2018’s best places to find a job do not include Tucson

By Harry Alexander / SoAzNewsX

If you are a Tucsonan and looking for a job in 2018, you might be better served looking to the Phoenix area, according to the latest study from the financial website WalletHub, which has just published its latest study on where the jobs are in all 50 states. Tucson is not even listed in the top 100 cities where the jobs are located.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report, the national unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent while hiring is up.

College graduates, especially, will see a strong boost in their job prospects. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 4 percent more members from the Class of 2018 than from the previous graduating cohort.

But your luck of finding work depends largely on location. To help you with the job hunt, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 26 key indicators of job-market strength. They range from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary.

Topping the WalleHub list of where the jobs are is Chandler, Arizona and Scottsdale, Arizona. Peoria, Arizona and Gilbert, Arizona round out the Top 5 with San Francisco, California sandwiched in between Scottsdale and Peoria.

Tempe, Arizona comes in at Number 20. Phoenix at Number 60, Glendale at Number 81.

Tucson is listed at Number 102 out of 182 communities measured.

There was a recent announcement of an unnamed company expecting to bring a little more than 1,000 new jobs to the Tucson area.

Most of the new jobs that have come to the Tucson area over the years have been entry-level call center jobs. Tucson has not seen an expansion of major professional-type jobs where employees can earn upwards of $75,000 in at least 20 years. Students graduating from Tucson-area high schools have left the region to seek employment along with a large number of University of Arizona graduates.

Last year a survey listed Tucson as the sixth poorest city in the U.S.

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

They then evaluated the two dimensions using 26 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for job seekers.

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

Job Market – Total Points: 80

  • Job Opportunities: Double Weight (~7.62 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: Number of Job Openings per Number of Population in Labor Force Minus Unemployment Rate.
  • Employment Growth: Double Weight (~7.62 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the rate of annual job growth adjusted by the working-age population growth.
  • Monthly Average Starting Salary: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~7.62 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
  • Industry Variety: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
  • Employment Outlook: Double Weight (~7.62 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated as follows: (Number of Employees in 2016 – Number of Employees in 2015) / Number of Employees in 2015.
  • Job Satisfaction: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
  • Retirement Access & Participation: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric considers only employer-based retirement plans.
  • Access to Employee Benefits: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the share of employees with private health insurance.
  • Presence of Work-Share Programs: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This binary metric measures the presence or absence of state programs that allow employers to temporarily reduce work hours of employees instead of laying them off during economic downturns.
  • Full-Time Employment: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of part-time employees for every 100 full-time employees.
  • Access to Internships: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of internships per total civilian population aged 16 to 24 in the labor force.
  • Apprentice-Trainee Jobs as Share of Total Jobs Posted on Glassdoor.com: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: Apprentice-trainee jobs refers to on-the-job training.
  • Share of Workers in Poverty: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of employed residents whose incomes are below the poverty line.
  • Disability-Friendliness of Employers: Full Weight (~3.81 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of persons with disabilities who are employed.

Socio-economics – Total Points: 20

  • Median Annual Income: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted for the cost of living.
  • Average Work & Commute Time: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the average length of a workday and the average commute time.
  • Transit Accessibility of Workplace: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of jobs accessible by a 30-minute transit ride per total civilian workforce.
  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Annual Transportation Costs: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Safety: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the crime rate.
  • Family-Friendliness: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Places to Raise a Family” ranking.
  • Dating-Friendliness: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities for Singles” ranking.
  • Recreation-Friendliness: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
    Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Cities for Recreation” ranking.

 

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, Council for Community and Economic Research, Indeed, Center for Neighborhood Technology, The Pew Charitable Trusts, National Conference of State Legislatures, Glassdoor, ManpowerGroup, Chmura Economics & Analytics, Chegg and WalletHub research.

 

Harry Alexander is the Managing Editor of the Southern Arizona News-Examiner. He has been a Tucson resident off and on since 1959.

 

 

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