A Hot Labor MarketIt’s a good time to be looking for a new job. The unemployment rate continues to be low, hovering right around 3.7% in December. Companies are hiring, and people are smiling about the robust job market. The labor market is so hot that employers are encountering employee “ghosting” – employees sever their existing work relationship without notice because they have already secured a new job elsewhere. It is driving employers crazy, but it may be the new norm.
If you are new to the job market or a seasoned veteran of job hunting, you may be asking where should you begin your job hunt? Where are the best opportunities? Do you want to move for a job? Starting a new job can have a major impact, both in the long term and the short term, on our professional and personal lives. Add in a relocation with the new job, and the impact increases in magnitude.
Location is KeyYour luck in finding work depends a great deal on location. Finding the best location requires research and homework. Luckily, Wallethub (see the full list here) did a little of the homework for us. Using 30 key indicators of job strength, such as employment growth, internship access, affordable housing, transit score, monthly average starting salary, job opportunities as well as other indicators of job-market strength, Wallethub compared approximately 180 U.S. cities resulting in a list of the top cities for job seekers.
Coming in strong at #18 is Atlanta. Job satisfaction, the low cost of living, and the variety of job opportunities continue to make the Metro area a haven for job seekers. Columbus and Augusta, GA came in much lower at 156 and 160. Other cities keeping Atlanta company in the top 20 include Austin, TX, Pittsburg, PA, and Washington, D.C. The top 3 cities overall were Scottsdale, AZ, Columbia, MD, and Orlando, FL. The bottom 3 on the list were Newark, NJ, Las Cruces, NM, and Fayetteville, NC.
Do Your HomeworkRegardless if your new job requires a cross country move nor not, it pays to do a bit of homework. Just for starters:
- How much is housing in the new location? Will I have to move further away from my job to afford what I want?
- How financially secure is the new company?
- Is daycare available and if so, how much? Some cities are experiencing extreme shortages of quality daycare/babysitting services.
- What is the commute? Is there public transit? Will my employer pay for my parking?
- Where are the best public schools? Private schools?