Twelve Best U.S. Cities to Find a Job — and Where Denver Finishes

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As we recently reported, Colorado added 100,986 residents in 2015, landing it in second position among fastest-growing states.

The lifestyle and scenery in Colorado are two big reasons why, and marijuana legalization is likely a factor, too.

But another influence is the economy — and specifically the job market, which continues to heat up.

A new study by WalletHub ranks the best and worst U.S. cities to find a job, and Denver finished on the positive end of that continuum.

Look below to count down the top twelve, featuring photos and WalletHub data, followed by the methodology the site used to determine the rankings. To see the original WalletHub post, click here.

Number 1: Plano, TX
Total Score: 68.12
Job Market Rank: 2
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 8

Number 2. Overland Park, KS
Total Score: 66.18
Job Market Rank: 5
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 4

Number 3. Austin, TX
Total Score: 65.10
Job Market Rank: 4
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 15

Number 4: Irving, TX
Total Score: 64.75
Job Market Rank: 1
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 73

Number 5: Salt Lake City, UT
Total Score: 64.20
Job Market Rank: 3
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 37

Number 6: Des Moines, IA
Total Score: 64.05
Job Market Rank: 6
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 23

Number 7: Irvine, CA
Total Score: 64.03
Job Market Rank: 7
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 14

Number 8: Madison, WI
Total Score: 63.56
Job Market Rank: 11
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 2

Number 9: Sioux Falls, SD
Total Score: 63.42
Job Market Rank: 8
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 9

Number 10: Omaha, NE
Total Score: 61.91
Job Market Rank: 17
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 6

Number 11: Boise, ID
Total Score: 61.88
Job Market Rank: 18
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 1

Number 12: Denver, CO
Total Score: 61.00
Job Market Rank: 13
"Socioeconomic Environment" Rank: 19


To find the best and worst job markets in the U.S., WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated cities across two key dimensions, “Job Market” and “Socioeconomic Environment.” We assigned a heavier weight to the former as these factors most heavily influence a job seeker’s decision in terms of relocation for employment.

With regard to our sample, please note that “city” refers to city proper and excludes surrounding metro areas.

Next, we compiled 17 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was given a value between 0 and 100, wherein 100 is the best value for that metric and 0 is the worst. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available only at the state level and therefore received only half a weight.

Finally, we calculated the overall score for each city and ranked them using the weighted average across all metrics.

Job Market — Total Points: 80
Job Opportunities (number of job openings divided by number of unemployed residents): Double Weight (~14.55 Points)
Employment Growth (rate of annual job growth, adjusted for working-age population growth): Double Weight (~14.55 Points)
Monthly Median Starting Salary (adjusted for cost of living): Full Weight (~7.27 Points)
Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~14.55 Points)
Industry Variety: Full Weight (~7.27 Points)
Full-Time Employment (number of part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees): Full Weight (~7.27 Points)
Percentage of Employed Residents Living Under the Poverty Line: Full Weight (~7.27 Points)
Disability Friendliness (percentage of persons with disabilities employed): Full Weight (~7.27 Points)

Socio-Economic Environment — Total Points: 20
Median Annual Income (adjusted for cost of living): Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
Time Spent Working & Commuting (average commute time and length of average workday): Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
Benefits (employees with private health insurance): Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
Annual Transportation Costs: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
Safety (crime rate): Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
WalletHub “Families” Ranking: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
WalletHub “Singles” Ranking: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
WalletHub “Recreation” Ranking: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)

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