New Year, new job?

With the unemployment rate at 4.2% and employers planning to hire 26.6% more new graduates from the Class of 2022 than they did from the Class of 2021, a new report on 2022’s Best Places to Find a Job offers insight.

To determine the strongest local job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary.

Best Cities for JobsWorst Cities for Jobs
1. Columbia, MD173. Baton Rouge, LA
2. Salt Lake City, UT174. Oxnard, CA
3. San Francisco, CA175. Las Cruces, NM
4. Portland, ME176. Brownsville, TX
5. Austin, TX177. Stockton, CA
6. Orlando, FL178. Newark, NJ
7. Seattle, WA179. Detroit, MI
8. Scottsdale, AZ180. Shreveport, LA
9. San Jose, CA181. San Bernardino, CA
10. Nashua, NH182. Gulfport, MS

Best vs. Worst

Columbia, Maryland, has the highest median annual household income (adjusted by cost of living), $98,861, which is 3.4 times higher than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the lowest at $28,757.

San Jose, California, has the highest monthly average starting salary, $7,056, which is 3.6 times higher than in Fort Smith, the city with the lowest at $1,975.

Fremont, California, has the fewest part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees, 29.52, which is 3.9 times fewer than in Burlington, Vermont, the city with the most at 115.76.

Pearl City, Hawaii, has the lowest share of workers living in poverty, 1.35 percent, which is 14 times lower than in Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest at 18.96 percent.

Experts Offer Tips

What is your prediction for the job market in 2022? Do you think the unemployment rate will come close to the pre-pandemic 3.5%?

“The unemployment rate for 2022 will depend on COVID variants and policy responses, and there is much uncertainty in those. That said, the economy is currently quite strong and I expect that will likely continue through 2022. I think we will be close to the pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 3.5% by the end of 2022,” said John Winters, Ph.D., a professor at Iowa State University.

“I do not think employment levels will fully rebound in 2022 even if the pandemic wanes, though I do expect a recovery,” said
Thomas J. Norman, Ph.D., a professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Which are the most common mistakes job seekers make when seeking employment?

“I believe that the most common mistake job seekers make when seeking employment is to only focus on their skills and experiences and neglect the emotional link they should make with their potential employers. Success at one’s job is more than merely being able to perform the tasks – it also involves being engaged and excited about the work that you do. Because of this, employers not only look for people who can do the job but also people who they believe want to and are excited about doing the job. To this end, job seekers should also make sure to emphasize why they are particularly enthusiastic about the job they are applying for,” said Ming D. Leung, an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine.

“Historically, one of the biggest mistakes people make is limiting their search too much or not searching at all. Most workers early in their careers should cast a very wide net and apply to many different jobs, including outside their local area. Furthermore, they should keep an eye out for new and better opportunities even when they have a job. The best way to get a pay raise is to change jobs or have an attractive outside job offer and negotiate with your current employer to stay,” Winters added.

What fields are expected to grow the most in the coming years?

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does 10-year projections (renewed every 2 years) that forecast the industries and occupations that will add the most jobs over the coming decade. They cannot get the numbers exactly right, but they are generally accurate about where the jobs will be. Unfortunately, if you look at the top 10 largest-growing occupations, they are consistently dominated by low-wage jobs with low education requirements, such as home health aides and building security. RNs are usually in the top ten and that is an exception as a job that requires a college degree and has decent pay,” said Gordon Lafer, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Oregon.

“Information security and statistics are two fields paying six-figure salaries while adding jobs at an impressive clip. Cleantech and entertainment are two other areas experiencing strong job growth. The arms race involving Apple, Disney, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in the development of new content is driving strong job growth for agents/business managers, makeup artists, film and video editors, and other entertainment workers,” according to Norman.

Source: WalletHub