A recent Glassdoor report reveals that the #1 city to work in is Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m sure it came as a shock to those in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In fact, many are surprised at how many great cities have wonderful job markets where few people are looking. Other cities on the list include Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Louisville. So what makes a city a great place for jobs? Let’s take a look.
East Coast Boasts
You’ll see a few west coast giants on the list (notably, San Francisco and Seattle), but for the most part, many of the best places for jobs are on the eastern half of the United States, as well as the south and midwest. In fact, aside from the burgeoning megacities in and near the bay area, you won’t find much in the way of jobs on the West Coast. The city with the worst job outlook is Spokane, Washington. If you’re looking to start a company, look on the east coast and in other places where property values tend to be lower. Delaware is notoriously business friendly.
Work Hard, Live Cheap
Though San Francisco is one of the top cities to find jobs in, it may be a bit deceptive; despite its many job openings, many of those are for high skill jobs, the kinds your average worker won’t be able to get without a college degree. The Bay Area in particular is notorious for talent wars, where only the most talented employees bounce from company to company. So companies pay them more. Which means that over time, costs of living rise to the point where it’s difficult for the average workers to find affordable housing. Operate your business in an area where candidates can afford to job hunt for a little while and you’ll be able to attract candidates easier.
The IT Crowd
As the Glassdoor report notes, Raleigh is the best city to work in because it combines the affordable housing of a midwest city with the powerful business incentives that Information Technology companies bring in. Any city with a booming economy is a no-brainer when it comes to jobs, but IT is one of the key growth areas that looks to last for the foreseeable future. If you work in tech, the world is your oyster, and landing your business in an area with an established job market for a particular field will make it easier to find candidates.
That Special Little Something
Many candidates today prefer small to big. In fact, 56% of Americans say they prefer to shop at small businesses in order to support the local economy. Employees at your company want to foster a connection with their local community, and having several smaller business around where they work to shop at makes them happier to work for you. If you’re looking for a good location to set up shop, find other small businesses your employees enjoy and look for a good plot of land near them.
Finding the Balance
Bloomington, Indiana may not be the best city to find jobs or work in, but it does have a title to its name: it’s the city with the best work-life balance in the nation. Culture is more than just something that defines a company — it can define a city, too. Cities like San Francisco, because of their high costs of living, can foster of culture where everyone needs to be working, all the time, in order to meet those costs. To avoid the burnout and turnover rates that come with working too much, find a place that boasts a good work-life balance, so your employees are happy, engaged, and don’t feel compelled to overwork themselves.
Finding a good city to start your business in can be tricky (especially if you don’t have the cash to travel the world in search of a good spot), but when doing your research, keeping the following things in mind and you’ll find the right place in no time.
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