Arriving home from vacation last night, the always breathtaking skyline of Chicago reminded me how lucky I’ve been to spend most of my career here. The subterranean chill was made worse today, however, when I read Wallet Hub’s just published report 2018’s Best Places to Find a Job.
Chicago ranked 133rd overall and several other major cities also didn’t fare so well. But I hasten to note that this is the overall job market and not specific to PR and other communications-related jobs. Nonetheless, the report contains great insights for anyone contemplating where to start or advance his or her career.
Let’s start with the good news: The unemployment rate at a 17-year low and employers expecting to hire 4 percent more college graduates from the Class of 2018 than from the previous graduating cohort.
To determine the strongest local job markets in the U.S., the personal-finance website compared more than 180 cities across 26 key metrics. The data set ranges from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary.
|Best Cities for Jobs||Worst Cities for Jobs|
|1||Chandler, AZ||173||Mobile, AL|
|2||Scottsdale, AZ||174||Montgomery, AL|
|3||San Francisco, CA||175||Fresno, CA|
|4||Peoria, AZ||176||Hialeah, FL|
|5||Gilbert, AZ||177||New Orleans, LA|
|6||Plano, TX||178||Birmingham, AL|
|7||Portland, ME||179||Columbus, GA|
|8||Irvine, CA||180||Newark, NJ|
|9||Madison, WI||181||Detroit, MI|
|10||Boston, MA||182||Shreveport, LA|
Best vs. Worst
- Columbia, Maryland has the highest median annual household income (adjusted by cost of living), $89,013, which is 3.4 times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest at $26,352.
- San Jose, California has the highest monthly average starting salary (adjusted by cost of living), $5,441, which is 3.1 times higher than in Brownsville, Texas, the city with the lowest at $1,778.
- South Burlington, Vermont, the city with the lowest unemployment rate, 2.1 percent, which is 5.2 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 10.9 percent.
- Plano, Texas, the city with the fewest number of part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees, 37.63, which is 3.6 times fewer than in Burlington, Vermont, the city with the most at 134.34.
- South Burlington, Vermont is the city with the lowest share of workers living in poverty, 1.90 percent, which is 10.1 times lower than in Tallahassee, Florida, the city with the highest at 19.28 percent.