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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

10 Best Cities for Jobs in Financial Services: 2014

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The economy might be on the upswing, but it’s still not easy to find a job. For the fourth year in a row, Accounting Principals released its list of the top cities to find financial services jobs.

Several factors made 2014 a better year than 2013 for job hunters in the sector (and overall, with the U.S. unemployment rate at 6.1%). Accounting Principals used employment data from its branch offices to compile its list.

“The growth of the technology industry has had a positive impact on the industry, with finance jobs becoming increasingly available in non-financial firms and attracting people with niche backgrounds,” said Jodi Chavez, senior vice president at Accounting Principals in a statement.

“We believe the accounting and finance industry is on a good trajectory and this trend will continue in the years ahead,” she added.

The variety of hot financial services jobs was reflected in a June list ThinkAdvisor compiled by mining data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top spot was taken by personal financial advisors. Such positions are projected to grow 27% by 2022.

(Check out the 8 Fastest Growing Financial Services Jobs: 2014.)

The cities on this year’s list offer different strengths, the finance and accounting firm noted. For instance, in Chicago there’s a high demand for accountants with between two and five years’ experience and the city is home to mix of large banks and industries. On the other hand, San Mateo, California, made the list with a better balance of boutique and startup tech firms than in San Francisco.

To our list of the 10 Best Cities for Jobs in Financial Services: 2014 we’ve included the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July unemployment rate for the metropolitan area that include each city. (Rates are for July, unless noted otherwise.)

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston.

10. Houston

Overall Unemployment rate: 5.5%

Last year, this Texas city was one spot from the top of the list. It slipped, but stayed in the Top 10.

Newport Beach Harbor.

9. Newport Beach, California

Unemployment rate: 8% (Los Angeles area)

Newport Beach, which also was not listed in 2013, joins its neighbor, which is next on the list.

Hollywood Sign.

8. Los Angeles

Unemployment rate: 8%

The City of Angels lagged last year, failing to make the Top 10. This year is a different story, despite the area’s relatively high jobless figure.

Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. (Photo: AP)

7.  Portland, Oregon

Unemployment rate: 6.3%

Last year, the only Northwest city to make the list was Seattle. This year, it’s Portland representing the region.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.

6. Chicago

Unemployment rate: 6.8%

The City of Big Shoulders made its move this year, leaping three spots. The city as a whole saw its overall unemployment rate drop nearly three percentage points.

Pebble Beach on the San Mateo coastline.

5. San Mateo, California

Unemployment rate: 5.7%

This Silicon Valley city is a new addition to the list. Maybe that’s not surprising considering the boom in tech companies.

Lombard Street in San Francisco.

4. San Francisco

Unemployment rate: 5.7%

The City by the Bay slipped a notch from No. 3, but combined with No. 5, the area is still quite strong for jobs.

Battlefield Park and Richmond Skyline. (Photo: AP)

3. Richmond, Virginia

Unemployment rate: 5.7%

Richmond moved up five spots from last year, the same position.

Paramus Park Mall. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

2. Paramus, N.J.

Unemployment rate: 5.6% (June)

The Bergen County town of about 26,000 is an easy commute to New York City and the vast number of financial services companies that call it home.

North Carolina Welcome Sign.

1. Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rate: 5.6%

The home to North Carolina State University is a new entrant on the list and is the only one from the Tarheel State to appear.

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