- Flickr / Wesley Friar
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to make a move and tweak the course of your career.
If that time has come for you, we have some good places to do that.
We looked at 362 metropolitan areas in the US and ranked them based on the state of their job markets. We considered job creation rates, unemployment rates, and wage growth rates.
Further, we made a measurement of how diverse the regional economy is based on how many different occupations were common in the metro area, as well as how evenly distributed jobs are among those occupations.
For more details on our methodology and sources, click here.
20. College Station, Texas
College Station is home to Texas A&M University, a major part of the city’s economy and job market.
College Station had the best wage growth among the metro areas we looked at by far, with wages rising an incredible 25.4% between June 2014 and June 2015.
19. Manchester, New Hampshire
- Wikimedia Commons
Formerly an industrial center, the largest city in New Hampshire now boasts a strong and diverse service-centered economy.
Manchester did well across the board. The city’s June 2015 unemployment rate of 3.4% was the 16th best among the 362 metro areas we looked at.
18. New York City
- Reuters/Adrees Latiff
New York is America’s largest city, and it has always been a magnet for people around the world looking for a better life.
New York scored above average on our metrics, and particularly impressive was its 11th-highest June 2015 average weekly wage of $1,019.
17. Provo, Utah
Provo is home to Brigham Young University, and its labor market is doing very well.
The number of nonfarm payroll jobs in Provo grew an amazing 6.9% between June 2014 and June 2015, easily the highest rate in the country.
16. Los Angeles
- Hollywood Sign and Los Angeles by Eugene Kim
Home to much of America’s entertainment industry, the nation’s second-largest city is thriving.
Los Angeles’ June 2015 average weekly wage of $953 was the 24th best among metro areas, and the city had the second-highest score on our job-diversity index.
15. Minneapolis-St. Paul
- Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The Twin Cities are a Midwestern corporate hub, with giant companies such as 3M and Target headquartered in the region.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area had a June 2015 unemployment rate of just 3.8%, 34th lowest among the 362 metro areas we looked at. The metro area also had the fifth-best score on our job-diversity index.
14. Austin, Texas
- Flickr/Juan Gonzales
Texas’ state capital is known for its offbeat, weird culture, and it is home to the University of Texas’ flagship campus.
Austin’s June 2015 unemployment rate of 3.3% was the 11th best among the 362 metro areas we included in our study.
- Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Houston is home to a whopping 48 Fortune 1,000 companies, many in the energy and oil sector.
Despite the prevalence of the energy sector, Houston still has a very diversified economy, and it came in seventh place in our job-diversity index.
12. San Diego
California’s second-largest city has one of the most beautiful climates in the US, and it’s an excellent place to change jobs.
San Diego had the fourth-highest score on our job-diversity index, reflecting the variety of occupations and industries in the metro area.
11. Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut
- Courtesy of UBS
Stamford is a corporate powerhouse, with nine Fortune 1,000 companies and several regional headquarters located within the city.
The Bridgeport-Stamford metro area had the seventh-highest June 2015 average weekly wage among the nation’s metro areas at $1,116.
10. Burlington, Vermont
- REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
Burlington is Vermont’s largest city and the home of the University of Vermont.
Burlington’s labor market is in good shape, and the city scored well on all of our metrics. Particularly impressive is the metro area’s June 2015 unemployment rate of 2.9%, the third lowest in the country.
Denver’s centralized location makes it a major US crossroads. The city is also home to several iconic brands, including Coors and Chipotle.
Denver’s June 2015 average weekly wage of $988 was the 15th best among the 362 metro areas we looked at.
- Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Several big companies call Dallas home, including AT&T, Southwest Airlines, and several energy companies.
Dallas scored above average on most of our metrics. The metro area’s June 2015 average weekly wage of $963 was the 21st best among the 362 areas we looked at.
7. Portland, Oregon
Portland’s robust economy and friendly atmosphere make it a great place to change careers.
While Portland scored well on all our metrics, the metro area came in first overall in job diversity, reflecting the region’s dynamic economy and high variety of opportunities.
6. Washington, D.C.
- Wikimedia Commons
The nation’s capital is also home to a thriving economy. The federal government and associated contractors are naturally huge employers in the capital metro area.
Washington’s June 2015 average weekly wage of $1,154 was the fifth highest in the country.
5. Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is a conveniently located hub with access to many of the major cities of the Mountain West and West Coast, driving a thriving economy.
Salt Lake City’s June 2015 unemployment rate of 3.6% was the 22nd lowest among the 362 metro areas we considered. Job growth was also strong, with nonfarm payroll jobs growing by 4.4% between June 2014 and June 2015.
- Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports
Boston is a big hub of finance and tech on the East Coast, with the insurance giant Liberty Mutual and State Street bank having their headquarters in the city.
Boston’s weekly wage of $1,119 was the sixth highest among the metro areas we looked at, and it scored third best in our measure of job diversity.
3. San Francisco
- Flickr / Sharon Rong
One of the core metro areas in the world of tech and startups, San Francisco has for years attracted sharp minds looking to change the world.
San Francisco scored in the top third in all of our metrics, showing a robust and dynamic labor market. Especially impressive was the metro area’s June 2015 average weekly wage of $1,190, the second highest in the country.
- Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The headquarters of the megaretailer and tech giant Amazon and the ubiquitous coffee chain Starbucks are in Seattle. The metro area’s June 2015 wage of $1,176 was the fourth highest in the country, and Seattle scored sixth best on our job-diversity index.
1. San Jose, California
- Wikimedia Commons
In the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose came in as the best metro area to find a new job. Tech giants including Cisco, eBay, and Adobe are all based in the city, with many others nearby.
San Jose’s June 2015 average weekly wage of $1,440 was the highest among the metro areas. Job growth was the fourth strongest in the country, with the metro area’s nonfarm payroll jobs growing by 5.5% between June 2014 and June 2015.