Focus Your Job Search on These Metro Markets

job trends by metro market
If you are stuck in a tough job market, then moving to where the jobs are is one of the best things you can do to improve your prospects. Here is the latest guide to the best and worst job markets.

First thing is to focus on cities and metro markets instead of states.

  • For example, the Texas job market has slowed significantly in the past year because of job losses in the oil and energy industry. So you definitely want to avoid Texas markets such as Houston—but at the same time be aware that job growth remains healthy in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

Florida and California are prime targets because they have 10 of the top 25 fastest-growing job markets.

  • Top markets in Florida are: Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Miami.
  • In California, the strong markets are: San Jose, Riverside, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.

Technology, tourism, and business/professional jobs are typically driving growth in the strongest markets. Energy and government job losses are often holding back the tough job markets.

  • New Orleans, Houston, and Oklahoma City are among the energy-dependent markets that rank among the job markets to avoid.

Sometimes it makes sense to stay put until a job market goes from bad to good. This especially makes sense in markets not overly dependent on a single industry.

  • Today, Richmond, VA, ranks among the best-growing job markets. A year ago, it ranked among the slowest-growing.

See the graphic for the Top 10 and Bottom 10 markets among the 50 largest U.S. cities and metro markets.

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