These are the best (and worst) cities to start your career

Those looking for cheap rent should head for the Great Plains and the midwest: Cedar Rapids, IA, Des Moines, IA, and Akron, OH all have affordable housing.

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Some cities are friendlier to an entry-level career than others. Wallethub appraised 182 American cities to see which would be the best for new graduates looking to start their careers. They based their rankings on 29 key metrics, from the availability of entry-level jobs to monthly average starting salary to workforce diversity, the number of millennial newcomers, commute time, and housing affordability.

The 10 best cities to start your career

1. Salt Lake City, UT

2. Pittsburgh, PA

3. Atlanta, GA

4. Orlando, FL

5. Austin, TX

6. Minneapolis, MN

7. Seattle, WA

8. Raleigh, NC

9. Boston, MA

10. Denver, CO

Austin, TX was among the top cities with the highest monthly average starting salaries. Salt Lake City, UT was among the top five cities with the most entry-level jobs, along with Orlando, FL, and Charleston, SC. Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, D.C. are among the top states with the highest percentage of the population aged 25 to 34.

And those looking for cheap rent should head for the Great Plains and the midwest: Cedar Rapids, IA, Des Moines, IA, Akron, OH, and Overland Park, KS are the cities with the most affordable housing.

The 10 worst cities to start your career

173. Jackson, MS

174. Newport News, VA

175. Toledo, OH

176. New Haven, CT

177. Pearl City, HI

178. Oxnard, CA

179. Bridgeport, CA

180. Hialeah, FL

181. Montgomery, AL

182. Shreveport, LA

Though they weren’t in the bottom ten worst cities, North Las Vegas, NV, and New York, NY were in the top five cities with the fewest entry-level jobs. New York City again was in the top five for lowest monthly average starting salary, along with Pearl City, HI (number 177.) Hialeah, FL (180) was among the cities with the lowest percentage of the population aged 25 to 34.

Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City made the top five for least affordable housing.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.