Where are the best cities for jobs for young people?

Good article from Richard Florida over at CityLab — formerly The Atlantic Cities — on where jobs are for young (25-34 year-olds, essentially) people these days. I’ve probably summarized about 3/4 of Florida’s articles over the past six months, so at this point I think I should call him “incomparable.” Here’s the main article.

For those who just like lists, here are the 10 best cities for jobs for young people, in order:

  • San Francisco (general area)
  • San Jose
  • Austin
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • Minneapolis
  • Boston
  • Houston
  • Raleigh
  • Los Angeles

None of this list should be that surprising. These locations come up time and time again on these lists — see here, here, and here as examples.

This map here is where it gets a little more interesting:


That’s about the share of all jobs that require post-secondary education currently being held by 25 to 34 year-olds.

In the biggest areas, over 25 percent of all jobs requiring post-secondary are being held by young people — that list includes places like Seattle, Austin, and DC (which you’d probably expect), but three of the biggest cities on this map are in Utah, which a lot of people probably associate as a “Western red state.” In fact, young people are doing more than just Mormon work out there — in Provo, Salt Lake City and Ogden, more than 26 percent of the post-secondary jobs are being held by this younger contingent.

Should be noted, though: as of 2010, Utah was the youngest (median) state in the nation. You could attribute that to Mormons having more children (one answer), or you could attribute it to higher-than-average fertility rates across generations. Regardless, it is a place with a lot of young people, and (generally speaking) a place where family matters a good deal, so people probably want to stick around. You see this in Minneapolis also.

This map is interesting too:


That one looks at “local competitiveness” of the job market. There, you see cities like Houston (57,518 new jobs attributed to that as opposed to just national trends), SF (50,489), Dallas (40,955), and San Jose (39,482) stand out. The top six cities are pretty much “places in California,” “places in Texas,” and “Denver.”

Here’s the general idea: if you haven’t figured it out yet, the two major engines of job growth in the modern US are “energy/oil” and “knowledge/innovation.”

There are tipping points here around coastal costs of living, how cities court businesses, where millennials want to live, and the evolution of real estate — but these maps speak, generally, to the best places to get a job if you’re a younger person in the United States right now.

Ted Bauer