The Worst Cities For Job Seekers

  • Cities of despair

    Some of these apocalyptic, post-industrial hopeless hellholes should be avoided by honest American job seekers at all costs. Others are just very competitive job markets, but great places to live otherwise. We present you with the 11 worst cities for job hunters, followed by the 10 best as a ray of hope — it’s always nice to end on a positive, constructive note. Juju.com, a leading job search engine, recently released  its “Job Search Difficulty Index, which measures the difficulty of finding employment in major cities around the country. The Index was calculated by dividing the number of unemployed workers in each metro area, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by the number of jobs in Juju's comprehensive index of millions of online jobs in the United States.” They looked at 50 cities total. Sounds fun. Let’s begin, shall we? Photo Credit: arvindgrover
    11th Worst Job-Hunting City: Orlando, Fla.
  • 11th Worst Job-Hunting City: Orlando, Fla.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 8.79 Population rank: 27 It’s warm, and SeaWorld is there. At least you will be amused by dolphins and killer whales until your luck changes, pal. Photo Credit: turtlemom4bacon
    10th Worst Job-Hunting City: Providence, R.I.
  • 10th Worst Job-Hunting City: Providence, R.I.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 9.2 Population rank: 37 Rhode Island! It’s a small state, and there aren’t many jobs to go around, OK? An artist recently made headlines when he announced he was leaving Providence, with plans to establish his art studio in Jingdezhen, China (where costs are obviously cheaper). Photo Credit: woneffe
    9th Worst Job-Hunting City: Portland, Ore.
  • 9th Worst Job-Hunting City: Portland, Ore.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 9.25 Population rank: 23 Depressing weather, depressing job market. Sign me up! And worst of all, sounds like unemployed job seekers are running out of time. “By April, about 1,000 Oregonians will exhaust their unemployment benefits each week,” according to Portland-based KATU 2 News. Photo Credit: ralphman
    8th Worst Job-Hunting City: Birmingham, Ala.
  • 8th Worst Job-Hunting City: Birmingham, Ala.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 9.53 Population rank: 48 No jobs, but Southern hospitality will take care of you! Birmingham entrepreneurs think things would improve if the government left them alone. One business expert recently told The Birmingham News, “Many of the small businesses I talk to want to hire folks, but they are spending so much on taxes and complying with government regulations, plus seeing declining sales that they can't.” Photo Credit: acnatta
    7th Worst Job-Hunting City: Los Angeles
  • 7th Worst Job-Hunting City: Los Angeles

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 10.1 Population rank: 2 Los Angeles was a place where aspiring actors, comedians and talk show hosts battled for meager coffee shop and greasy spoon gigs — in good times, that is. Now it’s a total nightmare for job seekers. Plus, the “mid-tier” restaurant industry is reportedly not doing so well… making it even harder to find a day job to hold you over until you get that big break from an agent. Photo Credit: kla4067
    6th Worst Job-Hunting City: Sacramento, Calif.
  • 6th Worst Job-Hunting City: Sacramento, Calif.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 10.29 Population rank: 25 You might not be able to find work there, but Sacramento is home to a wide range of fascinating museums, including the California State Railroad Museum. Maybe some of them are free admission. Photo Credit: clairity
    5th Worst Job-Hunting City: Riverside, Calif.
  • 5th Worst Job-Hunting City: Riverside, Calif.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 11.22 Population rank: 14 There may not be jobs, but the city of Riverside has a number of volunteer positions available. You won’t get a paycheck, but you’ll get to help someone else. Almost as good, right, Mr. Gekko? Photo Credit: rezlab
    4th Worst Job-Hunting City: Las Vegas
  • 4th Worst Job-Hunting City: Las Vegas

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 11.58 Population rank: 30 Las Vegas, aside from its tourism and gambling industries (both of which are hurting, by the way), does not have a lot of other options. It makes sense that this one is bad for job seekers. And if you’re down and out, avoid the urge to gamble away your last few bones on the roulette table. Photo Credit: http2007
    3rd Worst Job-Hunting City: Miami
  • 3rd Worst Job-Hunting City: Miami

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 13.8 Population rank: 7 With South Beach and beautiful weather, in addition to beautiful people, it’s no wonder everyone wants to live here. There are jobs available, but they may not be exactly street legal. Jesse Jackson recently made headlines after organizing a march designed to raise awareness for the jobless in Miami. As reported by the South Florida Times, Jackson “called on government and banks to pay attention to Miami-Dade County’s residents who are in need of jobs and help dealing with foreclosures.” Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa
    2nd Worst Job-Hunting City: St. Louis
  • 2nd Worst Job-Hunting City: St. Louis

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 17.51 Population rank: 18 Things are tough in St. Louis. In some cases, though, institutions of higher learning are picking up a bit of the slack. As reported recently by a biotech industry publication, when pharmaceutical company Pfizer “refocused its ops in November, it left about 600 of its 1,000 employees in the St. Louis area without a job. But St. Louis University doesn't want to see that talent go to waste. Some of those scientists may find a home at the school, which announced that it’s launching a new research center focused on discovering treatments for illnesses that affect the developing world.” It just confirms the saying "If you can’t do, teach." Photo Credit: Getty Images
    The Worst Job-Hunting City: Detroit
  • The Worst Job-Hunting City: Detroit

