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Relocating? Best US Cities for Job Seekers 2017

Relocating? Best US Cities for Job Seekers 2017
30th August 2017 Amy
city scape relocating

Relocating? Best US Cities for Job Seekers 2017

In May 2017, Indeed released a report revealing of the top US cities for job seekers. They took into consideration four key areas:

  • How favourable is the local labour market to the job seeker?
  • What’s the average salary, once adjusted for cost of living?
  • How high do employers score for work-life balance in Indeed’s review database?
  • How high do employers score for job security and advancement opportunities in Indeed’s review database?

This report has subsequently been shared far and wide, and draws a number of conclusions for the reasons that certain locations ranked as they did. Florida, Texas and California achieved the best results; taking up the majority of the top ten; indicating that the southern states are viewed as more prosperous for job seekers. Indeed’s Senior VP Paul D’Arcy observed that these Southern states (dubbed ‘The Sun Belt’) seemed to fair the best: “The Sun Belt continues to be a region of high-growth and opportunity as companies and workers alike have moved toward strong job markets.”


Miami, Florida ranked highest for overall work-life balance, job security and advancement. However, the report highlighted the fact that the city had lower salaries vs cost of living than the majority of the top ten (with the exception of San Diego, California). In January 2016, TechCrunch published an article advising that Miami was the second most entrepreneurial city in the US, with the highest start-up density in the country. Several technology companies have their Latin American (dubbed, LatAm) Headquarters in the city; including Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard. According to TechCrunch, in January 2016 there were 139 start-ups and companies on the Inc. 5000 list that were based in Miami. In 2017, the Miami Herald advised that the Kauffman Foundations 2017 Index of Start-Up Activity had ranked Miami in 1st place. Reasons for this include their low corporate tax rate (Florida’s is set at 5.5%, one of the lowest in the country) and lack of local or state income taxes. Miami appears to be a great location for job seekers when looking for a new role.



Closely following its southern neighbour; Orlando, Florida ranked in second place. Orlando out-performed nine of the ten cities for job favourability and also fared well for work-life balance, job security and advancement. Its crux matched that of Miami; the city has lower salaries vs cost of living than others in the top ten.  Whilst predominantly famous for its tourism-heavy industry (think The Walt Disney Company, and Universal Parks & Resorts), there are a few notable tech companies based in the area – most notably Pentaho, A Hitachi Group Company. Pentaho’s founder, Richard Daley is a lifelong Floridian and though it has presence in San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA and New York, NY it’s technology hub is still very much in Orlando.



Scoring best for job favourability out of the top ten, and scoring well for high salary vs cost of living; Raleigh, NC ranked very well with Indeed’s report as the third best place for job seekers. These factors have assisted the growth of a number of technology companies in the area; most notably Red Hat, whose corporate headquarters have been located there since their conception in 1993. An open sourced solutions provider, Red Hat sell their products and services to enterprise business. They have expanded their product offering to include middleware, virtualisation, cloud computing and more recently security and containerisation. Other companies such as Cisco Systems, IBM and NetApp, Inc also have offices within the neighbouring ‘Research Triangle Park’.



Ranking in fourth place, Austin has been identified by the report as the fastest growing metro in the country between 2011 and 2014 according to census data. Scoring well for both job favourability and work-life balance, Austin is also home to a number of tech companies. Sailpoint (an identity governance software company) have their Corporate Headquarters in Austin, as well as Silicon Valley giants Amazon, Google and Facebook also having offices in the city. In 2016, Austin was named in first place in ‘CNBC Metro 20: America’s Best places to start a business’ and it scored well in the 2016 Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship Index. The reason for this is said to be due to its low taxes, and a relatively low cost of living.



As the state capital of California, Sacramento scored well work life balance and average salary. The major industry of the area is Government, but a number of technology gems can be found here also! Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Apple and Oracle all have offices within the area. It scored better than all of the neighbouring cities (though San Diego and San Jose did both make it into the top 10!)



Next on the list was San Jose. Scoring well for work-life balance, its main crux is the salary of the area, due to the high cost of living. San Jose is noted as one of the most expensive places to live within the US, and in 2016 it was noted that the average house price in the area was over $1,000,000. As the capital of ‘Silicon Valley’, the city is home to a plethora of technology company headquarters.  Most notably Cisco Systems, eBay, and Adobe Systems. Technology giant Google are presently in discussion over a large plot of land in the area (more than 6 million square feet), which could create up to 20,000 jobs.



The third and final Floridian city in the top ten is Jacksonville.  The area scored well in terms of Job Market Favourability, and also well for Job Security and Advancement. Though not as favourable as its southern neighbours for technology companies (maybe due to its more rural location), the city is a key territory for transportation and automotive industry. Jacksonville is home to four Fortune 1000 and three Fortune 500 company headquarters. The financial services technology and outsourcing services provider, FIS (Fidelity National Information Services Inc) have their global headquarters in the centre of the city.



Another Californian territory to make the top ten is San Diego. Achieving best in terms of work-life balance and Job Security and Advancement, San Diego is the third and final Californian territory within the top ten, and the most Southern of the three. It is home to a number of technology companies, notably Qualcomm (multinational semiconductor and telecommunications Equipment Company), Cognitive Medical Systems (standards-based software to aid health professionals in managing clinical workflow, decision support, and data modelling projects) and Tealium (enterprise tag management and marketing software).



The second Texan city within the top ten, Houston scored well across all four of Indeed’s criteria areas. Notable technology companies in the area include BMC Software (software and services that assist businesses in moving to digital operations), PROS Holdings (cloud software) and NetIQ, owned by Micro Focus International (identity and access management, security and data center management software)



Position ten in this ranking belongs to Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis scored well across all criteria, but most poorly in the work-life balance area. There are a number of companies with headquarters in the area, but unfortunately none of these are notable from a technology perspective. Most recognised is FedEx, who employ over 30,000 people in their headquarters, the largest private employer in the city.


The report shows that it is not the most obvious choices that have proven best for job seekers – New York (NY), San Francisco (CA) and Dallas (TX) all missed out of the top ten but historically have been great locations for job seekers (particularly in the technology sector). It will be interesting to see if during the next few years the top ten cities included in this list grow in prevalence within the technology arena.


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