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12 Best US Cities to Start a Career

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(Related: 12 Worst US Cities to Start a Career)

Employment may be up, but with wages still under pressure and the cost of living continuing its steady upward climb, newly minted graduates would be well advised to stack the deck in their favor when launching their new careers.

To that end, one vital fact to consider is where they should embark on the path of employment. After all, not just salary ranges but the cost of living and the job market itself will have a major influence on everything about their new lives as working people: how easily they can get to work (long commute or jump on and off a bus or subway), how quickly they can dig themselves out of student debt, how comfortable a home they can afford to have (17 roommates or studio apartment with blessed privacy) and how well they can survive on an entry-level salary.

To that end, WalletHub has researched 182 U.S. cities, including the 150 most populated cities as well as at least two of the most populated cities in each state, to find the most congenial atmospheres for those just entering the full-time working world. Among the 29 key metrics it considered are the availability of entry-level jobs, the monthly average starting salary, workforce diversity and the share of workers in poverty.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sharecare,, Glassdoor, Eventbrite, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Equality of Opportunity Project, Council for Community & Economic Research, United States Conference of Mayors, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Chmura Economics & Analytics, Center for Neighborhood Technology and its own research, WalletHub assigned each metric a spot on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the most favorable.

Then it took those 29 graded metrics, which fall into two broad categories — Professional Opportunities and Quality of Life — and calculated just where on the scale each city ranked.

Check out the gallery above for the 12 best cities to start a career, according to WalletHub.

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