Location, Location, Location

by Pat Rose, Director of Career Services

Everyone who has ever done any house or apartment hunting knows the old saw that the most important three things to consider are location, location, and location.  The same is true for job hunters.

For example, you may need to stay in a particular city or town because you want to be near family, or because you are part of a dual career couple, or because you couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.  Fair enough.

But some of you may be a little more flexible.  You may want to focus on your career, and will go where the jobs are.  If you are in this category, I urge you to read a recent Forbes article,  “The Easiest and Hardest Cities for Finding a Job.

This article presents a study that compared jobs posted in the 4th quarter of 2010 with a salary of $50,000 or more in different U.S.  metropolitan areas.  While the methodology might be a little flawed, the comparative results are telling.  The easiest place to find a job is San Jose, CA, which had a whopping 126 job postings per 1000 of  population.  Second was Washington, D.C., with 116 openings per 1000 citizens.   At the other extreme, New Orleans had just 10 postings.  Tied for second lowest were Buffalo and Rochester, with 11 per 1000.

Of course there are explanations.  Washington, D.C. has the job engine of the federal government.  San Jose is in the heart of Silicon Valley, where tech firms are hiring.  In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal article names the top 50 start ups.   Eight of the top 10 and 35 of the 50 were based in California, most in the Bay area.

Our economic recovery is uneven geographically.  Don’t lose sight of this as you look for your first, or your next,  job.  Remember, it’s all about location, location and location.

Author: Patricia Rose

Patricia Rose is the Director of Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania.