With the unemployment rate at 3.7% and employers planning to hire 15% more new graduates from the Class of 2023 than they did from the Class of 2022, a new report on 2023’s Best Places to Find a Job, offers insight into where to look.

To determine the strongest local job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 32 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. San Francisco, CA173. Las Cruces, NM
2. Columbia, MD174. Detroit, MI
3. Orlando, FL175. Jackson, MS
4. San Jose, CA176. Shreveport, LA
5. Pittsburgh, PA177. Huntington, WV
6. Fremont, CA178. Columbus, GA
7. Salt Lake City, UT179. Gulfport, MS
8. South Burlington, VT180. Brownsville, TX
9. Plano, TX181. Augusta, GA
10. Portland, ME182. Memphis, TN

Best vs. Worst

  • Columbia, Maryland, has the highest median annual household income (adjusted by cost of living), $104,486, which is 3.5 times higher than Newark, New Jersey, the city with the lowest at $30,271.
  • San Jose, California, has the highest monthly average starting salary, $7,247, which is 3.7 times higher than Fort Smith, Arkansas, the city with the lowest at $1,975.
  • Fremont, California, has the fewest part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees, 31.09, which is 3.7 times fewer than Burlington, Vermont, the city with the most at 116.35.
  • Pearl City, Hawaii, has the lowest share of workers living in poverty, 1.39 percent, which is 13.6 times lower than Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest at 18.97 percent.

State of Full Employment in 2023

“I believe U.S. employment will be back to normal since vaccination rates will be higher than ever. With the Covid-19 virus being endemic, we will probably see the vaccination being administered along with the annual flu shot. Consequently, dealing with an outbreak of the virus will be a little easier and anxiety will be more manageable. Even people with health vulnerabilities will feel more confident going to work as they know that a hospital bed will be available for them if they are infected and need medical help. Also, foreign countries are becoming more open again without having to quarantine or test for Covid-19 infection before traveling; as such, global jobs will be on the rise again for Americans,” said Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, MBA, DBA, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, professor at Nova Southeastern University.

“This all depends upon whether the recession many are predicting becomes a reality. If the Federal Reserve and other central banks can achieve their desired soft-landing scenario, then the economy very well could achieve full employment next year. If the economy does experience a recession, even a mild one at that, the likelihood of reaching full employment declines significantly. We have started to see some well-known companies, particularly in the tech sector, laying off workers, and some predictions are indicating that this may just be the beginning. Along with its latest policy statement, the Federal Reserve indicated that they expect the unemployment rate to rise to 4.6% by the end of 2023, while also stating that overall growth in 2023 will be 0.5%, after initially predicting a growth rate of 1.2%. Given the rate increases seven times this year with more to come in 2023, which have begun to show signs of curtailing inflation, this has served to limit spending. The November retail sales report verified this, which showed a 0.6% decline over the prior month. If this trend continues, layoffs can be expected within this sector, which will have ripple effects across the economy, thereby preventing the labor market from achieving full employment in 2023,” according to Steven Glazer, professor, at Norwalk Community College.

Geographic Changes

Recent evidence suggests fewer people are moving across state lines in search of work – why do you think this is and what can be done to increase geographic mobility?

“Right now, no one is sure how much of the lack of geographic mobility is related to the pandemic, although some of these trends started as the Millennial generation matured. As younger people eschew things like cars or home ownership, they have stayed closer to their home roots. The flip to remote work – or at least more options to work remotely for a couple of days a week – has also made it much easier for employees to remain closer to their home roots. However, one of the facets of our current inflationary environment is that companies are paying more for labor amid the national labor shortage that we see in the Great Resignation. Companies that incentivize employees to move will find employees more willing to move. Companies that offer higher wages will attract more employees, even to work in person,” added Anthony R. Wheeler, Ph.D., Dean, School of Business Administration, Widener University.

“The years of COVID-19 kept many people in place due to health reasons. However, as the vaccination rates increase and people become more confident in effectively dealing with any infections, they will become more mobile. Another reason people are not moving across state lines for a job is because of remote work and telecommuting possibilities. I know many professionals who are living in their ideal homes but work for institutions in different states and only travel once or twice each month for required face-to-face meetings. Organizational leaders and managers are becoming more flexible to accommodate remote professionals in their fields so they can attract and retain the most qualified individuals,” Mujtaba added.

Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make

“Job seekers need to understand that personal connections and relationships – social networking – is still the best way to find a new job. Because technology has made it so easy to apply for jobs, job seekers might think all they need to do is send out hundreds of resumes through websites. Those job seekers might not understand that the technology used to make it easy to apply to any given job also makes it less likely that a real person will ever see their resume. Recruiters use keyword searches to find resumes among the deep pools of applicants they usually receive. Blindly sending in your resume is the job-seeking version of email spam. Build and maintain your social network. Do not feel awkward about asking your social network for help,” Wheeler added.

“One of the most common mistakes that job seekers fall prey to is not being clear about what they expect from work and a working environment; well before an interview, candidates should have a list of questions ready to ask, be aware of the kind of culture that they thrive in, and what tradeoffs – or deal breakers – they are willing to tolerate,” Shuck added.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit here.

Source: WalletHub