In a tough job market, underscored by September’s tepid jobs report, it always helps to know some of the best places to find work. More educated members of the labor force will find more opportunities in some of these cities, where the demand for education narrows the field of applicants.
In fact, according to a study released in September by the Brookings Institution, the number of years of education required for average U.S. jobs actually increased ahead of the number of workers sufficiently educated to fill those jobs. So the more highly educated an applicant is, the greater the edge he or she will have.
Some cities, says the study, titled “Education, Demand, and Unemployment in Metropolitan America,” actually have an “education gap”—a shortage of educated workers relative to employer demand—which, if too great, can lead to a higher unemployment rate. Conversely, the smaller the education gap, the better an individual’s chances of getting a job.
So, job hunters—who may be your clients’ children as well—polish off those educational credentials: here are the top 10 best cities and metropolitan areas where your education could move you to the front of the line. (But you may want to avoid searching in AdvisorOne’s Top 10 Worst Cities for Educated Job Seekers.)
10. San Jose-
Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
Just remember that real estate bubble. It’s here, too, but manufacturing in the area took a hit as well—which is why the unemployment rate is 9.9% after rising 5.3 percentage points during the recession. Still, Cisco, IBM, and lots of other tech companies are located here, so if you’re computer-savvy, this could be the place for you.
9. Minneapolis-St. Paul-
The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities area only rose 2.5% to 6.3% during the recession. Ameriprise Financial lives here, as do Target, PepsiAmericas, Securian Financial, EcoLabs and Caribou Coffee. Plus, with the Mall of America nearby, you’ll never have to wonder where to spend that paycheck.
Quincy, Mass.-New Hampshire
Its unemployment rate is only 6.6%, rising only 3 percentage points from pre-recession levels. It boasts MIT, Harvard, and Tufts—all needing highly educated workers. It might be smart to look here.
With an 8.5% unemployment rate that has risen by 4.4 percentage points since the recession started, Seattle does have its issues with employment.
But we have a few words to offer about that: Amazon! Starbucks! Microsoft! All headquartered in the Northwest.
6. San Francisco-
The unemployment rate in the San Francisco area may seem daunting at 9.3%, and it’s true that it rose by 5.1 percentage points since the onset of the recession. However, the study chalks that up to banking deregulation, which paved the way for the housing bubble—a factor that the high-unemployment, low-education-gap cities have in common.
Still, San Francisco boasts a substantial technology industry, as well as biomedical and biotech companies.