The Best Cities To Find A Job In 2016

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The Midwest dominates our list of top job markets for 2016, a result of the rapidly expanding tech sector taking advantage of lower costs of living and working in the area, a strategic focus on economic diversification, and a general increase in business activity surrounding growth in the region. Despite concerns that the Midwest may be poised for a slump, low job competition and unemployment numbers across the Rust Belt – as well as slight rebounds in historically depressed industries like automotive and general manufacturing – point to continued economic stability in the new year.

Positive trends in East Coast hiring were also revealed by our data; two New York cities made our list for their low job competition and thriving STEM industries.

Healthcare and Insurance appeared to drive the majority of hiring demand across nearly all the metro areas on our list, followed closely by service sector growth.

Here’s our list of the top ten best job markets for 2016, which we have determined by ranking cities by Applicants to Employer ratio, Applications to Job posting ratio, and Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment scores:

1. Madison, WI

Madison tops our list of best job markets with the highest ratio of open positions to job seekers, an unemployment rate well below the national number, and a diversified economy bolstered by a steady stream of talent from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A burgeoning high-tech industry has increased the workforce population, necessitating growth in the service sector that has made Madison one of the best cities for entry-level jobs as well.

Unemployment Rate: 2.90%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Hospitality/Restaurant
  3. Insurance
  4. Customer Service
  5. Retail

2. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

While Des Moines is known primarily for its political significance and large financial and insurance services base, we observed trends toward the engineering and tech industries when we named the city one of our top Midwest cities for jobs earlier this year. Low unemployment and job competition will also contribute to the city’s economic strength in 2016.

Unemployment Rate: 3%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Insurance
  2. Admin/Secretarial
  3. Customer Service
  4. Marketing/PR
  5. Management & Exec

3. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

Omaha retained a spot on our list of best job markets from last year, maintaining the “low unemployment rate, vibrant economy, solid population growth, and continued livability” that has enabled the city to set a standard for economic health in the upper Midwest.

Unemployment Rate: 2.90%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Insurance
  3. Hospitality/Restaurant
  4. Information Technology
  5. Healthcare

4. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

Low job competition and unemployment point to Albany’s continued economic success in 2016. Healthcare and Insurance top their list of most in-demand industries; this is likely a result of ACA requirements, and suggests continued growth as more comply with the health insurance mandates.

Unemployment Rate: 4.10%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Insurance
  3. Retail
  4. Events
  5. Hospitality/Restaurant

5. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA

Portland has earned the nickname the ‘Silicon Forest’ for its manufacturing of tech hardware and emphasis on clean, renewable technologies. Access to interstates, international air terminals, and marine shipping, as well as a generally high quality of life have drawn a variety of ventures to Portland and helped to diversify its economy. The city’s strong community support of a wide range of disciplines makes it a great place to work and live.

Unemployment Rate: 5%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Retail
  2. Biotech/Pharmaceutical
  3. Marketing/PR
  4. Insurance
  5. Hospitality/Restaurant

6. Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh boasts the most top-ten list spots of any our best job market cities, ranking high as a top city for Healthcare, Startup, and Art/Media jobs as well as appearing on our list of top job creators in June and July of this year. With its diversified economy and consistent demand in healthcare as well as its service sector, the city shows no signs of slowing in 2016.

Unemployment Rate: 4.60%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Insurance
  3. Hospitality/Restaurant
  4. Customer Service
  5. Retail

7. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA

Harrisburg’s location adjacent to established transportation infrastructure has long allowed the city to thrive as a center for trade and distribution, but its burgeoning biotech sector has enabled the recent growth that earned it a spot on our list.

Unemployment Rate: 3.80%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Insurance
  3. General Labor/Warehouse
  4. Marketing/PR
  5. Retail

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

The Twin Cities are global financial players as the home to the U.S. headquarters for many foreign companies, and the business hub between Seattle and Chicago. In addition to its economic centrality, the area’s economy is driven by production; Minneapolis is a national leader in medical device manufacturing. Minneapolis offers opportunities in a wide variety of industries including insurance, finance, education, graphic design, and high-tech, and the city maintains a low rate of both job competition and unemployment, even with a relatively large population.

Unemployment Rate: 2.90%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Insurance
  2. Marketing/PR
  3. Healthcare
  4. Salon/Beauty/Fitness
  5. Advertising

9. Rochester, NY

Rochester is another city where healthcare and biotech growth have had an uplifting effect across all industries, as incoming working populations require more housing and support services.

Unemployment Rate: 4.50%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Healthcare
  2. Insurance
  3. Customer Service
  4. Retail
  5. Engineering

10. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR

Though much of Little Rock’s economic strength has come from its position as a port city and distribution hub, hiring demand was driven by the legal and insurance industries this year.

Unemployment Rate: 4.20%

Top 5 Industries:

  1. Legal
  2. Insurance
  3. Marketing/PR
  4. Healthcare
  5. Retail
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