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Top 20 small and mid-sized U.S. cities for jobs

CareerBuilder | October 5, 2021

Find out which small or mid-sized US cities offer the best job opportunities, and which cities have the most openings in the top 10 most popular industries.

We’re proving that city size truly doesn’t matter when it comes to great employment, and that incredible roles are available for job seekers in less-populated (but still awesome) U.S. cities. Using CareerBuilder data, as well as information on city population and size, we created an official guide to the best small and mid-sized U.S. cities for jobs, and which fields are most likely to hire you.

Let’s face it, big cities have gotten all the attention lately; it’s time to give smaller cities some love.

Best job markets in the U.S. for small to mid-sized cities

According to our recent CareerBuilder survey, 46% of respondents said they considered themselves "explorers" when it came to their most recent job search. That could mean their home town or state — even region of the country. So, if you’re after a new place to explore, these small and mid-sized cities (in every region of the U.S.) could have a lot to offer you.


U.S. map of 50 state with top 10 small job markets pinned

10 best small cities with the most job opportunities:

1. Bellevue, WA - 151 jobs/1,000
Just a 15-minute drive from Seattle, Bellevue offers the best of both worlds: small-city living within touching distance of a big city. Bellevue has a population of 139,820, and there are 21,147 jobs being advertised there right now. That’s 151 jobs per 1,000 people. Its proximity to Seattle, a city known for its tech industry, means its top industries are in this sector, including computer hardware and IT. So, if you want all the benefits of Seattle without the big-city living, Bellevue is your place.
Does Bellevue sound good to you? Find a job there today

2. Tempe, AZ - 129 jobs/1,000
Workers in Tempe, AZ earn up to 17% more than the state average, so it’s definitely worth looking at the available jobs there. If you work in the healthcare industry, you are more likely to find employment here, with 620 current job openings.
Does Tempe sound like your kind of place? See the jobs being advertised now

3. Salt Lake City, UT - 119 jobs/1,000
In Salt Lake City, the healthcare industry is booming, with 616 jobs available right now. If you choose this city as your new home, you can expect to earn around 12% more than the state average. Plus, there’s plenty to do when not working, making this a great place to find your next job.
Is Salt Lake City your ideal location? Browse availabilities there now

4. Sioux Falls, SD - 89 jobs/1,000
In Sioux Falls, healthcare is the top industry at the moment, so if this is your career area of choice, don’t write off this small city. The city is home to stunning landscapes - one being the falls in the Big Sioux River - and by working here you can earn up to 145% more than the state average.
Find jobs in Sioux Falls today

5. Springfield, MO - 83 jobs/1,000
Currently, healthcare is the number one industry in the city of Springfield. There are 840 job openings at the moment, so this could be a great city to live and work if big-city life isn’t for you. There is plenty to do in Springfield, from the Dickerson Park Zoo to the Fantastic Caverns, so there will always be something exciting to see.
See what’s available in Springfield

Completing the top ten:
6. Akron, OH - 82 jobs/1,000
7. Knoxville, TN - 78 jobs/1,000
8. Grand Rapids, MI - 75 jobs/1,000
9. Fort Collins, CO - 67 jobs/1,000
10. Peoria, AZ - 64 jobs/1,000


U.S. map of 50 state with top 10 mid-sized job markets pinned

10 mid-size cities with the most job openings:

1. Orlando, FL has 156 jobs/1,000
Orlando isn’t just the theme park capital of the world, it’s also a great place to find a job. With 42,229 jobs currently being advertised, Orlando offers plenty of opportunity for job seekers, especially in the healthcare sector, which has 1,201 current openings. The average Orlando salary is 18.58% higher than the state average, so you’ll have plenty of cash to spend on your visits to Disney World.
Want to experience the magic of Orlando? See what jobs are available right now

2. St. Louis, MO has 151 jobs/1,000
With 151 jobs per 1,000 people, St. Louis is a close second for the best mid-sized cities to find a job. The population is 315,685 people, and the industry with the most job listings at the moment is in health services. Move quickly, as those 982 openings are bound to fill up fast once everyone realizes that 7-Up was invented there.
Find jobs in St Louis, MO

