25 best cities for millennial job seekers; Milwaukee is on the list!

Photo Credit: Aleksandr Davydov / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s a great time to be entering the workforce or looking for a new job. According to the New York Fed, the job market for young people, and especially college graduates, is the strongest it’s been since the 2008 Recession. Overall unemployment currently stands at 4 percent, dipping to 3.7 percent for recent graduates and just 2.3 percent for all college graduates. Similarly, underemployment for recent graduates, which is common for young people entering the workforce, has decreased by more than three percentage points from June 2014 to June 2018, suggesting that young graduates are not just finding “a job,” but rather, they’re finding jobs that match their skill level.

Of course, not all locations across the U.S. have the same employment opportunities, and employment rates are only one part of the equation when choosing a city to jumpstart your career. Unemployment rates vary from city to city, as does cost of living (especially housing), income, and demographics. If you are a millennial looking for the best cities for young professionals, it’s important to find one that’s affordable, has jobs, and is home to plenty of people close in age.

To find the best cities for millennial job seekers, Jetty commissioned research to analyze the largest 150 metropolitan areas in the U.S. It’s researchers looked at average millennial income, cost of living, unemployment, millennial population growth, and millennial share of the workforce using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Zillow.

Jetty found that many cities outside of notoriously high-priced New York and San Francisco—especially cities in the South and Midwest—offer compelling (and affordable) opportunities for millennials entering the workforce. Interestingly, while New York did not make the top 25 list of best cities for millennials to work, San Francisco and San Jose rank in the top three spots despite substantially higher living costs. For many, the Bay Area’s extremely high salaries, low unemployment, and influx of millennials outweigh its high prices. If that’s not for you, look to the many other more affordable options below. Here are the 25 best cities for millennial job seekers.

Photo Credit: 4k-Clips / Alamy Stock Photo

25. Oklahoma City, OK

    Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

    24. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

      Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

      23. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

        Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

        22. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

          Photo Credit: Michelle Himes Studio / Alamy Stock Photo

          21. Columbus, OH

            Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

            20. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

              Photo Credit: Alex Holder / Alamy Stock Photo

              19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

                Photo Credit: CrackerClips Stock Media / Alamy Stock Photo

                18. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

                  Photo Credit: Paul Brady / Alamy Stock Photo

                  17. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR

                    Photo Credit: J. G. Domke / Alamy Stock Photo

                    16. Lubbock, TX

                      Photo Credit: Edwin Verin / Alamy Stock Photo

                      15. Amarillo, TX

                        Photo Credit: Matt Bills / Alamy Stock Photo

                        14. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

                          Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

                          13. Austin-Round Rock, TX

                            Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

                            12. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

                              Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

                              11. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

                                Photo Credit: Dave Newman / Alamy Stock Photo

                                10. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

                                  Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

                                  9. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

                                    Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

                                    8. Pittsburgh, PA

                                      Photo Credit: Enrico Della Pietra / Alamy Stock Photo

                                      7. Portland-South Portland, ME

                                        Photo Credit: Cynthia Lindow / Alamy Stock Photo

                                        6. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

                                          Photo Credit: Roman Babakin / Alamy Stock Photo

                                          5. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

                                            Photo Credit: Neil Podoll / Alamy Stock Photo

                                            4. Colorado Springs, CO

                                              Photo Credit: Yuval Helfman / Alamy Stock Photo

                                              3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

                                                Photo Credit: Yuval Helfman / Alamy Stock Photo

                                                2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

                                                  Photo Credit: Aurora Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

                                                  1. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO


                                                    To identify the best cities for millennial job seekers, Jetty created a composite score based on the following metrics in order of importance:

                                                                Only the largest 150 metropolitan areas were included in the analysis. Cities presented here are ordered by their overall composite score.

                                                                The content in this article is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not to be viewed as legal and/or financial advice from Jetty or the author. A reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, but we provide no warranty, either express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of information. By using this information, you agree that Jetty and the author shall not be responsible for any errors or omissions contained in any material.