America's Worst Cities for Finding a Job

Jacquelyn Smith

Can't get hired? You may just be in the wrong place.

Bad interviews or a lack of experience may not be the reason you can't land a job. Your location may be to blame. If you're seeking employment, consider moving to Washington, San Jose, or New York. Those are the three best places in the nation for finding a job, according to

Juju, a site that aggregates job listings, releases a monthly Job Search Difficulty Index, which measures how tough it is to find employment in 50 major cities around the country. To gauge the level of difficulty, Juju divides the number of unemployed workers in each city, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the number of jobs in their index of millions of online job postings.

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"If you look back to November 2009, the average number of unemployed people per job posting was 6.5. This year it is 3.19," says Juju vice president Brendan Cruickshank. "This indicates that the market has gotten significantly better."

The hiring environment may be improving, but job seekers in cities that rely on unstable industries should know that they may each be competing with six, seven or eight other idle workers for one advertised job. "The cities that have continued to underperform rely on jobs from lagging industries such as manufacturing, tourism and construction," Cruickshank says. "Detroit and Las Vegas have improved from this time last year, but they continue have more unemployed individuals per open job than other large metropolitan areas."

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Unemployment in Las Vegas is at 15%, almost six points above the national average. There are now nine unemployed individuals for every advertised job in Sin City, making it the nation's hardest place to find a job. Sunbelt cities like Las Vegas dominate the list of the most difficult metro areas for finding a job. Large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Miami and New Orleans continue to suffer as their tourism remains weak.

For every job posting in Miami, there are 8.5 unemployed people. Los Angeles and New Orleans have about 6.3 and 4 idle workers per advertised job, respectively.

There is far more hope if you're seeking employment in a city with stronger industries. Washington, D.C., is the best metropolitan area in the U.S. for finding a job, with only one unemployed person per job listing. Unemployment in the nation's capital sits at 5.9%, thanks to its stabilized job market and bounty of government, education and health care related jobs.

Other capital cities do well, too. Seven of the 15 metropolitan areas that are best for finding a job are state capitals.

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"We are seeing some consistent trends from the cities at the top and bottom of our rankings," Cruickshank says. "The cities that are strong performers have a large concentrations of jobs in industries that have held steady during the economic downturn, such as health care, education and government. State capitals such as Hartford and Austin perform well as a result."

Mike Amerson/istockphoto

1. Las Vegas, Nev.

Unemployed Individuals Per Advertised Job: 8.86






Cristian Lazzari/istockphoto

2. Miami, Fla.

Unemployed Individuals Per Advertised Job: 8.46






David Liu/istockphoto

3. Riverside, Calif.

Unemployed Individuals Per Advertised Job: 7.31






Agnieszka Gaul/istockphoto

4. Detroit, Mich.

Unemployed Individuals Per Advertised Job: 7.05






Eric Hood/istockphoto

5. Los Angeles, Calif.

Unemployed Individuals Per Advertised Job: 6.27






Click here to see the full list of America's Worst Cities for Finding a Job


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