If You’re Looking for a Job, Look Inland, Lists Say

Two new reports suggest that Midwestern and Southern cities have a better balance of job openings and cost of living than their coastal counterparts.

If you’re in the job market, you might want to head to Pittsburgh—especially if you’re just starting out in your career.

The city topped two recent surveys: Glassdoor’s “25 Best Cities for Jobs in 2017” and Apartment List’s “Top 10 Metros for Millennials.” Just one other city, Columbus, Ohio, hit the top 10 on both lists, each of which were based on a mixture of cost of living and job situation.

While the lists differ a bit near the top, each highlights the value of midsize cities as places to land.

“What this jobs report shows is that many [midsize] cities stand out for offering a great mix of a thriving job market with plenty of opportunity, paired with home affordability and being regions where employees are more satisfied in their jobs too,” Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain said in comments to U.S. News and World Report.

Sydney Bennet of Apartment List noted that large coastal cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco tend to price themselves out of the market, leading smaller markets to be a better bet. The largest cities to get a nod on the company’s list were Houston (ninth place) and San Antonio (fourth place), and while the nonprofit hub of Washington, DC, was in the top 20 (at number 16), its position was hurt by the District’s high cost of living.

“Largely, inland metros, primarily located in the Midwest and South, rank higher than coastal metros, offering affordable options for millennials, in addition to strong job markets and plentiful entertainment options,” Bennet wrote.

The Midwest is likewise heavily represented on Glassdoor’s list, with three Ohio cities in the top 10, and four others in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. The largest cities that made Glassdoor’s top 25 were generally on the bottom half of that list—DC ranked at number 16, while San Jose, Chicago, Charlotte, and Dallas–Fort Worth, each with populations above 800,000, filled the final four positions of the top 25.

So while Pittsburgh may have a population (300,000) that’s a fraction of its bigger counterparts, it makes up for that with a low cost of living, a relatively high median base salary, and a sizable number of job openings.

The Pittsburgh skyline comes with a low cost of living. (traveler1116/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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