The Best Places to Find a Job in the U.S.

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If you feel like your hometown is holding you back, where should you move to? Getty Images/Reuters

The U.S. economy seems to be looking up —an extra 223,000 jobs were added in May, and the unemployment rate is at an 18-year low. Still, that probably won’t be much comfort to the 6 million Americans who are currently unemployed.

Where you live, and your local job market, greatly affects your chances of finding work. Some states as a whole struggle to provide opportunities for their residents, as this list from job website Zippia shows.

Kentucky, which has suffered from the recession and the decline of the coal industry, also has low education rates and household income, creating a perfect storm for chronic underemployment.

If you feel like your hometown is holding you back, where should you move to? Zippia has ranked the best individual towns and cities with the best job markets of 2018, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They ranked at 386 different metro areas in wage change, unemployment rate change and current unemployment rate, before producing an average number for each area, and listing them from best to worst.

It may not be surprising that Silicon Valley does well on the list—the industry has seen a boom and massive influx of cash over the past decade, and the region is the biggest high-tech manufacturing center in the U.S.

Texas, which has the second largest economy in the United States, holds a few top towns as well. University towns also seem to be providing good employment opportunities, and places like Napa, which have a well-known heritage industry, continue to create jobs.

If you’re ready to pack up and make a new start, these are the places you might want to check out. Here are the top 50 towns and cities with the best job markets this year, starting at fifty and going all the way up to number one.  

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50 Charlotte, NC. Unemployment Rate: 3.4 percent. Employed Population: 1,186,840. Annual Mean Wage: $49,600. Charlotte has become a major U.S. financial center with the third most banking assets after New York City and San Francisco. Davis Turner/Getty Images
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49 Harrisonburg, VA. Unemployment Rate: 2.7 percent. Employed Population: 63,440. Annual Mean Wage: $40,050. Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University. Virginia Department of Historic Resources
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48 Charlottesville, VA. Unemployment Rate: 2.4 percent. Employed Population: 111,050. Annual Mean Wage: $50,950. Only 18 percent of people employed in Charlottesville live there, while 82 percent commute into the city. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Virginia Film Festival
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47 Madison, WI. Unemployment Rate: 1.9 percent. Employed Population: 387,300. Annual Mean Wage: $50,830. Wisconsin state government and the University of Wisconsin–Madison remain the two largest Madison employers. Andy Manis/Getty Images
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46 Cedar Rapids, IA. Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent. Employed Population: 140,640. Annual Mean Wage: $47,830. Cedar Rapids is one of the largest cities in the world for corn processing. Iowa Department of Transportation
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45 Virginia Beach—Norfolk, VA. Unemployment Rate: 3.1 percent. Employed Population: 743,960. Annual Mean Wage: $46,470. It’s become a hub of international commerce, as nearly 200 foreign firms have established a presence in the town. Getty Images
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44 Bloomington, IN. Unemployment Rate: 3.1 percent. Employed Population: 68,210. Annual Mean Wage: $42,830. Education, the life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology drive the economy. Google
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43 Jefferson City, MO. Unemployment Rate: 2.7 percent. Employed Population: 73,950. Annual Mean Wage: $40,210. In 2017, Jefferson City was ranked the fifth best small city to start a business by WalletHub. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
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42 Richmond County, GA—SC. Unemployment Rate: 3.6 percent. Employed Population: 218,410. Annual Mean Wage: $43,450. It is one of the original counties of Georgia, created February 5, 1777. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
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41 Savannah, GA. Unemployment Rate: 3.4 percent. Employed Population: 170,620. Annual Mean Wage: $43,600. The Port of Savannah, manufacturing, the military, and tourism drive the economy. Getty Images
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40 Gadsden, AL. Unemployment Rate: 3.6 percent. Employed Population: 35,630. Annual Mean Wage: $35,080. It is located on the Coosa River about 56 miles northeast of Birmingham. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images