It’s that time of year again. Spring is upon us which means- yep, you guessed it! More college graduates! Welcome to the workforce. Or as I’ve been calling it lately, the lurkforce. Yes, it would appear that recent graduates (and even not so recent graduates) are desperately doing everything they possibly can to land that perfect job… ok, let’s be serious. Just a job in general. Instead of working, they’re lurking- but who can blame ‘em? If it were me, I’d be lurking too and jumping at every opportunity that presented itself to me.
Within the past month, Kiplinger listed The Best Cities for 2012 Graduates. I was pretty surprised with their decisons, but who am I to judge? We’re all in this together, for better or worse. Let’s just hope that it’s for the better. We need to give this economy a kick in the rear, you know, for a boost in self-esteem.
East Coast Cities
New York City, NY – The big apple. The city that never sleeps. Hopefully it will sleep better knowing there is some job stability. The unemployment rate is 8.4%, yet the cost of living can be steep in most areas (monthly rent average is $1,072). Kristen’s blurb: I don’t believe this monthly rent average. Try closer to $2,000/month for an apartment the size of a closet. No, that’s not a joke. I have plenty of friends who live there.
Philadelphia, PA – Though closest to NYC, the cost of living is a little lower ($895 per month). Yet, the rate of unemployment (8.5%) and median income ($30,974) is about the same. However, Philadelphia is an active hub for jobs in healthcare, science, and tech.
Boston, MA – Boston has the lowest unemployment rate of the top east coast cities (7.1%), yet the cost of living is higher than NYC ($1,112). Still, Boston hones many educated citizens and large companies.
Baltimore, MD - Although near other metropolitan areas, Baltimore has a lower unemployment rate (7.4%) and a median rent compared to other east coast cities ($972). Though diverse as any city, Baltimore struggles keeping inner city crime at bay.
Charlotte, NC – Charlotte has the lowest cost of living for the east ($774 median rent monthly) and a great hub for those in the banking and financial field. If you aren’t in those fields, however, it could be a problem, as unemployment (10.4%) is higher than the national average (9.2%).
Washington, DC – Public and government sector jobs are abundant in Washington, DC, yet unemployment is a little high (9.5%). At the same time, the median rent is the highest in the east ($1,226), but the median income is the highest of the top ten cities ($40,952).
Omaha, NE – Omaha makes a place on the list because of the lowest unemployment rate (5.1%) and the lowest median rent ($711), which makes the low median income ($27,075) a minor issue. Omaha has five Fortune 500 companies and jobs in finance and IT.
Colorado Springs, CO – Much like Omaha, Colorado Springs has low median rent ($802) and low median income ($26,977). Unlike Omaha, the unemployment rate is high (10.1%) because of jobs that are skewed towards high-skilled workers in banking and IT.
West Coast Cities
Seattle, WA – Seattle offers a reasonable median rent ($942) with a good median income ($33,372). With regard to the job market, Seattle has space for clean technology and life sciences, and is the hub for Amazon, which posted over 1,900 job ads. But the economy has not recovered fully, as unemployment is 9.2%.
San Francisco, CA – For those in tech, San Francisco is the place for you. Home to 4,133 information technology firms, 50 digital media companies and 30 clean tech firms, low skilled workers need not apply. As a result, unemployment is rather high (10%), and the cost of living is the highest of the top ten (median rent is $1,259 per month).
Quick InfoGraphic to sum it all up: