The best cities for job seekers to land a job seeker right now

Across the country, millions are unemployed.

While many are looking for their next job locally, others are casting a wider net and ready to relocate for the right position. But in this vast, varying country, where is the best place to land a job? Better yet, where is the best place now in this new, different job market?

We analyzed the data to find the cities with the least competition for roles, best paying positions, and most stable industries.

The Best Cities For Job Seekers In 2020

  1. Madison, Wisconsin
  2. Charlottesville, Virginia
  3. Fargo, North Dakota
  4. California-Lexington Park, Maryland
  5. Rochester, Minnesota
  6. Huntsville, Alabama
  7. Wausau, Wisconsin
  8. Santa Rosa, California
  9. Appleton, Wisconsin
  10. Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Wisconsin cities landed four of the coveted top 10 spots. Other prosperous cities from 2019 maintained their rank and are still excellent places to land a job. Keep reading to see what makes these cities the places to land a job, and where your city landed.

HOW WE DETERMINED THE BEST CITIES FOR JOB SEEKERS IN 2020

We ranked cities 360 cities 1-to-360 in four areas:

  • Unemployment
  • Essential workers
  • Workers in unstable industries
  • Average household income

To gauge unemployment, we used the most recent unemployment numbers from the BLS. The lower unemployment, the less competition, and the better for job seekers.

However, unemployment numbers trail job loss and don’t always paint a full picture. To better gauge the situation, we then examined each area’s industries using the ACS Census data to determine the types of opportunities available in each location. For essential workers, we added the percent of workers in healthcare, protective services, farming/forestry and other industries that kept trucking during shut-downs. While these positions are not immune to layoffs, they do offer some level of protection.

To determine the amount of workers in unstable industries, we made it pretty simple and examined the amount of restaurant workers and servers in each area. These jobs are usually low paying and were hit hard by Covid shutdowns. Eating out is also a discretionary purchase that gets hit hard in tough economic times. Cities with less workers in these vulnerable positions are in a stronger position to weather the current situation.

Finally, we looked at average household income. After all, no one is chomping at the bits to move for less money.

You can learn a bit more about the 10 best spots to land a job, or keep scrolling to see the full list.

1. MADISON, WISCONSIN

Household Income: $93,564
March Unemployment: 2.4
Essential Workers:29.60%

Madison, Wisconsin is the best city for job seekers looking for their next job. Household income in this Midwestern city is just under six figures and Madison’s unemployment is only 2.4%. Toss in a high percentage of workers in essential industries and it’s easy to see Mad City has a lot to offer job seekers.

2. CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

Household Income: $104,639
March Unemployment: 3
Essential Workers:30.12%

Charlottesville slipped from it’s #1 spot to #2, thanks to the rise in unemployment. However, #2 is nothing to sneeze at. The city is home to a prosperous middle-class and a smaller percentage than average work in more vulnerable industries. Job seekers should give Charlottesville a look.

3. FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA

Household Income: $90,720
March Unemployment: 2.7
Essential Workers:33.96%

Fargo, North Dakota is the 3rd best city for job seekers. As of the most recent unemployment numbers, Fargo has some of the lowest unemployment in the nation– only 2.7%. 34% of Fargo workers work in healthcare, protective resources, and natural resources.

4. CALIFORNIA-LEXINGTON PARK, MARYLAND

Household Income: $106,262
March Unemployment: 3
Essential Workers:22.66%

California-Lexington Park has a lot to offer those looking to relocate. The main employers in the California-Lexington Park metro area are St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the government, with many residents working as defense contractors.

5. ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA

Household Income: $94,952
March Unemployment: 3
Essential Workers:45.43%

An impressive 45% of Rochester workers are employed in the essential industries we examined. Combine that with a healthy household income and reasonably low unemployment, and it’s a good spot to find your next job.

6. HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA

Household Income: $84,048
March Unemployment: 3
Essential Workers:27.24%

Only 4% of Huntsville residents work in the restaurant industry, while 27% work in essential industries. Huntsville’s March unemployment was only 3%.

7. WAUSAU, WISCONSIN

Household Income: $84,462
March Unemployment: 3
Essential Workers:33.18%

Wausau is the second- but not last- Wisconsin city to make our list. Wausau is the main cultivator of American ginseng, and is home to a large granite quarry. These sturdy industries, along with others, help keep the labor force going in Wausau.

8. SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA

Household Income: $108,278
March Unemployment: 4
Essential Workers:41.81%

Santa Rosa has the highest household income of the top 10 at $108,278. Job seekers in Santa Rosa will see a range of jobs in industries more likely to weather economic downturns. While, Santa Rosa’a unemployment is the highest of the top 10– it still has a lot to offer those looking for their next job opportunity.

9. APPLETON, WISCONSIN

Household Income: $82,092
March Unemployment: 2.8
Essential Workers:26.46%

Appleton, Wisconsin has a 2.8% unemployment rate and a median household income of $82,092– which are pretty good stats for job seekers. When you look at Wisconsin’s affordable cost of living, those stats look even better.

10. SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN

Household Income: $74,928
March Unemployment: 2.8
Essential Workers:34.63%

Sheboygan is playfully called the “Malibu of the Midwest,” for all it has to offer when it comes to water fun. However, the city is more than a playground, it is a thriving hub with plenty to lure in job seekers. While household income is lower than rival cities, unemployment remains low and the jobs are sturdy.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE BEST CITIES FOR JOB SEEKERS

Choosing a new job is complex. Relocating for a new job is even harder.

Cities are more than just their unemployment rates, average incomes, and industries. They are made up of people, communities, activities, and surroundings. An ocean lover, for example, might be very unhappy in city far from the beach, regardless of how great a job they have!

Ultimately, why the top ten cities have a lot to offer job seekers- job seekers should do their research before relocating to find a city that meets all of their needs. Of course, job seekers can also look for a remote job if they love their city, but not the available jobs.

This article first appeared on Zippia.