15 best, worst job markets in the US

The strongest job markets in America are found in midsize cities, according to an assessment of 300 metro areas from The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal partnered with Moody's Analytics to analyze Labor Department data for the metro areas and rank them based on five attributes: job growth, unemployment rate, share of adults working or looking for work, change in the size of the labor force and change in average weekly wages. An average of the attributes was used to determine the hottest labor market in the U.S.

Below are the top 15 and bottom 15 job markets from the large cities rankings. This listing includes ties. The complete ranking and scoring, including small cities rankings, can be found here.


The best 

1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas 

2. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee

3. Raleigh, N.C.

4. Salt Lake City

5. Jacksonville, Fla.

6. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.

7. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.

8. Kansas City, Mo. and Kan.

9. Boston-Cambridge-Newtown, Mass. and N.H.

10. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

11. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

12. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.

      Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore. and Wash. 

13. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.

14. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C. and S.C.

15. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.


The worst 

40. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill., Ind. and Wis.

41. New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y., N.J. and Pa.

42. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich. 

       San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.

44. Tulsa, Okla.

45. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va. and N.C.

46. Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio 

47. Richmond, Va.

48. Pittsburgh 

49. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa., N.J., Del. and Md.

50. Tucson, Ariz.

51. Fresno, Calif.

52. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas

53. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.

54. Hartford, Conn.

55. New Orleans-Metairie, La.


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