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Which Cities Have the Best and Worst Job Markets?

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Nationwide, employment numbers seem to be picking up. But when you break it down by city, all things certainly aren’t equal — so which ones have the best and worst job markets?

To formulate its Job Creation Index, Gallup asked 200,000 workers across the US whether their employers are hiring or letting go and then recorded the difference between the two percentages. While this simple question has been found to be a good indicator of jobless claims nationally, it also reveals which areas have the most robust job markets.

Overall, every one of the 50 largest US metro areas included had a positive Job Creation Index score, meaning more people are being hired than fired. However, the high degree of local variation made it clear that while some cities are doing great, others are not faring quite so well in comparison.

Want the best odds of finding employment? Start in Oklahoma City, Okla., which had the highest score on the index. And if you’re thinking of moving to Providence, R.I., you’d better have a job before you go, because it ranked at the bottom.

Here are the five best and worst large cities for job creation (check out the full report for more).


1. Oklahoma City, Okla.
2. Pittsburgh, Pa.
3. Richmond, Va.
4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.
5. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.


1. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, R.I.-Mass.
2. Riverside-San Bernadino-Ontario, Calif.
3. New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn.
4. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif.
5. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.


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