2023’s Best & Worst Places to Start a Career

Published 7:30 am Monday, May 15, 2023

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With graduation season upon us and employers planning to hire 14.7% more graduates from the Class of 2023 than they did from the Class of 2022, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Best & Worst Places to Start a Career, as well as expert commentary.

To help recent graduates launch their careers in the right place, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on 26 key indicators of career-friendliness. The data set ranges from the availability of entry-level jobs to monthly average starting salary to housing affordability.

Best Places to Start a Career Worst Places to Start a Career
1. Atlanta, GA 173. Yonkers, NY
2. Orlando, FL 174. Oxnard, CA
3. Salt Lake City, UT 175. Moreno Valley, CA
4. Columbia, SC 176. Shreveport, LA
5. Tampa, FL 177. North Las Vegas, NV
6. Charleston, SC 178. Santa Clarita, CA
7. Miami, FL 179. Detroit, MI
8. Austin, TX 180. Newark, NJ
9. Minneapolis, MN 181. Gulfport, MS
10. Pittsburgh, PA 182. New York, NY

Best vs. Worst

  • Austin, Texas, has the highest monthly average starting salary (adjusted for cost of living), $4,958, which is 2.9 times higher than in Juneau, Alaska, the city with the lowest at $1,685.
  • Columbia, Maryland, has the highest median annual household income (adjusted for cost of living), $104,886, which is 3.1 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest at $33,329.
  • Oxnard, California, has the highest workforce diversity, which is 2.3 times higher than in New Haven, Connecticut, the city with the lowest.
  • South Burlington, Vermont, has the lowest unemployment rate, 1.50 percent, which is 5.7 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 8.60 percent.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: