BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Moving near your parents or a boyfriend or girlfriend might seem like a great idea to many of this year's college grads, but young people who want successful careers should avoid the five cities below like the plague.
"My advice to new grads is not to say: 'Oh, my friend George from college just moved to a certain city, so I'll move there, too.' Do that and you might be really shooting yourself in the foot in terms of career prospects," says Odysseas Papadimitriou of WalletHub, which recently named 2014's Best & Worst Cities to Start a Career.
WalletHub, which tracks banking rates and provides consumer reviews of personal-finance firms, rated America's 150 most-populous cities on a weighted scale of 18 economic and quality-of-life factors important to recent graduates. Measures ranged from local median starting salaries to how much the average two-bedroom apartment costs to rent.
Papadimitriou says the study aims to give young people "hard data" to help them decide where to start their careers."Everyone is different," he says. "Some recent graduates will be looking for tech jobs, while others might consider outdoor activities very important. We just want to make sure young people make informed decisions." Look below to check out the five cities that ranked dead last in WalletHub's study (or click here to see the site's view of the best places to start a career). Communities' scores on different criteria refer to how high or low they placed relative to other big U.S. cities. Job-growth numbers reflect the percent of local jobs that a community added or lost between 2011 and 2012 after adjusting for population, while local unemployment rates are as of March. Each community's property listings come from Realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors' official home-listing site. Fifth-worst city to start a career: Akron, Ohio The Rubber City has yet to bounce back from the Midwest's longstanding industrial decline -- bad news for any grads who move there. Also see: 5 Best Cars for 8 First Jobs here to check them out. Fourth-worst city to start a career: San Bernardino, Calif. The first McDonald's opened up in San Bernardino in 1940, and young grads who move to this city 60 miles east of Los Angeles should worry that it's the kind of place they'll end up working. A toxic mix of crime, poverty and home foreclosures has hit San Bernardino over the years, leaving lots of economic problems in its wake. The local government declared bankruptcy in 2012, while San Bernardino trailed only Detroit in the 2010 Census as the city with the highest percentage of residents who live below the poverty line. WalletHub also found that San Bernardino comes in dead last among major cities for tech jobs as a share of total employment, and also suffers from America's 11th-highest jobless rate. The community also ranks 14th from the bottom for job growth and offers the 32nd-worst median starting incomes. Class of 2014 members will also find limited dating opportunities, as San Bernardino has the second-lowest share of locals who have at least a bachelor's degree and the 35th-smallest share of 25- to 34-year-olds relative to total population. Also see: 5 Professions Most Likely to Make You a Homeowner here.