The U.S. unemployment rate is at a record low, leaving many employers desperate to fill open positions with quality talent.
For job seekers, this is good news. It means it is possible to find work just about anywhere in the United States right now.
As always, however, some places have more opportunities than others. If job availability is low in your geographic area, perhaps a move is in order.
If you’re looking for a location that merely hosts a large number of open jobs, one of the top five cities for job opportunities may hold the right gig for you. Conversely, you’ll want to avoid the bottom five cities on the list:
Maybe you have a job in your desired field right where you are, but regional pay standards are quite low compared to what people in similar roles earn in other parts of the country. If that’s the case, you can check out the best areas for highest monthly average starting salaries and highest median annual income:
The Experts Weigh In
Alongside its research, WalletHub asked a few economic and job-hunting experts to weigh in on the topic of relocating for work. Specifically, experts were asked why they felt fewer people were moving across state lines in search of work, and what could be done to increase the workforce’s mobility.
Here are a few highlights:
“Moving is hard on families and only makes sense if opportunities are really better somewhere else. While this is often true for very high[ly] skilled workers, it isn’t clear that this is true for less-skilled workers. Moving to a new place for a job that isn’t even as good as your previous one doesn’t seem like a very good bargain. One thing the government can do is help lower these moving costs. While the social costs of moving are always high, financial costs could be lessened. For example, it would have been nice to see the new tax plan make moving expenses tax deductible. Instead, we got taxes on tuition benefits and university endowments, making it more expensive for Americans to improve their skills.” – David Bjerk, chair of public economics and taxation at Claremont McKenna College.
“Perhaps more people are content where they are, and with more jobs available, they choose to stay where they are if they seek job promotions. Many young (as well as older) people put a premium on quality of life rather than simply getting ahead in their careers. With more couples having two careers than in the past, less are likely to uproot. Hiring policies that take the whole family unit into account might increase employment mobility.” – Christine Neylon O’Brien, professor of business law for the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
“I’m not sure that reduced geographic mobility is a bad thing. For example, sociologists who study the family structure might argue that keeping families and communities together outweighs job mobility. However … it will be increasingly easy for job seekers to find meaningful work online, investigate alternative living situations, and make decisions that optimize their ability to balance employment and life/family needs.” – Kurt Kraiger, principle psychologist for jobZology.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual worker to decide whether moving is the right call for them. It’s also a matter of resources, as making a move can be quite expensive.