Seattle WA Listed As One Of The 10 Best Cities For New Graduates!!!

It’s that time of year again, all the college grads are now job hunting for thier new career (likely in the cloud computing industry) and hitting the rental market. So where are the hot spots for graduates to move to? compiled a list of the best cities for college graduates based on unemployment rates, mean annual income, cost of living and rental inventory for the metropolitan areas. The unemployment data was pulled from March 2012, and it was assigned a double weight for this list since securing a job would be a top priority for graduates.

The top 10 cities are in alphabetical order which also includes three cities from one state.

Austin, Texas

Unemployment rate: 6%

Cost of living index: 95.5

Mean annual income: $47,340

Top industries: technology, pharmaceutical, biotechnology

Austin, the state capital and home of the University of Texas, prides itself on weirdness. “A quickly growing city, Austin boasts a low cost of living and neighborhoods with character ranging from funky to serene,” says Christina Aragon, director of strategy and customer insights at “A thriving music scene will inspire recent grads to partake in the arts.”


Unemployment rate: 7.1%

Cost of living index: 119.4

Mean annual income: $50,750

Top industries: manufacturing, financial service, business service, and health care

The port city of Baltimore is not as driven by industries such as steel and auto manufacturing as it once was. A service-oriented economy has developed. “Charm City is a friendly place to live and play, with a diverse cultural scene and more than 200 unique neighborhoods to call home,” says Aragon.


Unemployment rate: 5.7%

Cost of living index: 132.5

Mean annual income: $57,520

Top industries: education, tourism, financial services

“A low unemployment rate and high mean income attracts career-minded young professionals,” says Aragon. Boston shouldn’t feel like a shocking transition to the “real world,” since it is already a college-dominated city. The area is home to Harvard, MIT, Boston College and Boston University, to name just some of the major institutions of higher education. As such, Aragon, notes, “nightlife options abound.”


Unemployment rate: 7%

Cost of living index: 91.1

Mean annual income: $46,160

Top industries: banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology. Visit for free network calculator.

Once a hub for trains and the cotton trade, contemporary Dallas-Fort Worth is the largest metropolitan area in the South and is home to numerous corporate headquarters. Says Aragon, “With the hospitality of Texas and the modernity of a sophisticated city, Dallas offers all of the benefits of big city living without the big city price tag — the cost of living is well below the national average.”


Unemployment rate: 7%

Cost of living index: 92.2

Mean annual income: $47,490

Top industries: energy, biomedical research, aeronautics, transportation

Houston’s economy is strongly tied to oil and gas, and more recently renewable energy. Because of the city’s cost-competitive housing and a favorable cost of living, it’s a mainstay on “best cities” lists. “Add to that a diverse mix of jobs and commuter-friendly transportation, and Houston has a lot to offer for new grads,” says Aragon.

Kansas City, Mo.

Unemployment rate: 7.6%

Cost of living index: 97.8

Mean annual income: $45,050

Top industries: business, agriculture

K.C. is well known for its contributions in the categories of barbecue, jazz, and blues, but it continues to evolve. “Healthy living and an eco-friendly lifestyle are just one part of the booming downtown of Kansas City,” says Aragon.


Unemployment rate: 6.1%

Cost of living index: 111

Mean annual income: $49,760

Top industries: commerce, finance, rail and trucking, health care, manufacturing

Minneapolis holds great appeal for outdoors types, given the area’s wealth of lakes, streams and waterfalls. The metropolitan area also has the most parkland (over 16 percent) compared with other places with similar densities. It also doesn’t hurt that the region has an unemployment rate well below the national average.


Unemployment rate: 7.8%

Cost of living index: 98.2

Mean annual income: $45,220

Top industries: banking and financial services, high tech and biotech research, manufacturing, shipping, grocery distribution

Raleigh is one third of the Research Triangle metropolitan region, along with Durham and Chapel Hill. There are several research universities in the area: North Carolina State, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. “People of all ages move to Raleigh for affordable housing and temperate weather, Aragon says. “With an economy based on three local universities, post-grads looking for jobs in industries like biotech or computers will thrive in these North Carolina cities.”


Unemployment rate: 7.9%

Cost of living index: 121.4

Mean annual income: $54,750

Top industries: manufacturing, Internet/technology, service, design, clean technology

Seattle is a city by the sea, the sound, and the bay, and has many lakes and hills as well as the nearby Olympic Mountains, making it another nature-lovers’ place to settle down. Aragon classifies it as “the perfect city for a new class of intellectuals. Seattle offers a well-educated workforce as well as plenty of foodie cuisine.”

Washington, D.C.

Unemployment rate: 5.5%

Cost of living index: 140.1

Mean annual income: $62,890

Top industries: government, professional and business services

The nation’s capital offers a favorably low unemployment rate (the lowest on this list) and high mean annual income as an attraction for new young professionals. “The federal city also offers entertainment for everyone, from nightlife and world-class dining to cultural institutions,” says Aragon.


Best City List Courtesy of Colleen Kane,


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