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By Kristen Bahler
September 13, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Danita Delimont—Getty Images/Gallo Images

When people relocate for a job, they tend to gravitate towards millennial meccas like New York and San Francisco. But if you’re looking for a change of scenery, a midsize city with working-class roots may be the wiser bet.

New data from careers site Glassdoor reveals the 25 best U.S. metro areas for jobs, based on affordability, openings, and job satisfaction. Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Kansas City topped the list — and a panoply of blue-collar hotspots rounded it out.

The top three cities, all rapidly-evolving destinations for tech talent, have over 80,000 job openings each, and a cost of living that puts big cities to shame. Other Midwestern cities on the list, like Minneapolis and Detroit, have well over 100,000 openings a piece.

Salaries tend to rise in big city markets. But with an abysmal ratio between median pay and median home value (with average house prices as high as $1.5 million in San Francisco), that’s not much of a redeeming factor.

Cleveland (#7), by comparison, has a median home value of $134,600; about 40% below the national average. And a booming job market in Ohio (Columbus and Cincinnati are also in Glassdoor’s top 10) makes snagging a gig in the buckeye state easier than most places.

“When it comes to finding the best city for jobs, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better,” says Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain. “These areas stand out for offering some of the greatest job prospects along with a lower cost of living that allows more employees to live comfortably.”

If affordability and an easy job search top your list of priorities, check out these cities below.

1. Pittsburgh, PA

  • Job Openings: 95,399
  • Median Base Salary: $44,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2
  • Median Home Value: $137,400

2. Indianapolis, IN

  • Job Openings: 80,561
  • Median Base Salary: $43,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $138,100

3. Kansas City, MO

  • Job Openings: 90,649
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $159,400

4. Raleigh-Durham, NC

  • Job Openings: 65,810
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $228,200

5. St. Louis, MO

  • Job Openings: 104,725
  • Median Base Salary: $45,600
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $148,600

6. Memphis, TN

  • Job Openings: 42,347
  • Median Base Salary: $41,200
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $119,700

7. Columbus, OH

  • Job Openings: 78,370
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $162,500

8. Cincinnati, OH

  • Job Openings: 79,554
  • Median Base Salary: $44,637
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $152,600

9. Cleveland, OH

  • Job Openings: 66,410
  • Median Base Salary: $43,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3

10. Louisville, KY

  • Job Openings: 49,213
  • Median Base Salary: $40,138
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $148,600

11. Birmingham, AL

  • Job Openings: 40,123
  • Median Base Salary: $38,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $133,400

12. Detroit, MI

  • Job Openings: 119,567
  • Median Base Salary: $46,344
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $141,000

13. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

  • Job Openings: 151,656
  • Median Base Salary: $52,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $247,400

14. Hartford, CT

  • Job Openings: 46,274
  • Median Base Salary: $55,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $223,100

15. Oklahoma City, OK

  • Job Openings: 43,898
  • Median Base Salary: $36,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $134,900

16. Washington, DC

  • Job Openings: 293,481
  • Median Base Salary: $62,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $382,600

17. Seattle, WA

  • Job Openings: 187,741
  • Median Base Salary: $65,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $447,100

18. Atlanta, GA

  • Job Openings: 195,021
  • Median Base Salary: $46,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $179,900

19. Baltimore, MD

  • Job Openings: 123,370
  • Median Base Salary: $48,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $261,000

20. Nashville, TN

  • Job Openings: 80,192
  • Median Base Salary: $42,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $220,100

21. Milwaukee, WI

  • Job Openings: 63,772
  • Median Base Salary: $46,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.2
  • Median Home Value: $215,500

22. San Jose, CA

  • Job Openings: 106,809
  • Median Base Salary: $100,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.5
  • Median Home Value: $1,013,700

23. Chicago, IL

  • Job Openings: 332,546
  • Median Base Salary: $50,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $211,200

24. Charlotte, NC

  • Job Openings: 78,285
  • Median Base Salary: $45,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.3
  • Median Home Value: $174,800

25. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

  • Job Openings: 249,235
  • Median Base Salary: $49,000
  • Job Satisfaction Rating: 3.4
  • Median Home Value: $211,000
Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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