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10 Happiest Cities for Entry-Level Workers

By Dan Fastenberg

Many recent college grads assume they should launch their careers where their family and friends are. But given the high unemployment rate, which cities offer the best opportunities? Where would young workers be happiest? CareerBliss, an employment site, studied this question by analyzing survey data from more than 4,000 entry-level workers throughout the country and came up with the 10 best cities.

The workers, who had less than two years' experience, were asked to assess 10 factors that affect happiness, such as work-life balance and growth opportunities, and assigned each factor up to five points. After the CareerBliss team analyzed the data, a cumulative score, known as the "BlissScore," was given to each city.

The results suggest that workers should look beyond the biggest cities, as small and medium-size cities are ranked higher. And entry level workers should not consider only salary. The highest-ranked city didn't offer the best pay.

See below for the Top 10, as well as the average salary for each city.

10. San Francisco

Bliss Score: 3.81

Average Salary: $65,395

9. Atlanta

Bliss Score: 3.83

Average Salary: $50,347

8. Washington D.C.

Bliss Score: 3.85

Average Salary: $55,399

7. San Jose

Bliss Score: 3.86

Average Salary: $70,477

6. Chicago

Bliss Score: 3.86

Average Salary: $49,825

5. Seattle

Bliss Score: 3.88

Average Salary: $57,619

4. Houston

Bliss Score: 3.91

Average Salary: $49,750

3. Boston

Bliss Score: 3.92

Average Salary: $58,745

2. San Diego

Bliss Score: 3.96

Average Salary: $56,763

1. Miami

Bliss Score: 4.04

Average Salary: $45,351

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