10 Best Cities to Find a Job This Year

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People on the hunt for a new job may have better luck if they live in Dallas than Chicago, according to new research from CareerBuilder.

Experts at the job search website and Emsi, a CareerBuilder company which provides employment data and economic analysis, looked at the total job growth between 2014 and 2015 across 150 cities in the United States. Then, they compared the number of jobs each metro area added to the number of new jobs each city was expected to add, based on national trends in job growth.

Some cities, like San Jose and Orlando, added more than twice as many jobs as would be expected based on the national employment growth rate of 2%. CareerBuilder deemed these cities the most competitive in the country. Other cities, including New Orleans and Chicago, fell short, adding far fewer jobs than might be expected based on the national average.

The cities with the strongest job growth had distinct advantages that gave them an edge over other metros, according to CareerBuilder.

“The unique characteristics of their local economies played a large part in their growth, such as the booming tech industry in Silicon Valley or the tourism industry in Orlando,” CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in a statement. “Meanwhile, jobs in the oil and gas industry took a hit, which had a major impact on the cities like Tulsa and Lafayette [Louisiana], which ranked at the bottom of our list.”

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Here are the 10 cities where job growth most exceeded expectations from 2014 to 2015.

1. Dallas, Texas

  • Jobs expected to be added: 67,959
  • Jobs actually added: 112,829

2. San Jose, California

  • Jobs expected to be added: 21,197
  • Jobs actually added: 60,716

3. Los Angeles, California

  • Jobs expected to be added: 120,745
  • Jobs actually added: 159,477

4. Seattle, Washington

  • Jobs expected to be added: 39,515
  • Jobs actually added: 78,082

5. Miami, Florida

  • Jobs expected to be added: 49,695
  • Jobs actually added: 81,842

6. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Jobs expected to be added: 50,715
  • Jobs actually added: 81,161

7. Orlando, Florida

  • Jobs expected to be added: 22,989
  • Jobs actually added: 50,384

8. San Francisco, California

  • Jobs expected to be added: 46,229
  • Jobs actually added: 69,967

9. Riverside, California

  • Jobs expected to be added: 27,857
  • Jobs actually added: 50,511

10. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Jobs expected to be added: 22,542
  • Jobs actually added: 41,390

One caveat: The CareerBuilder research didn’t look at what kind of jobs were being added in these cities, and strong job growth doesn’t necessarily equate to good jobs.

Take Orlando, where the economy is driven by the traditionally low-wage tourism and hospitality industries. Most jobs in the central Florida metropolis pay less than $30,000 a year, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and the city has the lowest median wage of any major city in America. In tech-centric San Jose, on the other hand, the average hourly wage is $36.43 an hour, 60% higher than the national average.

Still, the numbers are further evidence of the challenges facing older, industrial cities, especially in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Chicago and New York missed expected job growth by more than 30,000 positions, while Philadelphia was behind by more than 25,000. St. Louis and Cleveland also added fewer jobs than expected. Instead, Sun Belt cities in California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia led the job creation charge. Perhaps it’s time for job seekers to break out the sunscreen and head west (or south).

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