The new year is often the beginning of many fresh starts.
For those considering another job, 2020 looks promising.
January, in fact, is poised to be a particularly good time to jump-start a career change. That's thanks to an unemployment rate that's currently down to 3.5%, the lowest in nearly half a century, and U.S. companies adding many more jobs than expected, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Every indicator we have still sees a robust and healthy job market barreling into 2020," said Ian Siegel, the CEO of jobs marketplace ZipRecruiter.
For those serious about making a move, ZipRecruiter identified the hottest job markets in the year ahead, based on the growing number of job postings and average number of job openings per job seeker as well as the median wage among other criteria.
Top 10 hottest job markets in 2020
1. Fargo (North Dakota)
2. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (Massachusetts)
3. Sioux Falls (South Dakota)
4. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River (Rhode Island-Massachusetts)
5. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (Maine)
6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont (California)
7. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (District of Columbia-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia)
8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware-Maryland)
9. Bismarck (North Dakota)
10. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania)
Not surprisingly, New York and Los Angeles have the largest job markets where job seekers have the best chance of landing a new position. At any one time, there are more than 200,000 job openings in either city.
Alternatively, in smaller cities such as Yuma, Arizona, or Elizabethtown, Kentucky, the offerings are far more limited, with only around 2,000 openings at any one time.
While pricey cities such as New York and Los Angeles rank high in terms of openings, other much more affordable cities have great potential.
In particular, the number of job postings is growing fastest in Fargo, North Dakota, ZipRecruiter found, thanks to the local universities and a high-level hospital, as well as one of Microsoft's largest corporate campuses.
Job seekers will have more leverage here as employers struggle to find qualified candidates in health care and tech, Siegel said — and that, coupled with a desirable cost of living, "becomes incredibly attractive," he said.
Of course, money matters, too. In terms of pay, cities such as San Jose and San Francisco score high marks, with median salaries well exceeding $50,000 a year, according to job postings on ZipRecruiter, compared to just $38,640 nationwide, per data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
ZipRecruiter used its own data to rank metropolitan areas with more than 100,000 residents. Here is the full list.