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February 2012: The 10 Best (and Worst) Cities for Finding a Job

Best Job Cities By CareerCast.com

Cities across the country are finally seeing some positive gains in job activity. In February, only a handful of cities had a decline in hiring activity. Los Angeles (-7%), San Francisco (-5%) and Riverside (-5%) and Baltimore (-5%) had a loss of hiring activity, while Detroit (+19%), Cleveland (+16%), Louisville (+16%) Milwaukee (+15%), Houston (+11%), Philadelphia (+12%) and Washington, D.C. (+10%) had double-digit gains.

To determine the cities with the 10 best and worst job markets each month, the CareerCast.com/JobSerf Index surveys 30 different major metro areas across the U.S. for per capita job availability. Rather than simply reporting the cities with the most and least jobs, the Index measures the number of job openings relative to population. This gives a more complete picture of how easy (or difficult) it is to get a new job in each metro area.

Want to know where the jobs are? These metro areas made up the 10 best cities to find a job in February:

  • 10. Nashville

    Overall Index Rank: 10th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: -1
    Index Score: 68
    City Fact:

    Despite a 3% gain in hiring activity, Nashville dropped a rank this past month. The Music City is up 6-points though from last February.

    1 of 10
  • 9. New York

    Overall Index Rank: 9th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +1
    Index Score: 69
    City Fact:

    Job activity in New York City gained 6% in February, but is 11-points lower than February 2011.

    2 of 10
  • 8. Denver

    Overall Index Rank: 8th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 69
    City Fact:

    Hiring activity in Denver was flat in February with a 0% change. Year-over-year, the Mile High City has dropped 4-points in hiring activity since February 2011.

    3 of 10
  • 7. Chicago

    Overall Index Rank: 7th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 77
    City Fact:

    Although hiring in Chicago rose 8% in February, employment activity in the Windy City has declined by 1-point from last February.

    4 of 10
  • 6. Atlanta

    Overall Index Rank: 6th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 83
    City Fact:

    All was quiet on the hiring front in Atlanta in February. Year-over-year, the Georgia capital is down 8-points in hiring activity from last February.

    5 of 10
  • 5. Baltimore

    Overall Index Rank: 5th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 83
    City Fact:

    Hiring activity in Baltimore held steady with no gain or loss in February. Year-over-year, however, hiring activity has increased by 5-points.

    6 of 10
  • 4. Seattle

    Overall Index Rank: 4th
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 104
    City Fact:

    Hiring in Seattle continues to gain ground with a nice 3% boost in February. Although, the Emerald City is still 5-points below their hiring levels in February 2011.

    7 of 10
  • 3. San Francisco

    Overall Index Rank: 3rd
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 105
    City Fact:

    San Francisco’s employment activity dropped 6-points to 105and is 15-points behind their hiring activity levels in last February.

    8 of 10
  • 2. Boston

    Overall Index Rank: 2nd
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 125
    City Fact:

    Despite a 3% drop in hiring activity in February, Boston had a solid grasp on 2nd place on our list.

    9 of 10
  • 1. Washington, D.C.

    Overall Index Rank: 1st
    Ranking Change From Last Month: +/- 0
    Index Score: 158
    City Fact:

    After a significant drop in hiring activity in December, Washington, D.C. has continued to bounce back with a 13% gain in jobs. The Capital city still holds on tight to their lead on our list.

    10 of 10


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