This morning’s announcement that national unemployment fell just 0.1% in April–to 5.4%–was a disappointment to many, but cities across the country are seeing strong opportunities in a range of industries, many while maintaining unemployment rates far below the national one.
Which are the best cities for finding work right now?
To determine the best cities for finding employment currently, national staffing agency Adecco considered factors like industries in a particular city, cost of living and the presence of companies with varied employment opportunities. Adecco used data and feedback from regional offices across the country as well as employment rate data from the Department of Labor to determine which 10 cities provide the strongest job opportunities right now.
At the top of the list is Austin, Texas. With 3.3% unemployment, the city continues to beat the national unemployment rate by more than two points. Strong opportunities are available in industries like retail, hospitality, tech and professional services.
“Austin is a beautiful city with broad appeal that is becoming an even greater destination of choice for many job seekers,” said Adecco Regional Vice President Alyson Blake-Wilson. “When asked why people choose to relocate to Austin, I hear the same consistent theme: the lifestyle is relaxed with a focus on the outdoors. This translates to a vibrant city with great restaurants, accessibility to healthy activities like hiking, biking and running and a city that takes pride in everything being uniquely local.”
Up next is Grand Rapids, Michigan, which also enjoys a low unemployment rate–3.9%. Currently, the city has more job openings–in industries like auto, consumer goods, healthcare, manufacturing and food–than people to fill them.
“Professionals who had once left western Michigan when the economy suffered in 2008 are now able to return to Grand Rapids,” said Dean Liakos, area vice president at Adecco Engineering & Technology.”
Additionally, “Competition for candidates is getting quite extreme, which means pay rates and compensation packages are rising,” says Nancy Siegal, regional vice president at Adecco Staffing.
In third place is Nashville, Tennessee. With low unemployment and a variety of opportunities for those with abilities in the skilled trades–such as IT, electronic repair technicians and machinists–as well as nursing, professional services and accounting, the music city has a lot to offer. Strong competition for candidates means job seekers can expect a healthy wage.
“There is a shortage of both professional and skilled labor candidates, so competition is fierce for these candidates, leading to better opportunities and potential incomes than in years past,” said Kathy Pippin, regional vice president at Adecco Staffing. “Nashville is a candidate driven market.”
A few coastal locations do make their way onto a list dominated by southern and midwestern cities. New York City and the Hudson Valley area join the list in seventh place, with respective unemployment rates of 6% and 4.6%. Jobs are available in an array of industries, including retail and fashion, finance, hospitality, manufacturing and service.
Those with skills in graphic and web design, digital analytic, marketing and sales, and manufacturing and distribution will fare particularly well. In the Hudson Valley, particular growth is being seen in the manufacturing and distribution sectors, related to consumer products.
“The Hudson Valley is a beautiful place to live with historic homes and charming activities like wineries, theater, hiking and kayaking the Hudson River. It allows residents to take advantage of all that nearby New York City has to offer, but offers a more idllyic option with highly ranked public schools,” said Laura Mellors, regional vice president.
On the opposite side of the country, Los Angeles and Orange County has seen some of the strongest employment gains over the past year–168,500 jobs added–despite a 6.6% unemployment rate that tops the national rate. It’s the only west coast location to join these ranks.
Known for jobs in entertainment and a growing tech scene, L.A.’s top hiring industries actually include manufacturing, healthcare, customer service and aerospace.
“Many companies we work with are hiring candidates immediately, on a fulltime basis, foregoing temp-to-hire roles altogether,” notes Steve Cacciari, regional vice president at Adecco Engineering & Technical. “Additionally, there has been a strong return of the ‘counter offer’ in this market. Companies are having to ‘sell’ their opportunity like never before, giving candidates more leverage in the hiring process.”
Top Cities To Find A Job In 2015
1. Austin, Texas | Top Industries Hiring: Retail, Leisure & Hospitality, Technology, Business and Professional Services
2. Grand Rapids, Michigan | Top Industries Hiring: Automotive, Consumer Goods, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Food
3. Nashville, Tennessee | Top Industries Hiring: Healthcare, Transportation & Logistics, and Higher Education
4. Charlotte, North Carolina | Top Industries Hiring: Finance, Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Sports
5. Jacksonville, Florida | Top Industries Hiring: Logistics, Industrial
6. Louisville, Kentucky | Top Industries Hiring: Logistics & Supply Chain, Healthcare, Manufacturing
7. New York, New York and the Hudson Valley | Top Industries Hiring: Retail & Fashion, Finance/Banking, Service, Hospitality, and Manufacturing
8. Cincinnati, Ohio | Top Industries Hiring: Distribution, Finance, and Mortgage
9. Los Angeles and Orange County, California | Top Industries Hiring: Manufacturing, Customer Service, Creative, Technology, Healthcare, and Aerospace
10. Chicago, Illinois | Top Industries Hiring: Manufacturing, Logistics, and Customer Service
via Kathryn Dill at Forbes