The Best U.S. Cities to Find a Job

Hiring is up, and unemployment is low. But where you live can play a big part in getting your first job whether you're just starting out or if you're looking for a new job.

To find out where the best job prospects are, personal finance site WalletHub compared 180 U.S. cities in two areas, "Job Market" and "Socio-economics." These categories included 26 indicators of job-market strength. The indicators range from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary.

The 182 cities in the study include the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state.

Although Phoenix, Ariz. ranked No. 61 on the list, five of the highest ranked cities are in the Phoenix area.

These are the best cities for jobs.

(Photo: Tupungato / Shutterstock)

1. Chandler, Ariz.
1. Chandler, Ariz.

1. Chandler, Ariz.

Chandler, a suburb southeast of Phoenix has the highest employment growth of all the cities. It also ranked third in the job market ranking, which includes the number of opportunities, employment growth, average starting salary, variety of industry, job security, and other factors.

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Scottsdale, Ariz.
2. Scottsdale, Ariz.

2. Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale scored in the top five in both the job market ranking and socio-economic ranking. The socio-economic ranking includes factors such as commute times, housing affordability, transportation costs, and family-, dating- and recreational-friendliness. Scottsdale is one of five cities with the highest median annual income.

Photo: Shutterstock

3. San Francisco
3. San Francisco

3. San Francisco

Despite the expensive housing and challenging commute here, San Francisco was the second best in the job market category. It is among the cities offering the highest monthly average starting salary (adjusted for cost of living).

Photo: Tupungato / Shutterstock

4. Peoria, Ariz.
4. Peoria, Ariz.

4. Peoria, Ariz.

Another major suburb of Phoenix, Peoria was the No. 1 city in the job market category.

Photo: Wikipedia

5. Gilbert, Ariz.
5. Gilbert, Ariz.

5. Gilbert, Ariz.

Gilbert is another city in the Phoenix area. It is one of the five cities with the highest employment growth, and ranked fourth in the job market category. Gilbert is one of five cities with the highest median annual income.

Photo: Tashaila Nichole Meyers/Wikipedia

6. Plano, Texas
6. Plano, Texas

6. Plano, Texas

Plano is one of five cities with the highest median annual income. Pictured is the headquarters of Toyota (TM) North America in Plano.

Photo: Toyota

7. Portland, Maine
7. Portland, Maine

7. Portland, Maine

Portland is one of the top five cities for the most job opportunities. It ranked 10th in job markets and 12th in the socio-economic category. Above, the Portland Arts District.

Photo: jiawangkun / Shutterstock

8. Irvine, Calif.
8. Irvine, Calif.

8. Irvine, Calif.

Irvine, along with Madison, Wis. and Austin, Texas, has the lowest unemployment rate of all 182 cities. Above, a microbiologist tests seafood samples at a regional FDA laboratory in Irvine.

Photo: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

9. Madison, Wis.
9. Madison, Wis.

9. Madison, Wis.

Madison, along with Austin, Texas and Irvine, Calif., has the lowest unemployment rates of all 182 cities. It ranked No. 1 in the socio-economic category.

Photo: Shutterstock

10. Boston
10. Boston

10. Boston

Boston ranked No. 7 in the job market category.

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Austin, Texas
11. Austin, Texas

11. Austin, Texas

Austin, along with Madison, Wis. and Irvine, Calif. has the lowest unemployment rates of all 182 cities.

Photo: GSPhotography / Shutterstock

12. Fargo, N.D.
12. Fargo, N.D.

12. Fargo, N.D.

Fargo is one of five cities with the highest employment growth.

Photo: formulanone from Huntsville, United States/ Wikipedia

13. Orlando, Fla.
13. Orlando, Fla.

13. Orlando, Fla.

Orlando is one of the fastest growing cities, and one of the easiest places to find a job.

Photo: Kamira / Shutterstock

14. Bismarck, N.D.
14. Bismarck, N.D.

14. Bismarck, N.D.

Bismarck was 13th of 182 cities in the job market category.

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Columbia, Md.
15. Columbia, Md.

15. Columbia, Md.

Columbia is one of five cities with the highest median annual income (adjusted for cost of living.)

Photo: Shutterstock

16. Tampa, Fla.
16. Tampa, Fla.

16. Tampa, Fla.

Tampa is one of the fastest growing cities, and one of the easiest places to find a job.

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Seattle
17. Seattle

17. Seattle

Along with San Francisco and Fremont, Calif., Seattle has the highest monthly average salary (adjusted for cost of living.) Above, the Amazon.com  (AMZN) headquarters in Seattle.

Photo: SeaRick1 / Shutterstock

18. Salt Lake City
18. Salt Lake City

18. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is one of the top five cities for the most job opportunities. Above, the University of Utah, one of Salt Lake City's largest employers.

Photo: Action Sports Photography / Shutterstock

19. Fremont, Calif.
19. Fremont, Calif.

19. Fremont, Calif.

Fremont, tied with San Francisco and Seattle, has the highest monthly average salary (adjusted for cost of living.) Tesla's (TSLA) main production plant is located here.

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Tempe, Ariz.
20. Tempe, Ariz.

20. Tempe, Ariz.

Tempe is another city near Phoenix. It ranked No. 15 in the socio-economic category. Pictured is Arizona State University, one of the city's largest employers.

Photo: Thomas Trompeter / Shutterstock

21. Charleston, S.C.
21. Charleston, S.C.

21. Charleston, S.C.

Charleston is one of the top five cities for the most job opportunities.

Photo: GagliardiImages / Shutterstock

22. Manchester, N.H.
22. Manchester, N.H.

22. Manchester, N.H.

Manchester is the most populous state in New Hampshire. It ranked 19th in the job market category.

Photo: Shutterstock

23. Irving, Texas
23. Irving, Texas

23. Irving, Texas

Irving ranked eighth in the job market category, but ranked 122 of 182 cities in the socio-economic category.

Photo: Shutterstock

24. Minneapolis
24. Minneapolis

24. Minneapolis

Minneapolis is one of the fastest growing cities, and easiest places to find a job. Above, the Mayo Clinic is one of the largest employers in Minneapolis.

Photo: BravoKiloVideo / Shutterstock

25. Denver
25. Denver

25. Denver

Top industries in Denver include bioscience, aerospace and aviation, energy, defense, food and agriculture and healthcare and wellness. Above, the Blue Bear sculpture outside the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

Photo: photo.ua / Shutterstock

26. Overland Park, Kan.
26. Overland Park, Kan.

26. Overland Park, Kan.

Overland Park is one of five cities with the highest median annual income. It ranked 10th in the socio-economic category.

Photo: Cityofop/Wikipedia

27. Nashua, N.H.
27. Nashua, N.H.

27. Nashua, N.H.

The second largest city in New Hampshire ranked No. 29 in the job market category.

Photo: Shutterstock

28. Atlanta, Ga.
28. Atlanta, Ga.

28. Atlanta, Ga.

Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities, and easiest places to find a job.

Photo: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

29. Boise, Idaho
29. Boise, Idaho

29. Boise, Idaho

Boise ranked fifth in the socio-economic category.

Photo: Shutterstock

30. San Diego, Calif.
30. San Diego, Calif.

30. San Diego, Calif.

San Diego ranked 19th in the socio-economic category. Above, the campus of University of California, San Diego, one of the largest employers in the city.

See the full methodology for this study at WalletHub.

Photo: InnaPoka / Shutterstock

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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