Glassdoor Updates

The 5 Best Cities for Jobs in 2017

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania At Night

“Where should I move for work?” It’s a question that comes to mind for almost everyone at some point, from recent graduates looking for their first real job to seasoned professionals who’ve grown restless at their current position. It’s tempting to make this decision based on a gut feeling alone — maybe you’ve always dreamed of being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of New York City, or the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles — but a decision as big as moving shouldn’t be made on a whim. Besides personality fit, it’s critical to think about things like cost of living, job availability and quality of life.

Don’t feel like doing exhaustive research into all of the major metros in the U.S. to find this information? We don’t blame you. Glassdoor’s made it easier for you by releasing our Best Cities for Jobs in 2017 report, which ranks the top U.S. cities according to their Glassdoor City Score, a figure determined by weighing three factors equally: how easy it is to get a job, how affordable it is to live there and how satisfied employees are working there.*

Here are the five cities that came out on top:

1. Pittsburgh, PA

Glassdoor City Score (out of 5): 4.4

Job Openings: 95,399

Median Base Salary: $44,000

Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2

Median Home Value: $137,400

The Steel City hits the sweet spot between a reasonable cost of living (it was the third most affordable among the top 50 metros we studied based on median salary compared to median home value), tons of open jobs and generally satisfied employees. Traditionally known as an industrial hub, Pittsburgh has seen a revitalization in recent years, with booming healthcare, education and tourism sectors. Get your fill of culture at one of the city’s many art museums, or your sports fix from a Steelers or Penguins game.

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2. Indianapolis, IN

Glassdoor City Score: 4.4

Job Openings: 80,561

Median Base Salary: $43,000

Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3

Median Home Value: $138,100

Known as the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is located within a single-day drive of 70 percent of the nation’s business centers and port cities. While the majority of the city’s economy is driven by finance, insurance and manufacturing, it’s also seen a tech boom over the years, with companies like Salesforce setting up shop there. Check out the legendary Indy 500 race or the Indianapolis Children’s Museum!

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3. Kansas City, MO

Glassdoor City Score: 4.4

Job Openings: 90,649

Median Base Salary: $45,000

Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3

Median Home Value: $159,400

The largest city in the Show Me State, Kansas City is a hub for great barbecue, live music and, of course, plenty of open jobs. The federal government is one of the largest employers in KC, with a significant presence from the IRS, Social Security Administration and US Postal Office. Hot tip: Kansas City is also vying hard to become home to Amazon’s newly-announced second headquarters.

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4. Raleigh-Durham, NC

Glassdoor City Score: 4.4

Job Openings: 65,810

Median Base Salary: $50,000

Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4

Median Home Value: $228,200

Smack dab in the middle of the Research triangle — the area between North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — Raleigh-Durham is home to many jobs in academia, tech and healthcare. Given the close proximity to three major universities, Raleigh-Durham is a college sports fan’s dream, with the Duke University Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels historically among the best college basketball programs in the country. But while college sports here may be intensely competitive, the job hunt isn’t — Raleigh-Durham is ranked the second-best city for hiring opportunity, based on the ratio of current job openings to population.

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5. St. Louis, MO

Glassdoor City Score: 4.4

Job Openings: 104,725

Median Base Salary: $45,600

Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4

Median Home Value: $148,600

The second Missouri city to crack our top-five list, St. Louis is home to a number of major corporations like Nestlé Purina, Panera and Anheuser-Busch. St. Louis’s picturesque Gateway Arch draws in a great deal of tourism throughout the year, as does its unique food scene with local dishes such as St. Louis-style pizza, ribs and toasted ravioli.

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Surprised that you don’t find tech and finance hubs like San Francisco or New York on here? That’s no coincidence.

“Big, metropolitan cities may be more famous than others, including being home to some amazing companies to work for, but this recognition is also what contributes to them being among the most expensive places to live,” says Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain. “People may be overlooking midsize cities like Pittsburgh or St. Louis if they are looking to relocate or find new opportunities. What this jobs report shows is that many midsize cities stand out for offering a great mix of a thriving job market with plenty of opportunity, paired with home affordability and being regions where employees are more satisfied in their jobs too.”

Ready to make your next big move? Check out jobs in the cities above or check out our full list of Best Cities for Jobs in 2017!


*Methodology: Glassdoor’s Best Cities for Jobs report identifies U.S. metros with the highest overall Glassdoor City Score, based on a comparison of the 50 most populated U.S. metros. Each region’s Glassdoor City Score, based on a 5-point scale (5.0=best city for a job, 1.0=worst city for a job), is determined by weighing three factors equally: hiring opportunity, cost of living and job satisfaction.

  • Hiring opportunity is determined by the ratio of active job openings to population. (Job openings per metro represent active job listings on Glassdoor as of 8/15/17. Population data is according to the United States Census Bureau).
  • Cost of living is determined by the ratio of median annual base salary to median metro home value. (Median annual base salary per metro based on at least 2,500 salary reports shared by local employees on Glassdoor over the past year [8/16/16-8/15/17]). Median home value is according to the Zillow Home Value Index for All Homes, as of June 2017).
  • Job satisfaction ratings per metro is based on at least 1,500 company reviews shared by local employees on Glassdoor over the past year (8/16/16-8/15/17; Ratings based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied).

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