10 Best Cities To Find A Job

According Sparkleteddy.com, many of the cities were deemed bubble-proof because they had strong job growth. That particular article was penned by someone in Business 2.0, so when I read an article about the ten best cities to find a job written by the folks at Forbes (hosted by MSN), I wanted to see how the cities matched up.

Well, surprise, none of the top ten cities were on the list of bubble-proof housing markets:

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. Phoenix, AZ
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Orlando, FL
  5. Bethesda, MD
  6. Richmond, VA
  7. Raleigh, NC
  8. Jacksonville, FL
  9. Oklahoma City, OK
  10. Virginia Beach, VA

In fact, Forbes discovered that New York City (5th Bubble Proof), San Francisco (1st Bubble Proof), Los Angeles (2nd Bubble Proof), and Chicago (not on the list) were at the very bottom of the list of best cities to find a job. Part of the reason for their low scoring had to deal with the data they used (the dot-com bust hurt) but it still doesn’t really add up with some of the “reasons” the other article used.

So… either the theory of “limited land” (which has had a couple of well-reasoned holes poked into it by critically thinking readers) is more significant that we thought or Business 2.0 just made things up.


It’s going to be an oil dominated world…I am wondering why is Houston not in the list? I would guess there are much more/better jobs in Houston than Oklahoma City.

It would help to make more sense out of the list if you give a couple of their top reasons for this particular selection.

Does it give any indication on what the jobs are and how much they pay? I see help wanted signs in a ton of Taco Bells, but I wouldn’t consider that something to help Bubble-proof a market. However, I would consider a lot of 6-figure salary positions available as a better indicator of “strong job growth.”

Some of these areas don’t strike me as the easiest place to grab a 6-figure job. And I might be totally off on this, but the idea is that maybe there’s something hiding in the data that accounts for the discrepency that you are seeing.

Well I am from Oklahoma, and it seems that much of the doubt is creeping in about OKC being on this list. Contrary to what people think, the only available jobs here are not only at Taco Bell. I am a senior finance student at Oklahoma State University. I will be graduating in May and already I have 6 job offers in hand, which I will list in minute.

One big thing to keep in mind is that is will not take me earning 6 figures to have an excellent lifestyle in Oklahoma. I can get a very nice apartment for around 500 bucks. I have been to New York several times, and this same type of place would cost around 2500/month. Plus, if I had a job in investment banking, I would be working upwards of 100 hours per week, but in oklahoma, companies cannot get by with that. They realize that people here value their families, and all types of outside activities, not just their careers. I can work for an excellent company here, working arounf 50-55 hours per week max, and still have time to enjoy the money i am making.

Here are the offers available to me, a 22 year old finance soon-to-be graduaute in Oklahoma:

Commercial Lending Training Program, 15 Bil. dollar bank, (salary approx 50,000/yr)

Junior Commercial Lender, 10 Bil. dollar bank ( salary 45K per year)

Business Analyst, IBM (44,500/yr)

Consulting Analyst, Accenture (salary # still not firm)

Finance Professional Dev. Program (gas pipeline company) 48,000/yr

Business Development Group (large private company) 46,000/yr

I am not trying to boost for my current town, but I have read that Raleigh, NC is one of the most bubble proof cities in the nation (I can see it too – prices are still going up as the rest of the country seems to be softening).

One thing I should mention about at least some of the “bubble-proof” cities that makes them slow job-growers: many of them are “built out”! San Francisco isn’t going to suddenly erupt with tons of new jobs anytime soon, simply because there isn’t any land to put the offices where those jobs would be. SF commercial real estate had a hard time after the dotbomb, but is back up to under 10% – meaning that (crudely) at best, 10% more jobs could be created without massively expensive new highrise construction.

Personally, I hate the “bubble-proof” notion as any RE market can tank, but places with high job growth will tend to be younger cities with lots of available land. As they get built out, land gets more expensive and they will have a lower growth rate. The same thing happens with companies: MSFT’s profit won’t grow at as fast a rate as a hot startup.

Also, places with high job growth will tend to produce lower-wage jobs, simply because most jobs don’t pay well! You aren’t going to see a million new investment banking jobs appear, but you may see a million new casino jobs appear. (The sad exception is the government: it is generating fairly high paid jobs in vast numbers at our expense, which is why Washington DC is a big job growth area.)

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