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 18.01 Population rank: 11 Detroit is the setting for HBO’s Hung, which despite being a funny show, is about a man who prostitutes himself in order to provide for his kids — and to fix a partially destroyed roof. And that is television’s glamorous, idealized version of Detroit… In reality, it’s even worse. As recently written in a United Press International story filed in Detroit, “Training for green jobs in Michigan may be getting ahead of the job market, where environmentally friendly jobs are still scarce, various observers say.” So you can get eco-job training, but there are no eco-jobs once your training ends. That sucks. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    And the best cities!
  • And the best cities!

    Sweet, precious JOBS! These 10 cities have ‘em. Click Next. And although I kid, I fully realize how demoralizing and frustrating underemployment or unemployment can be. It’s a disgrace that our leaders, both in corporate America and in Washington, aren’t doing more to get people back to work. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    10th Best Job-Hunting City: Austin, Texas
  • 10th Best Job-Hunting City: Austin, Texas

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 4.03 Population rank: 36 Don’t mess with Texas. This major Texan city has a (relatively) robust job market. Plus, it was recently reported that St. Jude Medical is expanding its operations in Austin and is ready to sign a lease for 85,000 square feet of building space—great news for job seekers in the health care industry. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    9th Best Job-Hunting City: Denver
  • 9th Best Job-Hunting City: Denver

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 3.99 Population rank: 21 The mile-high city has positions available in a number of fields. A Colorado commercial real estate company’s CEO recently told a business publication that bad times have allowed his firm to find some good new employees: “There is some exceptional talent that has become available as a direct result of the financial crisis.” So don’t tell the HR people you are “unemployed” and desperate if you’re in Denver! Instead, frame it this way: you are exceptional talent available at a low, low price due to the financial crisis. Yeah. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    8th Best Job-Hunting City: Boston
  • 8th Best Job-Hunting City: Boston

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 3.83 Population rank: 10 Boston, a major center for finance and publishing, is one of the better places for job seekers. Probably helps if you went to Harvard, though. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    7th Best Job-Hunting City: Hartford, Conn.
  • 7th Best Job-Hunting City: Hartford, Conn.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 3.53 Population rank: 45 Hartford also has plenty of culture, including the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Plus, with its relative proximity to New York, I can think of worse places to live and work. Photo Credit: dougtone
    6th Best Job-Hunting City: Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • 6th Best Job-Hunting City: Oklahoma City, Okla.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 3.49 Population rank: 44 Oklahoma City is the most populated city in Oklahoma, but it’s still a good market for job seekers. Major industries include aviation and aerospace, health care and energy. Photo Credit: thefriendlyfiend
    5th Best Job-Hunting City: New York
  • 5th Best Job-Hunting City: New York

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 3.24 Population rank: 1 In terms of job diversity, it doesn’t get any better than New York. PR, fashion, advertising, health care, publishing — we have it all here. Unfortunately, competition for a good job can be fierce, even in boom times. But at least, according to Juju’s Job Search Difficulty Index, it is one of the better cities for job hunting. Go figure. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    4th Best Job-Hunting City: Salt Lake City
  • 4th Best Job-Hunting City: Salt Lake City

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 3.20 Population rank: 49 A Juju.com executive explained to Forbes that Salt Lake City is good since its local “government has gone out of its way to be business friendly, providing incentives for companies to relocate there.” When companies relocate, they need to staff their offices… Photo Credit: Getty Images
    3rd Best Job-Hunting City: Baltimore
  • 3rd Best Job-Hunting City: Baltimore

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 2.68 Population rank: 20 FORTUNE 500 companies with major operations in the Baltimore area include Lockheed Martin, Constellation Energy and Marriott International. Not too shabby. Photo Credit: ktylerconk
    2nd Best Job-Hunting City: San Jose, Calif.
  • 2nd Best Job-Hunting City: San Jose, Calif.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 2.15 Population rank: 31 Only two unemployed people per advertised available job! That’s not bad at all — so you just have to be more impressive than one other person, basically. Photo Credit: the_tahoe_guy
    The Best Job-Hunting City: Washington, D.C.
  • The Best Job-Hunting City: Washington, D.C.

    Unemployed individuals per advertised job: 1.89 Population rank: 9 With so many federal agencies and large contractors in the D.C. metro area, it’s hard to go wrong. This is the most promising city for job seekers in America, according to Juju.com’s data. And the Washington, D.C. Job Market Report has this to say: “Washington, D.C. is in a unique position to emerge from the recession a step ahead of most cities across the nation. With a government sector sustaining employment both from federal government and companies that support it, the area’s 2010 employment picture is positive.” Photo Credit: bigberto
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