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The 10 best U.S. cities for finding a job—New York and L.A. are not on the list

Downtown Seattle.
RyanJLane | Getty Images

2024 could be a big year for jobseekers — 95% of workers are looking for or plan to look for a new job, according to Monster's 2024 Work Watch Report. In terms of what matters to workers, 42% cite salary increases as the most important benefit they could receive and 16% want increased remote work flexibility.

For those seeking new job opportunities, geography could be one way to narrow the search. Some cities offer ample openings with comparatively high starting salaries and a lower cost of living. Personal finance company WalletHub recently looked at more than 180 cities across the country and ranked its best cities for jobs based on metrics such as job openings per job seeker and median annual incomes.

Here are the top 10 cities for job search according to WalletHub.

  1. Scottsdale, Arizona
  2. Tampa, Florida
  3. Salt Lake City, Utah
  4. Columbia, Maryland
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Seattle, Washington
  8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  9. Plano, Texas
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

Scottsdale has 12% annual job growth, according to WalletHub, the highest in the country. "This ensures there will be plenty of hiring opportunities for people entering the workforce," says Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst. It also ranked No. 1 for internship opportunities and has the fifth highest median annual income.

"Tampa has the fifth-highest number of full-time job opportunities at companies rated 4.5+ stars on Glassdoor relative to the size of its labor force," according to WalletHub. Its job security rate is also very high and its employment growth is 10% annually.

Salt Lake City and Tampa "are among the top 16% of best metro areas for STEM professionals" as well, according to another recent WalletHub study, says Happe. This "further supports their strong job market rankings."

The top 10 cities "did great in a lot of areas," says Happe. "But they did really struggle when it came to the average work and commute time." If you're looking for a short commute, these cities might not be for you.  

When you're looking for a job, you want to consider both what opportunities exist in a certain location plus "livability," says Daniel Zhao, lead economist at Glassdoor. That is components like cost of living, access to nature, walkability — whatever matters to you most in a place you live.

"It doesn't hurt to talk to people who live there or to even to apply to some jobs in that area," he says, "just to get a sense of what your options look like."

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