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The Top 25 Best Cities to Find a Job Are Nowhere Near Where You’d Expect

Sep 13, 2017

When it comes to the job market, finding an opening is just one part of the puzzle for Americans. The ideal scenario is when workers find jobs they enjoy in cities where they can afford to live.

A new study compiled by job search site Glassdoor found the best cities to find a job weren't in typical hot spots like New York City or San Francisco. Instead, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo., Raleigh-Durham, NC., and St. Louis topped the list.

"Big, metropolitan cities may be more famous than others, including being home to some amazing companies to work for, but this recognition is also what contributes to them being among the most expensive places to live,” Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain said. “People may be overlooking midsize cities like Pittsburgh or St. Louis if they are looking to relocate or find new opportunities. 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 ranked U.S. cities with the highest "Glassdoor City Score," which is determined by weighing three factors equally, to come up with the best cities find a job in 2017:

  • how easy it is to get a job (hiring opportunity)
  • how affordable it is to live there (cost of living)
  • how satisfied employees are working there (job satisfaction)

The report includes each city's median pay for employees, median home value, job satisfaction rating, number of current job openings, and a few local in-demand jobs.

Pay attention to how median home value and pay is balanced out. The gap can be wide in places like San Jose, Calif., where the median home value is more than $1 million.

Here's the complete list of this year's best cities to find a job:

1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Glassdoor City Score: (out of 5): 4.4
  • Job Openings: 95,399
  • Median Base Salary: $44,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2
  • Median Home Value: $137,400
  • Hot Jobs: Civil Engineer, Project Manager, Registered Nurse

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 80,561
  • Median Base Salary: $43,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $138,100
  • Hot Jobs: DevOps Engineer, Marketing Manager, Machine Operator

3. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 90,649
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $159,400
  • Hot Jobs: Software Engineer, Research Associate, Audit Manager

4. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 65,810
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $228,200
  • Hot Jobs: Mobile Developer, Physician, Civil Engineer

5. St. Louis, Missouri

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 104,725
  • Median Base Salary: $45,600
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $148,600
  • Hot Jobs: Electrical Engineer, Communications Manager, Recruiter

6. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.4
  • Job Openings: 42,347
  • Median Base Salary: $41,200
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $119,700
  • Hot Jobs: Physical Therapist, Software Engineer, Maintenance Technician

7. Columbus, Ohio

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.3
  • Job Openings: 78,370
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $162,500
  • Hot Jobs: Office Manager, Database Administrator, Restaurant Manager

8. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.3
  • Job Openings: 79,554
  • Median Base Salary: $44,637
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $152,600
  • Hot Jobs: Data Engineer, Medical Assistant, Account Executive

9. Cleveland, Ohio

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.3
  • Job Openings: 66,410
  • Median Base Salary: $43,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $134,600
  • Hot Jobs: DevOps Engineer, Consultant, Sales Associate

10. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.2
  • Job Openings: 49,213
  • Median Base Salary: $40,138
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $148,600
  • Hot Jobs: Mechanical Engineer, Nurse Manager, Warehouse Associate

11. Birmingham, Alabama

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.2
  • Job Openings: 40,123
  • Median Base Salary: $38,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $133,400
  • Hot Jobs: Marketing Manager, Insurance Agent, Truck Driver

Detroit, Michigan

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.2
  • Job Openings: 119,567
  • Median Base Salary: $46,344
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $141,000
  • Hot Jobs: Business Operations Manager, Software Engineer, Auto Technician

13. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 151,656
  • Median Base Salary: $52,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $247,400
  • Hot Jobs: Manufacturing Engineer, Graphic Designer, Sales Associate

14. Hartford, Connecticut

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 46,274
  • Median Base Salary: $55,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $223,100
  • Hot Jobs: Physician Assistant, Professor, Mechanical Engineer

15. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 43,898
  • Median Base Salary: $36,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $134,900
  • Hot Jobs: Compliance Manager, Medical Assistant, Restaurant Manager

16. Washington, DC

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 293,481
  • Median Base Salary: $62,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $382,600
  • Hot Jobs: Systems Engineer, Financial Analyst, Risk Consultant

17. Seattle, Washington

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 187,741
  • Median Base Salary: $65,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $447,100
  • Hot Jobs: Software Development Engineer, Technical Program Manager, Barista

18. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 195,021
  • Median Base Salary: $46,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $179,900
  • Hot Jobs: Mechanical Engineer, Physical Therapist, Marketing Manager

19. Baltimore, Maryland

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 123,370
  • Median Base Salary: $48,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $261,000
  • Hot Jobs: Project Manager, Controls Engineer, Executive Assistant

20. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.1
  • Job Openings: 80,192
  • Median Base Salary: $42,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $220,100
  • Hot Jobs: Professor, Licensed Practical Nurse, Restaurant Server

21. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 63,772
  • Median Base Salary: $46,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2
  • Median Home Value: $215,500
  • Hot Jobs: Civil Engineer, Medical Assistant, Sales Consultant

San Jose, California

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 106,809
  • Median Base Salary: $100,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $1,013,700
  • Hot Jobs: Software Development Engineer, Marketing Manager, Test Engineer

Chicago, Illinois

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 332,546
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $211,200
  • Hot Jobs: Occupational Therapist, Manufacturing Engineer, Account Executive

24. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 78,285
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $174,800
  • Hot Jobs: Business Analyst, Sales Consultant, Clinical Nurse

25. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

  • Glassdoor City Score: 4.0
  • Job Openings: 249,235
  • Median Base Salary: $49,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $211,000
  • Hot Jobs: Software Engineer, Financial Analyst, Server
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