August 2011: The 10 Best (and Worst) US Cities for Finding a Job


The job market heated up in August for many cities across the nation, while a few traditionally sun-soaked cities saw a hiring cool down as summer came to a close. Louisville, which saw a gain of 11% in managerial hiring in August, was the biggest winner this month, followed by Detroit with a 10% gain, Hartford (+9%) and Nashville (+8%). On the downside, San Diego’s hiring activity dropped 10%. Losses were also seen in Tampa (-6%), Seattle (-5%), Dallas (-4%) and Riverside (-4%). 

To determine the cities with the 10 best and worst job markets each month, the Index surveys 30 different major metro areas across the U.S. for per capita job availability. Rather than simply reporting the cities with the most and least jobs, the Index measures the number of job openings relative to population. This gives a more complete picture of how easy (or difficult) it is to get a new job in each metro area. 

Want to know where the jobs are? These metro areas made up the 10 best US cities to find a job in August: 

10. New York
Overall Index Rank: 10th
Index Score: 80 

City Fact: After a fairly stagnant and slow summer of hiring, New York dropped one rank to tenth place despite a 4% gain in employment activity.



9. Denver 
Overall Index Rank: 9th
Index Score: 80 

City Fact: Hiring in Denver remained relatively flat in August with only a 1% gain in activity. Despite this fact, Denver still lost a ranking spot to Nashville. 



8. Nashville
Overall Index Rank: 8th
Index Score: 82 

City Fact: After an 8% jump in hiring activity, Nashville isn’t singing the blues this month. This surge in activity catapulted the Music City two ranks to eighth place on our list. 



7. Baltimore
Overall Index Rank: 7th
Index Score: 88 

City Fact: After a nice bump in hiring in July, Baltimore’s job activity dropped 15-points in August. This drop in activity was enough to drop B-More a rank to seventh on our list. 



6. Chicago
Overall Index Rank: 7th
Index Score: 90 

City Fact: Chicago held tight to the sixth spot on our “10 Best Cities for Finding” a Job list with a 5% gain in job activity. Hiring in the Windy City is regaining all the steam lost over the summer months 



5. Atlanta
Overall Index Rank: 5th
Index Score: 91 

City Fact: The only thing rising in Atlanta is the temperature as hiring activity sunk 1% in August. Atlanta is just 3-points above employment levels from one year ago.



4. Seattle
Overall Index Rank: 4th
Index Score: 109 

City Fact: Seattle saw a 5% drop in employment activity this month, after a 12-point gain job activity in July. Overall, Seattle is 17-points ahead since August 2010

3. San Francisco
Overall Index Rank: 3rd
Index Score: 114 

City Fact: After a 5-point gain in July, employment activity in San Francisco dropped by 1% to land at 114 in August. This Golden Gate city has also only seen a 5-point gain in hiring since August of 2010

2. Boston
Overall Index Rank: 2nd 
Index Score: 150 

City Fact: Hiring in Boston continues to steadily climb with a 3% gain this month to land at 150. This is just one-point away from Beantown’s highest level of 151 in April.

1. Washington, D.C.
Overall Index Rank: 1st
Index Score: 171 

City Fact: Moving the employment activity needle 9-points this month, the Washington, D.C. area continues to dominate the “Best Cities to Find a Job” list for the 44th straight month. With the government as one of the top employers in the Capitol Region, this beltway city seems to coast through any employment climate.

This article is reprinted by permission from, c Adicio Inc.  All rights reserved.

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