information....

GBU patty


Job NIgeria

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 23, 2008:

Go to the Clark County Department of Labor Job-search and Placement Services and keep after them until they get you a job. You may qualify for training funds. See the link is below. When I was laid off form a job after 10 years, I went to my county office and did not leave without answers and help. I think that is the place to make yourself visible and persistently vocal.

Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation2800 E. St. Louis Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89104500 East Third Street - Carson City, NV 89713General Info: (775) 684-3849 - FAX: (775) 684-3850 - TTY: (775) 687-5353

Go to the Human Services Office to help with rent, and food and even transportation out of the county if youhave to move to find work. They advertise plane fare, bus fare, and gaaoline help.The anount of help they can give depends on how much is left in their yearly allowance from the state and federal govt.

1600 Pinto Lane (main office, they list 3 others)Las Vegas, NV 89106(702) 455-4270Fax (702) 455-5950

Yellowburgandy from Nevada on March 23, 2008:

I have, I even applied at gas stations.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 21, 2008:

There are people starving everywhere, especially if their expereince is in a declining job title. To keep working, you may have to enter another field of work. Occupations rise and fall in growth every year.

You may either need to change fields of work or to move.

Yellowburgandy from Nevada on March 21, 2008:

If Las Vegas is on the top ten for job growth I would hate to see what the rest of the country is like because they are laying off out here and I've been looking for work for 5 months now with an extensive job history, and other people are in the same boat, we are starving!

merinda from UAE on February 17, 2008:

how to get a job in america, if u hav good consultant address or contractor jus gimme ,i ll apply on line

Related Articles