The Best Job Markets for 2017

The confetti has been swept up, and the champagne bottles have all been recycled. It’s time to get back to work.

Putting together your 2017 New Year’s Resolutions? Self-improvement is a very common resolution, and people often reference improving their health, financial situation or achieving work/life balance when they talk about the things they want to improve in their lives.

And of course, the path to many of those outcomes is a better job.  

With the continued positive trends in hiring, a lower than average unemployment rate of 4.6%, and a federal interest rate hike signaling a strengthening economy, 2016 came to an end with a promising outlook for our job market in the new year.

Here at ZipRecruiter, we analyzed our hiring data to find out which cities and industries hold 2017’s best career opportunities.

The news is very good indeed, and that’s why we’re coining 2017 as the “Year of the Job Seeker.”

Let’s get right to it. Here’s the list of the top 10 cities to work this year.

Top 10 cities by Jobs to Jobseeker ratio

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI – 1.72

The Minneapolis metro area remains a top player in the national economy, moving up seven spots since our 2016 analysis. The Twin Cities serve as a business hub between Seattle and Chicago, offer opportunities in a multitude of industries, and maintain a low rate of job competition even with a relatively large population.

2. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA – 1.41

The Providence metro area earns a high spot on our list of best cities to work in 2017 through its prominent Healthcare job market, recent plans for investment toward diversification into industries like software and biomed, and its dedication to job growth over the last year.

3. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA – 1.33

Portland’s location – convenient to interstates, international air terminals, and marine shipping – as well as its high quality of life have attracted a variety of ventures to the city, and helped to diversify its economy. Its emphasis on clean, renewable technologies as well as strong community support of a wide range of disciplines makes it a great place to work and live.

4. Kansas City, MO-KS – 1.21

The Paris of the Plains made a strong showing in the healthcare, automotive, and retail industries, its distribution powers bolstering the city’s position in the national economy even further.

5. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN – 1.16

Cincinnati proved to be a promising city for both new college grads and construction jobs this year, but our outlook for 2017 is low competition in a variety of top industries including Healthcare, Government, and Business.

6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA – 1.16

With its low unemployment rate and strong tech sector, the Seattle metro area is positioned to be a significant job creator in 2017.

7. St. Louis, MO-IL – 1.12

Although declines in the local manufacturing industry have painted a less than rosy picture of the city’s economy in recent years, St. Louis is poised for a comeback with advancements in its Healthcare, Finance, and Business sectors.

8.  Pittsburgh, PA – 1.10

Pittsburgh boasts the most top-ten list spots of any our best job market cities, ranking high as a top city for Tech and Healthcare in 2016. With its diversified economy and consistent demand in healthcare as well as its service sector, the city shows no signs of slowing in 2017.

9.  Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN – 1.09

Louisville’s central location and low unemployment rate make it an attractive city for a variety of industries. In 2017, the hiring outlook is best in its local Healthcare, Retail, and Automotive industries.

10. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH – 1.07

Boston proved to be a top city for both Healthcare and Tech in 2016. The 2017 outlook shows continued growth in these sectors, as well as hiring in Retail, Business, and Government jobs.

Take a look at the top five industries within each of the top 10 employable cities:

Top 5 industries for Top 10 cities by Jobs to Jobseeker ratio

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    • Healthcare
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Automotive
    • Retail
    • Government and Community
  • Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
    • Healthcare
    • Business
    • Automotive
    • Retail
    • Finance and Insurance
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
    • Healthcare
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Automotive
    • Business
    • Retail
  • Kansas City, MO-KS
    • Healthcare
    • Automotive
    • Retail
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Business
  • Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
    • Healthcare
    • Automotive
    • Government and Community
    • Retail
    • Business
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
    • Healthcare
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Sports and Recreation
    • Automotive
    • Business
  • St. Louis, MO-IL
    • Healthcare
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Business
    • Government and Community
    • Retail
  • Pittsburgh, PA
    • Healthcare
    • Personal Care
    • Government and Community
    • Business
    • Finance and Insurance
  • Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
    • Healthcare
    • Automotive
    • Finance and Insurance
    • Retail
    • Technology
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
    • Healthcare
    • Retail
    • Automotive
    • Business
    • Government and Community

Top 5 Industries by Jobs to Jobseeker ratio

  • Healthcare – 3.03
  • Finance and Insurance – 1.95
  • Automotive – 1.71
  • Government and Community – 1.79
  • Business – 1.36

Lastly, here are 2017’s best cities to work in if you are looking for a job within one of these top industries.

Top 5 cities for each Top Industry

  • Healthcare
    • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
    • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
    • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    • Kansas City, MO-KS
    • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
  • Finance and Insurance
    • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
    • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
    • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
    • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
  • Automotive
    • Kansas City, MO-KS
    • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    • Richmond, VA
    • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
    • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
  • Government and Community
    • Austin-Round Rock, TX
    • Birmingham-Hoover, AL
    • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    • San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
    • Richmond, VA
  • Business
    • Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
    • Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA
    • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
    • Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
    • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

ZipRecruiter is as excited as ever to help you land your next career, which is why we’ve made it our number one resolution to continue to give you the tips and tricks you need to succeed this year.

Make the most of your New Year’s Resolutions. Research the positions within each industry to widen your options, do your market research, and weigh the pros and cons of living in one of the cities listed above.

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Kylie Anderson

Written by

Kylie Anderson is an L.A.-based writer who covered employment trends for the ZipRecruiter blog.

More Articles by Kylie Anderson