Courtesy of Exelon-Pepco
Courtesy of Exelon-Pepco

The District counts among the nation’s top places to find a job, according to a new report.

While the nation’s capital isn’t among the top 10, the city ranked 50th of the 182 surveyed by WalletHub, a personal finance website.

To determine the best job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across two key dimensions, “Job Market” and “Socio-economics.”

They then assigned a heavier weight to the former, considering that factors in that category most heavily influence a job seeker’s decision in terms of relocation for employment.

Researchers then evaluated the two dimensions using 31 relevant metrics, which were graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for job seekers.

Finally, they determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining their sample, WalletHub also considered only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area.

Charleston, S.C., Orlando, Fla., Columbia, S.C., Salt Lake City and Cincinnati ranked as the top five cities for job opportunities.

Newark, N.J.; Brownsville, Texas; Bridgeport, Conn.; and Detroit counted as the five cities with the fewest job opportunities.

The District tied for first with six other cities for the highest monthly average starting salary.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report, the national unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, just a bit higher than the 50-year low of 3.5 percent seen in September 2019.

College graduates particularly will see a healthy boost in their job prospects. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 5.8 percent more members from the Class of 2020 than from the previous graduating cohort, according to the WalletHub report. However, finding work depends mostly on location.

“The job market will continue to be strong in 2020,” said Anoshua Chaudhuri, a WalletHub expert and professor and chair of the Department of Economics at San Francisco State University. “With retirements and new jobs such as the health care sector, job seekers will see a strong job market and unemployment rates will continue to be low. Even if there is a recession, health care jobs will continue to grow, as it did in the last recession.”

Yang Liang, a WalletHub expert and assistant professor of economics at San Diego State University, cautioned that imposed high tariffs of 15 percent to 25 percent on billions of dollars of trade between the two largest economies in the world create an enormous amount of uncertainty for businesses to make new investments or purchases.

“The trade war has already spooked some business leaders and frustrated the market as we saw a noticeable decline in business investment,” Liang said. “This hold-up capital problem generated by the unpredictability of the government may further cause firms to lose their competitiveness and slower job growth in the industry.”

Additionally, Liang noted that U.S. exports to the world are hit hard directly from the trade war — not only the exports to China but also the exports to other countries that use Chinese imports as intermediate inputs.

“Recent studies show that regions more exposed to Chinese retaliatory tariffs experienced a decline in employment growth, whereas U.S. import tariffs had no immediate effect on employment growth,” Liang said.

For the complete jobs report, go to wallethub.com.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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