Economy Watch: Job Seekers Fare Better in Tech Towns, State Capitals

NerdWallet reveals the top cities for job seekers, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data.

Where are the best cities in the country for job seekers in 2017? It’s a question that has ramifications for office and multifamily space demand in particular. NerdWallet recently analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data for the 100 largest U.S. cities to determine where Americans will find the most opportunities, but also where their paychecks will go further.

The top five cities are Austin, Denver, Nashville, Seattle and Durham, N.C. Nine of the 10 best cities for job seekers have higher-than-average concentrations of Millennials, according to 2015 census data (for convenience, that means people in their 20s). In the 100 cities the company analyzed, 20- to 29-year-olds make up 17.2 percent of the population (on average), while nationwide that figure is 13.9 percent. Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta and Austin all have a 20-something population from 20.3 percent to 21.8 percent, according to NerdWallet.

Technology industries, such as software publishing, telecommunications and computer manufacturing, are among the fastest-growing in terms of output, according to the BLS’ 2014-2024 employment projection. The health care and social assistance sectors are on the rise as well. Thus in several of the cities that topped the list, technology and health care are major industries.

Also, WalletHub reported, half of the 10 best cities for job seekers are state capitals: Austin, Denver, Nashville, Atlanta and Raleigh, which tend to have more opportunities to work in government. In Wake County, for example, home to Raleigh, the State of North Carolina is the largest employer, with more than 24,000 employees.