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

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

Small cities have been an attractive lure for job seekers since well before the start of the pandemic, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. It's estimated that since 2014, around 30,000 people per year are leaving big cities in favor of small ones, touting reduced stress and better cost of living as the major draw cards. These are our picks for some of the best small cities for jobs in the U.S. 

Mankato, Minnesota

Mankato is a bustling city that has a red-hot job market. While the state's minimum wage is around the $8.42 mark, entry-level jobs such as scooping ice cream can earn workers up to $17 an hour including tips. The city has an unemployment rate of 1.8%. 

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

With its growing job market and high quality of life score, Eureka Springs offers its residents the ultimate Ozarks experience. Although the current unemployment rate is 4.6%, this city also has a 10-year job growth rate of 2.4%. The median commute time in Eureka Springs is a mere 12 minutes. 

Ames, Iowa

Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy spending their free time on bike trails and hikes will find Ames a treat. It also has a low unemployment rate of 1.9% and seems to be a hub for young professionals with its vibrant coffee culture. 

Burlington, Vermont

A thriving economy and a bustling job market await potential job seekers in Burlington. This picturesque city is situated on the banks of Lake Champlain. In Vermont, there are 46,411 unique job listings per 100,000 residents, which is as hot as the job market can get. 

Logan, Utah

Logan might be a small city, but it has a thriving job market and an unemployment rate of only 1.8%. Those hoping to get into the property market might find house prices at an all-time low, with the average sale price around $161,000

Midland, Texas

While the sibling city, Odessa, might be better known, Midland is becoming a strong player on the economic front and attracts those in the oil and gas industries. It's a family-friendly, community-based city that offers average salaries of $71,000 per annum and an unemployment rate of 2.6%

Bend, Oregon

Bend is one of the fastest-growing counties in Oregon, a state which predicts that 300,000 new jobs will be added by 2030. According to the Bend Chamber of Commerce, this small city is a hotspot for opportunity.

Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville offers an average salary of $58,730 across industries such as aviation, science, technology, and math. It also scores 8.7 out of 10 in terms of crime rate, which makes it a good choice for those concerned about safety. 

Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck has a healthy economy and a strong salary band, with only 34% of its residents earning under $50,000 per year. Working hours are also great, with retail and manufacturing staff working between 26 to 30 hours on average per week. 

Carson City, Nevada

Humble roots and historical significance allow Carson City to provide residents with the best of both worlds: small-town living and a bustling economy. It has an unemployment rate of 3.9% and pays an average wage of $18.83.

"The US has some of the best small cities for jobs that still offer those great big-city benefits, but the charm and appeal of small-town living." 

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls boasts a strong economy, no state income taxes, and a cost of living that's 11% below the national average. It also has an unemployment rate of only 2%

Pocatello, Idaho

Pocatello has that typical Idaho landscape of jutting outcrops and stunning vistas. Its economy is booming, and the cost of living is the lowest in the state. Additionally, it has a low unemployment rate of 2.2%

Provo-Orem, Utah 

Provo-Orem is a metropolitan area that spans Provo City and Orem. Provo is an economic hotspot, attracting tech and engineering companies. The metro has an unemployment rate of 1.9%.

Missoula, Montana

Missoula is a congregation point for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It boasts an average hourly wage of $23.06, which is higher than the state average of $18.90

Bozeman, Montana

At the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is Bozeman, a progressive city with a low unemployment rate of 1.6% and a hot property market with an average house price of $648,000.

Grand Junction, Colorado

Grand Junction features the scenic backdrop Colorado state is known for. Its economy is growing, and the poverty rate is down 13.3%. The average price of a property is $251,400. 

St. George, Utah

St. George is worth considering, even if just for the scenic value. However, the economy is a major plus and has a five-year projected job growth rate of 21% (between 2022 and 2026) and an unemployment rate of 2.25%. 

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Coeur d'Alene might be considered the largest city in northern Idaho, but it only has a population of around 56,000. Its stunning lake views and natural scenery attract professionals and families alike. It has an unemployment rate of 3.2%.

Olympia, Washington

Olympia has a future job growth rate predicted at 42.5%, which is significant compared to the national average of 33.5%. Olympia offers a great landing spot for families and single professionals alike, thanks to its great food and a plethora of cultural experiences. 

Fargo, North Dakota 

Fargo has a workforce of around 120,000 and sports a median income of $73,402. The average house price is slightly higher at just over $270,000.

There's no reason to give up your big-city benefits when moving to a smaller city, plus you'll have the charm and tight-knit communities to boot. When you're ready for the move, be sure to sign up for email alerts on possible jobs in your chosen city. 

More Tips on How to Get a Job in Your Dream Location: 

Finding a job in a foreign country is not as hard as you may think! 

Moving across the state? We have tips on how to find a new job.

Leaving soon? We'll help you write that notice letter

Improve your chances of landing your dream job with an effective follow-up.

If you have a short-term move in mind, how about getting a seasonal job?