3. Tacoma, WA has 142 jobs/1,000
Located between two of the trendiest cities in the U.S. - Portland and Seattle - Tacoma is a great place to look for a job. The top industry in the city is healthcare, with 278 openings currently being advertised, and overall, there are 29,506 jobs up for grabs. With an affordable cost of living, less rain than in Seattle and many activities to fill your downtime with, this could be the perfect place to work for you.
Find jobs in Tacoma now

4. Cincinnati, OH has 138 jobs/1,000
Home to the first baseball team in America, Cincinnati is a great place for job seekers to hunt for their next role. With 138 jobs per 1,000 people, you have an excellent chance of finding employment in Steven Spielberg’s birthplace. Once again, healthcare is the top industry, with 1,373 job openings in the sector available.
Browse through the Cincinnati job market

5. Richmond, VA has 128 jobs/1,000
The capital of Virginia is one of the oldest major cities in the U.S. If you want to live and work alongside history, then you are in luck: Richmond has 128 jobs per 1,000 people, making it one of the best mid-sized cities to find a job in.
Make Richmond, VA your new home and find a job there today

Rounding out the mid-sized top 10 cities:

6. Tampa, FL has 128 jobs/1,000
7. Minneapolis, MN has 128 jobs/1,000
8. Pittsburgh, PA has 128 jobs/1,000
9. Des Moines, IA has 128 jobs/1,000
10. Chandler, AZ has 128 jobs/1,000


20 top cities that have the most popular job industries

We may know which small or mid-sized cities are offering the most job opportunities, but what about the industries? Here, we will look at the industries that are booming at the moment, and which city is the current hotspot for those looking to enter these professions.

More than 42,000 healthcare jobs

Mid-size: St Louis, MO, Cincinnati, OH, Orlando, FL
Small: Sioux Falls, SD, Knoxville, TN, Little Rock, AR and Boise, ID
Healthcare has always been a huge industry in the US, and this won't change. With the tens of thousands of job vacancies in this sector, it’s a great time to get into healthcare - especially since there is a serious shortage of workers for these jobs.
Find healthcare jobs in a city near you

Computer hardware is booming with 32,000 jobs

Mid-size: Miami, FL, Raleigh, NC and Des Moines, IA
Small: Fort Lauderdale, FL
With our ever growing dependency on computers, it’s no surprise that the computer hardware industry is booming. There are 32,299 computer hardware jobs open, and 1,194 of them are in Minneapolis, MN.
Browse computer hardware jobs now

35,000 accounting jobs available right now

Mid-size: Durham, NC and Scottsdale, AZ
Small: Plano, TX
The accounting and financial industry is larger than ever, with a total of 35,897 jobs currently available all over the country. The city that is listing the most accounting jobs: Minneapolis, MN with 1,642 current openings. Durham, NC also has many vacancies in this sector, as it’s the city’s top industry, so there is no lack of choice when looking for a small city to start your accounting or finance career.
See what the accounting industry has to offer you with CareerBuilder

No shortage of jobs in the IT industry

Mid-size: Tampa, FL
Small: Bellevue, WA
Working in Information Technology (IT) may take some tech savviness, but there are plenty of jobs available once you learn everything you need to know. If you’re looking for a small or mid-sized city to work in, and IT is your dream industry, then we have some great news for you: IT is the top industry in both Tampa, FL and Bellevue, WA.
Find your next great job in the IT sector

The aerospace industry is taking off at the moment

Small: Sunnyvale, CA and Huntsville, AL
If you want a job that will take you (professionally) to the moon, or at least the clouds, then aerospace could be for you. Working in this industry includes the research, development, and manufacture of flight vehicles - both aviation and space flight - and there are plenty of job openings in this field at the moment. This is the top industry in both Sunnyvale, CA and Huntsville, AL, so if you have your eyes on a smaller city, then these could be perfect.
See your career fly in this industry. Browse aerospace jobs today

Methodology
Using internal data, the top industry for each city was calculated based on the number of jobs in each industry. The number of jobs available in each area was calculated using the same method.


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