The 15 best, worst cities for jobs in 2022

Cities with the strongest job markets are peppered throughout the U.S., with no one region dominating the top-ranked out of 182 of the country's most populated cities, according to one ranking. 

Cities in the South and California, on the other hand, make up the majority of the 15 worst cities for jobs.  

The rankings for 2022 come from Wallethub, which looked at two key dimensions: job market (80 points) and socioeconomics (20 points). 

Twenty components make up a city's job market score, including job opportunities, employment growth, unemployment rate, average starting salary, and share of workers in poverty. Socioeconomic scores were weighed by 11 factors, including median annual income, average commute time and housing affordability. 

Some insights into the rankings and scores: 

  • Columbia, Md., ranks No. 1 overall, coming in first place for socioeconomics and second place for job market.
  • Salt Lake City ranks No. 2 overall, coming in first place for job market but 23rd place for socioeconomics.
  • Las Cruces, N.M., was ranked last out of the 182 cities for job market, but its 89th spot for socioeconomics bolstered its overall ranking to 175th place. 
  • Detroit was ranked last out of all cities for socioeconomics. It holds the 173rd spot for job market, with an overall ranking of 179.
  • Madison, Wis., came in second place for socioeconomics but 72nd place for its job market, dragging its overall ranking down to No. 25. 

Below are the top 15 cities and bottom 15 cities. This listing includes ties. The complete ranking and scoring can be found here

The best 

1. Columbia, Md.

2. Salt Lake City

3. San Francisco

4. Portland, Maine

5. Austin, Texas

6. Orlando, Fla.

7. Seattle 

8. Scottsdale, Ariz.

9. San Jose, Calif.

10. Nashua, N.H.

11. Plano, Texas

12. Pittsburgh

13. South Burlington, Vt. 

14. Columbia, S.C.

15. Overland Park, Kan.


The worst 

168. Jackson, Miss. 

169. Columbus, Ga. 

170. Chula Vista, Calif. 

171. Memphis, Tenn. 

172. Moreno Valley, Calif. 

173. Baton Rouge, La. 

174. Oxnard, Calif.

175. Las Cruces, N.M.

176. Brownsville, Texas

177. Stockton, Calif.

178. Newark, N.J.

179. Detroit

180. Shreveport, La.

181. San Bernardino, Calif.

182. Gulfport, Miss.

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