Close Close

Life Health > Health Insurance

Sorry, California: Here are the top 10 worst cities for jobseekers

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, you know it can be a challenge to find the right position. While 2015 seems like a good time to be on the hunt, where you live can affect how difficult it will be to find that next job.

WalletHub analyzed 150 of the most populated cities using 16 key metrics such as employment growth, lowest median starting salary, the highest unemployment rate for high school and college graduates, and the lowest median annual income.

The study, released this week, identified the top cities for jobseekers as well as the cities where job hunting will be more of a challenge. 

Of course, location isn’t the only factor at play here. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says several professions and industries have strong projected growth rates for this year and beyond.

“For specific occupations, dental hygienists, home health aides, marketing research analysts, medical secretaries, personal care aides and physical therapists all have a projected growth rate of 30% or greater,” explains David M. Tirpak, assistant director, career and employment counseling for Howard Community College. “With regard to career industries, cybersecurity, engineering, higher education, computing, health and technology careers all have excellent occupational forecasts.”

Out of work? Here are the cities where finding a new position will take some work and perseverance.


141. Newark, New Jersey

Newark has one of the highest unemployment rates for high school graduates, and the lowest median annual income (adjusted for the cost of living). It ranks 149th for housing affordability behind Honolulu, Hawaii (150).


142. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The city ranks 145th in terms of the job market, but is ranked slightly higher at 123 for its socioeconomic environment.


143. Tucson, Arizona

While Tucson ranks 143rd for finding a job, three other cities in Arizona: Gilbert, Chandler and Scottsdale, ranked in the top 10 places to find one.

modesto cali

144. Modesto, California

The city is the first of four California cities to make the top 10 worst cities for finding a job.


145. Fresno, California

The city ranks 144th when it comes to the lowest monthly median starting salary.


146. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis ranks 146th for finding a job, Knoxville (149) and Chattanooga (147) rank in the top 10 cities for the lowest employment growth.


147. Hialeah, Florida

The city also ranks 147th for the highest unemployment rate for people with a bachelor’s degree, but another Florida city, Port St. Lucie, ranks last in the same category.


148. Detroit, Michigan

The economically challenged city filed for bankruptcy in July 2013 and ranks at 97 for the lowest number of job opportunities, at 150 for the highest unemployment rate for high school graduates, and at 148 for the highest unemployment rate for people with a bachelor’s degree or higher.


149. Moreno Valley, California

The city actually ranked at 150 for the job market but placed much higher at 89 for its socioeconomic environment.

san bernardino

150. San Bernardino, California

The 17th largest city in California filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in July 2012. It is the second poorest city in the U.S. behind Detroit, Mich. It ranked 146th for the highest unemployment rate for people with a bachelor’s degree or higher in the WalletHub study

Burton Nadler, assistant dean and director of the Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center at the University of Rochester, says that students who are “open to anything” actually lessen their chances of success. He believes candidates who “focus on ‘the three Fs,’ field, function and firm; and who can act upon ‘the 5 Ps,’ postings, places, people, programs and projects,” can be successful in seeking employment. 

See also:

10 best cities for jobs in financial services: 2014

10 least tax-friendly states for retirees 

The 10 best states for advisors