Making a Move? These are the Best Cities for Jobs in 2020 


February 26, 2020

Where in the United States can you find a metro that’s affordable, has great hiring potential, and where workers are very satisfied in their jobs? This list says Raleigh, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis are the best metros to consider moving to for a new job in 2020. On average, 28.5 percent of job applications are to a new metro area — in other words almost 30 percent of applications on Glassdoor in a typical week are from job seekers hoping to move to a new metro. Keeping these geographically mobile job seekers in mind, we compiled the 25 Best Cities for Jobs in the U.S. by equally weighing these three factors:

  • Hiring Opportunity
  • Cost of Living
  • Job Satisfaction

The full list of the 25 Best Cities for Jobs in the U.S. for 2020 can be found here. Below is a list of the top 10 cities for jobs . 

Top 10 Best Cities for Jobs in America for 2020 

RankCityJob SatisfactionJob OpeningsMedian Base Salary
1Raleigh, NC3.552,412$55,252
2Pittsburgh, PA3.448,811$50,734
3Indianapolis, IN3.445,331$50,268
4Memphis, TN3.423,268$48,336
5Cleveland, OH3.437,073$49,719
6St. Louis, MO3.459,131$50,229
7Hartford, CT3.428,842$60,320
8Birmingham, AL3.521,208$45,000
9Cincinnati, OH3.445,638$50,268
10Detroit, MI3.371,137$55,126

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research)

Here are our key takeaways from this year’s full list: 

  • Raleigh, NC is the Best City for Jobs in 2020 because of its affordable cost of living, strong hiring opportunities, and high level of reported job satisfaction. It is part of the “Research Triangle,” which provides a healthy number of job openings in education and feeds the local talent supply with university graduates. Education, healthcare, and tech are some of the industries contributing to the over 52,000 open jobs in Raleigh. 
  • The majority of the cities on this year’s full list are found in the Midwest and South, with very few on or near the West Coast. Many of these mid-sized cities like Pittsburgh and Austin are growing tech hubs with a healthy number of open jobs and much more affordable housing prices compared to bigger tech hubs like NYC and San Francisco.  
  • Ohio is home to three best cities for jobs, more than any other state. Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus are all relatively affordable cities to live in and each have over 35,000 open jobs on Glassdoor.  
  • Major cities including San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles did not make the list this year primarily due to the high cost of living associated with these cities. While these metro areas have some of the highest salaries and are home to a wide variety of tech companies, the home values in these cities generally outpace the earning potential.

How to Explore: This data visualization shows the 25 Best Cities for Jobs in 2020 in the U.S. Click on a given metro to see its rank, median base salary, and job satisfaction. 

U.S. Best Cities for Jobs 

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research

How We Determine the Best Cities for Jobs

This 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 1/22/20. Population data is according to the United States Census Bureau [specifically, the U.S. metropolitan statistical area population estimates as of July 1, 2018, from the “Annual Estimates of the Resident Population” database, available in the “Download Center”]). 

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 [01/01/19-12/31/19], excluding student and intern-level salary reports. Median home value is according to the Zillow Home Value Index for All Homes, as of November 2019.)

Job satisfaction ratings per metro are based on at least 1,500 company reviews shared by local employees on Glassdoor over the past year (01/01/19-12/31/19; Ratings based on a 5-point scale: 1.0=very dissatisfied, 3.0=OK, 5.0=very satisfied).