These Are the Best Cities for Job Seekers Right Now

San Francisco | Shutterstock
San Francisco | Shutterstock

No matter how professionally qualified you may be, deciding where to move to improve your career prospects can be a bit complicated. Do you want a place with a ton of great available jobs but an exorbitant cost of living? What about  somewhere you can live like a king on a moderate salary but have to compromise on work/life balance? It's a lot to consider. Thankfully, Indeed has done a bunch of the work for you with a new study that reveals the best cities for job seekers in 2018.

To figure out which cities are optimal for people looking to score a new gig, Indeed looked at the 50 metro areas around the US with the most job listings and weighed them against four different metrics: salary, work/life balance, job security & advancement, and job market favorability. In order to determine where each city landed, they consulted the relevant reviews posted on Indeed company pages, then used those to assign an overall "City Score" to each metro area, which dictated its placement in the ranking.

This year, San Jose, California took the number one spot, followed by San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and Los Angeles, respectively, as the top five cities for job seekers. On the flip side, Houston was the worst city for job seekers per their ranking, taking the 25th spot, with Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, and St. Louis rounding out the bottom five. If you're curious where your city ranks, or if it even made the cut, here's the full breakdown from worst to best.

25. Houston, Texas
24. Chicago, Illinois
23. Memphis, Tennessee
22. Atlanta, Georgia
21. St. Louis, Missouri
20. Omaha, Nebraska
19. Columbus, Ohio
18. Baltimore, Maryland
17. San Antonio, Texas
16. Portland, Oregon
15. Hartford, Connecticut
14. New Orleans, Louisiana
13. Riverside, California
12. Austin, Texas
11. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
10. Washington, D.C.
9. Seattle, Washington
8. Miami, Florida
7. Sacramento, California
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota
5. Los Angeles, California
4. San Diego, California
3. Boston, Massachusettes
2. San Francisco, California
1. San Jose, California

As you might have noticed, California claimed a lot of territory on the list, with a whopping six cities from the Golden State among the top 25. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the nation's most populated city -- New York -- doesn't appear at all on the ranking (it came in 46 out of 50 according to the analysis). Indeed speculates that its low ranking is likely because job seekers are on the hunt for less expensive places to live, and points to the larger trend of people fleeing the Northeast in general for other parts of the country. Also notably absent from the ranking are once job-rich and highly sought-after hubs like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. 

Obviously, where you'll ultimately decide to set your sights will take into account countless other personal factors, from proximity to family, to desired climate, to any number of  dealbreakers. Still, if you're in the market to set your career on a new or accelerated path, this list could come in quite handy.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.