Best Cities for Finding a Job in 2022

Are you relocating? Many Americans put their careers on hold or switched jobs in 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19 disruptions to the workforce. With the prospect of easing restrictions and economic rebuilding in 2022, many people are looking for a new start in a new city.

If you’re looking to move in search of job opportunities, you might see job opportunities across the United States and have trouble deciding which cities and locations offer the best prospects for long-term employment. This post will give you some ideas and help you to narrow down your options when it comes time to submit job applications and look at real estate listings.

How to Choose the Right City for You in ‘22

Every job hunter and family is different, so some qualities that are deciding factors for one person might be irrelevant for others. Most job seekers consider employment rates, businesses, and industries in the city, quality of life, as well as population and job growth statistics. However, you might also consider other factors, such as:

  • Safety
  • Quality of Schools
  • Affordable Housing
  • Access to transportation
  • Access to religious services
  • Amenities
  • Accessibility for Disabled People
  • Weather
  • Walkability

The following list of cities includes attractive choices for job hunters in many respects. While each city might not appeal to everyone, the list as a whole should provide food for thought to anyone who is considering the prospect of relocating in search of jobs. This list includes cities from a variety of geographic locations to provide at least a few options for job hunters who are relocating locally.

     1. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City is a perennial favorite for job seekers for its job growth and stellar unemployment rate, which dropped from 2.8% to 1.3% in the second half of 2021. Its livability score (64) puts it in the middle of the pack. Like many large cities, it has a high cost of living and crime rate. It is known for its industrious and conscientious population, which creates a wealth of business and job opportunities. 

     2. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is a prime location, with easy access to economic hubs in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and the economies of East and Southeast Asia. The cost of living is high in San Francisco, but economic opportunities abound, especially for job seekers who want to work in a cosmopolitan environment with international opportunities. 

 San Francisco has high-paying jobs but housing prices and the cost of living are also high. The San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA, area has higher unemployment rates than some of the other candidates on this list but shows a downward trend in unemployment throughout the second half of 2021.

     3. Austin, TX

Austin is a vibrant city with a unique character. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos area’s unemployment rate in December 2021 was an impressive 2.9% and employs 1.29 million people. Austin, TX, is poised for considerable job growth, and the website AreaVibes gives Austin a livability score of 72, which is excellent, with an A+ for amenities. Austin’s nightlife and culture make Austin, TX, a fantastic place to work.

     4. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is a thriving community that has welcomed back the descendants of many Atlantans who left in search of opportunities in the Northeast and Western U.S. It has a distinctive music scene and is positioning itself as a vibrant 21st-century city with a historic past.  Atlanta has a fantastic unemployment rate that fell from 3.2% to 2.3% in the second half of 2021. Atlanta’s thriving business community, boosted by the city’s relatively affordable office space lease rates, produces high demand for jobs in sales, customer service, and healthcare. Per capita income is higher than the national average in Atlanta, and it is an excellent place to live.

     5. Columbia, MD

Columbia, MD, is an attractive place for job hunters looking for work on the east coast north of Washington DC. Its proximity to Baltimore, the national capital, and many other cities on the eastern seaboard are plusses, and the unemployment rate of the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area has been dropping steadily from 5.4% to 3.8% over the second half of 2021. Residents of Columbia have high incomes and access to a wide range of lucrative jobs. Columbia, MD itself is a beautiful city with a livability score of 71. 

     6. Seattle, WA

Seattle is an economic hub and powerhouse in the American Northwest. As the birthplace of Starbucks, a center of eCommerce for Amazon,  and minutes from the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Seattle fosters a culture of entrepreneurship. Although property values are higher than in many up-and-coming cities, Seattle remains a top contender. AreaVibes gives Seattle a below-average livability score of 65. Seattle embraces technology companies, providing many high-paying and rewarding jobs for skilled job seekers.

Other Tips for Job Hunters

When looking for the perfect city, you can expand your reach and increase your options by keeping the following tips in mind.

  • Consider suburbs and adjacent cities
  • Look for remote work
  • Consider areas close to family and friends
  • Look for cities that employ grads from your alma mater

 

In many cases finding the right job and finding the right place to live are about networking and connections as much as it is about the overall economic health of the city. A city with a smaller economy and less national prestige that you have a personal connection with could be a better choice than an impersonal metropolis. A quiet suburb or small town could be a great place to commute from or to set up a home office. 

2022 has many opportunities in store. Keep your eyes open for the next phase in your career and remember that any list of “Best Cities” is a starting point, not the conclusion to your successful job search. Good luck with your search, and remember that you don’t need to find the perfect job for everyone, just the job that’s right for you.

Rylie Holt