Best U.S. Cities for Job Seekers in 2019

It's exciting to finish college and start job hunting, to look forward to working in your field, collecting a paycheck, having your own place to live and weekends free for fun.

College graduates this year have even more to be excited about: employers plan to hire 16.6% more grads from the Class of 2019 than grads from last year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The unemployment rate is still a low 3.6%.

This gives new grads, and other job seekers or anyone wishing to change jobs, good prospects for job offers, salary negotiations, and relocation choices.

Choice is good, and the cities with the best job markets offer the most choice.

In order to determine the best job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared 182 cities - including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state and scored them in two categories, "job market" and "socio-economics," across 30 key indicators of job-market strength.

The job market category is 80% of the score. It includes a range of factors, including: employment growth, average starting salary, unemployment rate, job security, job satisfaction, benefits, risk of automation, the variety of industry and other factors.

Socio-economics, 20%, includes commute times, housing affordability, median annual income, transportation costs, safety, and the environment for dating, families, and recreation.

Here are 30 cities with the best job markets in the U.S.

1. Scottsdale, Ariz.
1. Scottsdale, Ariz.

1. Scottsdale, Ariz.

Job market rank: 2 (of 182 cities)

Socio-economics rank: 6 (of 182 cities)

Scottsdale comes out as the No. 1 city, with high rankings in both categories. Scottsdale also ties for first place with five other cities for having the highest median annual income.

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Columbia, Md.
2. Columbia, Md.

2. Columbia, Md.

Job market rank: 4

Socio-economics rank: 5

Columbia ties for first place with five other cities, including Scottsdale, Ariz., for having the highest median annual income.

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Orlando, Fla.
3. Orlando, Fla.

3. Orlando, Fla.

Job market rank: 1

Socio-economics rank: 48

Besides being No. 1 in the overall job market category, Orlando ranks No. 1 for having the most job opportunities.

Photo: MontenegroStock / Shutterstock

4. San Francisco
4. San Francisco

4. San Francisco

Job market rank: 3

Socio-economics rank: 25

The city by the bay ties for first place with five other cities for highest average starting salary, but it's one of the worst cities for commuting, ranking second to last for longest commute time.

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Colorado Springs, Colo.
5. Colorado Springs, Colo.

5. Colorado Springs, Colo.

Job market rank: 6

Socio-economics rank: 42

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Portland, Maine
6. Portland, Maine

6. Portland, Maine

Job market rank: 8

Socio-economics rank: 36

Portland, Maine, is among the five cities with the most job opportunities, as well as the lowest unemployment rate.

Photo: Shutterstock

7. Plano, Texas
7. Plano, Texas

7. Plano, Texas

Job market rank: 5

Socio-economics rank: 55

Plano ties with five other cities for highest median annual income. Pictured is the corporate headquarters of Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) in Plano.

Photo: Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock

8. Washington, D.C.
8. Washington, D.C.

8. Washington, D.C.

Job market rank: 11

Socio-economics rank: 32

Tied with San Francisco and San Jose for highest monthly average starting salary, Washington D.C. is a top place for job seekers. On the downside, the nation's capital is among the worst for having long commute times.

Photo: Shutterstock

9. Boston
9. Boston

9. Boston

Job market rank: 7

Socio-economics rank: 73

The hospitals and universities are major employers in Boston.

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Chandler, Ariz.
10. Chandler, Ariz.

10. Chandler, Ariz.

Job market rank: 14

Socio-economics rank: 11

Chandler also ties with Plano, Texas, Scottsdale, Ariz. and Columbia, Md. for highest median annual income.

Photo: Shutterstock

11. South Burlington, Vt.
11. South Burlington, Vt.

11. South Burlington, Vt.

Job market rank: 15

Socio-economics rank: 10

The Vermont city is one of the top six cities all tied for lowest unemployment rate.

Photo: Niranjan Arminius/Wikipedia

12. Minneapolis
12. Minneapolis

12. Minneapolis

Job market rank: 20

Socio-economics rank: 3

Target (TGT - Get Report)  headquarters are here, it is a major employer in Minneapolis.

Photo: Checubus / Shutterstock

13. Denver
13. Denver

13. Denver

Job market rank: 13

Socio-economics rank: 40

State and federal government and the university are the top employers in Denver, along with Centura Health.

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Tempe, Ariz.
14. Tempe, Ariz.

14. Tempe, Ariz.

Job market rank: 19

Socio-economics rank: 9

Walmart (WMT - Get Report) , Banner Health and Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) are big employers in Tempe.

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Pittsburgh
15. Pittsburgh

15. Pittsburgh

Job market rank: 34

Socio-economics rank: 2

Besides government, the biggest employers here include UPMC and Highmark Heath.

Photo: Steve Heap / Shutterstock

16. Austin, Texas
16. Austin, Texas

16. Austin, Texas

Job market rank: 17

Socio-economics rank: 27

Largest employers in Austin include government, HEB supermarkets, the University of Texas and Dell (DELL) .

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Madison, Wis.
17. Madison, Wis.

17. Madison, Wis.

Job market rank: 41

Socio-economics rank: 4

Madison ties with six other cities, including Portland, Maine, and South Burlington, Vt. for lowest unemployment rate.

Photo: Jay Yuan / Shutterstock

18. Atlanta
18. Atlanta

18. Atlanta

Job market rank: 16

Socio-economics rank: 49

Delta Airlines (DAL - Get Report) is one of the biggest employers in Atlanta.

Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

19. Portland, Ore.
19. Portland, Ore.

19. Portland, Ore.

Job market rank: 24

Socio-economics rank: 24

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Overland Park, Kan.
20. Overland Park, Kan.

20. Overland Park, Kan.

Job market rank: 31

Socio-economics rank: 17

This is another city that tops the charts for highest median annual income.

Pictured is the Prairie Fire museum and entertainment complex in Overland Park.

Photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock

21. Irving, Texas
21. Irving, Texas

21. Irving, Texas

Job market rank: 9

Socio-economics rank: 128

Photo: Shutterstock

22. Seattle
22. Seattle

22. Seattle

Job market rank: 36

Socio-economics rank: 16

Photo: Shutterstock

23. Nashua, N.H.
23. Nashua, N.H.

23. Nashua, N.H.

Job market rank: 39

Socio-economics rank: 18

Photo: Shutterstock

24. Fremont, Calif.
24. Fremont, Calif.

24. Fremont, Calif.

Job market rank: 27

Socio-economics rank: 47

Photo: Shutterstock

25. St. Paul, Minn.
25. St. Paul, Minn.

25. St. Paul, Minn.

Job market rank: 43

Socio-economics rank: 19

Photo: Shutterstock

26. Dallas
26. Dallas

26. Dallas

Job market rank: 12

Socio-economics rank: 117

Photo: Shutterstock

27. Charleston, S.C.
27. Charleston, S.C.

27. Charleston, S.C.

Job market rank: 33

Socio-economics rank: 26

Photo: Shutterstock

28. San Diego
28. San Diego

28. San Diego

Job market rank: 37

Socio-economics rank: 28

Photo: Shutterstock

29. Virginia Beach, Va.
29. Virginia Beach, Va.

29. Virginia Beach, Va.

Job market rank: 32

Socio-economics rank: 37

Photo: jojophotography / Shutterstock

30. Boise, Idaho
30. Boise, Idaho

30. Boise, Idaho

Job market rank: 52

Socio-economics rank: 7

See the ranking of all 182 cities or learn more about the methodology at WalletHub.

Photo: Shutterstock

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