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Gazett-Mail Real Estate - Articles

Thursday January 30, 2014

Report Names Best Cities for Job Seekers

By Sally Deneen

Charleston and another state capital, Austin, Texas, share low unemployment rates and positive recent job growth. But only one of the two makes NerdWallet's list of the "Best Cities for Job Seekers"– and it isn't Charleston.

Austin ranks No. 1 nationally for its "tremendous growth" and major high-tech employers such as Dell and IBM, according to NerdWallet. The Texas capital"has plenty of resources for job seekers and working professionals," the report states. And compared to other cities on NerdWallet's top 10 list, Austin has the biggest population growth among working-age people.

Washington, D.C., ranks second on the Best Cities for Job Seekers list, followed by Fort Worth, Texas; Denver; and Charlotte, N.C., a banking center that is home to Bank of America. Rounding out the top 10 list are No. 6 Raleigh, N.C.; Omaha, Neb.; Minneapolis; Oklahoma City; and San Antonio, Texas, where technology and energy are growing industries.

NerdWallet looked at three factors – affordability, low unemployment and high population growth – to come up with its view of the best cities.

While Charleston doesn't make the NerdWallet roster, the city appears favorably on a Sperling's Best Places list, which notes Charleston falls below national average when it comes to cost of living. And like Austin, local recent job growth has been positive and unemployment is low, according to Sperling's statistics.

Metro Charleston's unemployment rate preliminarily dipped to 4.9 percent as of November, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's similar to the Austin area, whose unemployment rate came in at 4.7 percent in November, according to the BLS.

A different ranking by Forbes ranks Charleston 160th and Austin 14th nationally among "Best Places for Business and Careers." It pegs projected annual job growth in Charleston at 1.5 percent. Des Moines, Iowa, ranks first on Forbes' list.

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