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1. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh,like Buffalo, has also made a major transformation from an industrial town – in Pittsburgh’s case, steel -- into the 21st Century as a hub for education, health care and the arts.

Yet, it’s still surprisingly affordable: The cost of living is 12.2 percent below the national average and the average home price is $116,400, well below the national average of $171,700.
It’s repeatedly ranked as one of the most livable cities: The crime rate is low, it ranks high on both arts and colleges, and it’s at low risk for a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or tornado.

It’s also repeatedly ranked as one of the best sports cities, with the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. You would be hard-pressed to find a city with more loyal sports fans – a fact that should not be underestimated when it comes to quality of life.

The unemployment rate is 7.8 percent, well below the national average of 10.2 percent. Indeed.com has named it the No. 18 job market, with two applicants for every job available.

Companies That Are Hiring Now: HCR ManorCare, BNY Mellon, PNC Bank, Ernst & Young and Westinghouse Electric Company, according to Indeed.com.

Photo: Gary Randall | Taxi | Getty Images