Top 5 US Cities for Finding Employment

Bethesda, Maryland

There is a tendency for job seekers to look for jobs in big cities because of the nice employment figures they see in those metropolitan areas. However, don’t just rely on their high employment rating and look at the big picture. The city may not have a lot of diversity in its industries, the cost of living there may be too high that it ends up eating your salary, and lastly, the required skill sets can be too specific.

Adecco Staffing, a human resources firm, studied the different US cities with the fullest employment according to the Department of Labor, and compared the statistics to the internal data around job growth and demand to determine which five cities are the best for finding employment. The study considered the following factors: diversity of the industries in the city, cost of living, company size, and residents’ level of education. These factors were weighed equally. Let’s see if your city made it to the top five.

1. Bethesda, Maryland

Hospitality, construction, and healthcare dominate the employment in Bethesda, one of the most affluent and highly educated cities in the US. Bethesda placed first in the Forbes list of America’s most educated small towns and first on’s list of top-earning American towns in 2012. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they made it to the top of our list too. As of February 2013, its overall unemployment is at a low 5.2%. A high demand is slated for the following skills and jobs: specialty trade contractor, accounting and bookkeeping, and food service/hospitality.

 2. Austin, Texas

Many industry factors contribute to the booming job market in the capital city of Texas. Besides the state of Texas as the city’s top employer, Austin also has a healthy demand for many technology jobs. Dell Computers is headquartered there, while IBM and Apple employ thousands of workers as well. Its overall unemployment rate is at 5.3% as of March 2013, and its top hiring industries are healthcare, professional and business services, and manufacturing. If you have the skills in the customer service, call center, and healthcare customer support area, then Austin may be a good choice for you, as there is also a great demand for those jobs.

3. Jacksonville, Florida

Business is booming in the most populous city in Florida, which has an overall unemployment rate of 6.5% as of March 2013. Like many cities, IT, education, and healthcare are its top hiring industries, with tens of thousands employed by IT companies, hospitals and higher education institutions located around the metro area. The skills/jobs in demand in this city are: administrative, call center, and food service/hospitality.

 4. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, MichiganIt might not be looking good for Detroit, but the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids, makes it to our top four! Grand Rapids is the home of five of the world’s leading office furniture companies; thus, it is nicknamed the “Furniture City”. Its overall unemployment rate is at 6.6% as of February 2013, and it has one of the more economically diverse industries in the US. Top hiring industries are healthcare, financial services, skilled labor, education, IT, and engineering. Skills/jobs in demand are information specialists, manufacturing, administrative, and skilled laborers.

 5. Columbus, Ohio

The largest and the capital city of Ohio has an overall unemployment of 6.4% as of February 2013. A big percentage of its workforce is in the government sector, but the city’s employees are also employed in other industries such as automotive, technology, and healthcare. Columbus is home to many significant institutions such as the Battelle Memorial Institute, world’s largest private research and development foundation; Chemical Abstracts Service, the world’s largest clearinghouse of chemical information; NetJets, the world’s largest fractional ownership jet aircraft fleet; and the Ohio State University, the nation’s largest campus. Columbus is also the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies. Skills/jobs in demand are skilled laborers, administrative, and assembly production.

Mike Hall is a career expert and provides great advice and insight into the job market. He works with Newton International, a leader in workforce solutions, recruiting and placement. Visit their website for their list of hot jobs in the market and for the latest job-hunting tips.

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