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Looking for a Job? Here’s Where to Move.

These 10 cities have an excess of amazing jobs and not enough people to fill them. In other words? They're waiting for YOU.

By Emily Handy on October 30, 2018

Ames IA
Ames / Photo Courtesy of Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

Have you spruced up your resume and knocked it out of the park at several job interviews, but still haven’t gotten a job offer? Maybe it’s not you – it’s the city you’re in. Some job markets are extremely cutthroat and competitive, but we have good news: that is definitely not the case everywhere. In fact, many cities across the country are experiencing the opposite scenario right now: they have thousands of high-quality job openings and not enough skilled workers to fill them. These cities need job seekers – and fast.

We took a look around the country and found 10 places that are in serious need of great people to fill great job openings in a wide range of fields, from healthcare to IT to manufacturing. And even better? These places aren’t just great places to grow your career, they’re great places to live. 

1. Rochester, Minnesota

The state of Minnesota is a job-seeker’s paradise, thanks to a large population of baby boomers who are aging out of the workforce and an economy that’s growing every day. One city in particular that is hungry for workers is Rochester, a southern Minnesota city that boasts the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. Unsurprisingly, the healthcare field is the main source of job openings, but the city is poised to see 25,000 to 35,000 new jobs over the next two decades in a variety of fields.

Specifically, those with degrees in STEM fields are highly sought after, and, according to Oriane Casale, the assistant director of the Labor Market Information Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, employers are even beginning to loosen the reins on job qualifications here.

Rochester, MN is a Hub for Young Talent

In addition to the bounty of job opportunities, Rochester is an incredible place to live. It’s landed on our list of Top 100 Places to Live for its surging growth and its small-town feel – all within an hour of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The city also has a thriving arts and music scene, and is considerably more affordable than the twin cities, with a median home price about $50,000 less than Minneapolis. We’ve named it one of America’s Best Affordable Places to Live, which is even more impressive when you consider the high-paying jobs to be had here. 

Ames IA
Ames / Photo Courtesy of Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

2. Ames, Iowa

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ames has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 1.5 percent. This should be a good thing, right? A point of pride? Yes, absolutely! But it also presents a bit of a conundrum, because Ames simply has too many jobs and not enough workers. In fact, the unemployment rate is so low that Ames-based companies are beginning to look outside the city, and even the state, for skilled workers to fill open positions.

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Many of Ames’ job openings are in skilled labor jobs or trade jobs, but the area is also home to a booming tech sector. Ames has been touted as being part of the “Silicon Prairie,†which includes thriving tech scenes across the Midwest and Great Plains states.

Home of Iowa State University, the city has also been ranked a Top 10 College Town thanks to its ridiculously charming downtown, 55 miles of bike trails, and arts scene. It’s not a surprise that Ames was one of 2018’s Top 100 Places to Live.

Just to recap: Ames is one of the best places to live in the country, with tons of amazing jobs available right now. What are you waiting for?

The Wisconsin state capitol looks beautiful among fall foliage in Madison

3. Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin as a whole has a lot going for it right now, and it’s not just cheese. With unemployment at just 2.3 percent in August, the state is facing an increasingly common problem: it has an abundance of jobs and not enough employees – and they’re pulling out all the stops to get those jobs filled.

In July, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced an $8 million initiative to reduce transportation barriers for new employees to get to where the jobs are. That’s in addition to a $7 million campaign to lure young people from the surrounding region (including $1 million being spent to attract millennials from Chicago). 

10 Reasons to Move to Wisconsin

In Madison, which is a booming video game development hub, a recent conference was held to shed light on the industry and to attract new talent. If you are seeking a job in video game development, Madison is an excellent place to start your search. Who knows – you might even get offered the job on the spot! According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, Wisconsin employers are in a cutthroat race to hire talent, and are making more and more offers immediately.

In addition to being overflowing with good jobs, this awesome state is known for its festivals, low housing costs (15 percent below national average!) and its sports teams. If you’re into nature, Wisconsin has 15,000 lakes and 47 state parks, and we promise you you’ll never get bored.

4. Murfreesboro, Tennessee

When you think of Tennessee cities, Nashville and Memphis usually come to mind first. However, there’s a new “it†city making a name for itself south of Nashville. Murfreesboro, a city of 136,000 located about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, is expecting an impressive 10 percent job growth from 2017 to 2022. Many folks who live in this city have jobs in Nashville and commute, leaving many fantastic local jobs open for the taking. Why commute a few hours a day when you can live and work in the same place?

In fact, the whole of Rutherford County has 3,000 jobs available every single day. Many of these jobs are in manufacturing or construction as Nashville’s housing boom has seeped into neighboring cities. Nissan, Bridgestone/Firestone, and Verizon are among top employers in the city. However, a recent report from Middle Tennessee University claims that the number of tech jobs available in Middle Tennessee is projected to grow 16 percent by 2022.

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This charming Tennessee city has landed a spot on many of Livability’s lists, including being one of Tennessee’s most affordable cities and a best place to live in the state. It’s also home to Middle Tennessee State University, the largest undergrad university in Tennessee.

Vermont / Photo Courtesy of Winona Dimeo-Ediger

5. Burlington, Vermont

Like Wisconsin, the whole state of Vermont is hungry for workers, but the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development told us that Burlington had the biggest need.

There just aren’t enough young people in the city, and many skilled employees are retiring. Like many cities in the nation, Burlington’s hospitality industry is facing staffing shortages, and some restaurants are even having to close early due to a lack of staff. The city’s unemployment rate is currently sitting at 2.1 percent, which is almost full employment. Yet there are still around 6,000(!) open jobs in Burlington, and with almost no net migration into the state, these jobs are practically growing on trees. Manufacturing is another industry with a lot of job openings in Vermont. Many of the state’s manufacturing workers are aging out of the workforce with no one to replace them.

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In fact, the state is even willing to pay you to move to certain cities like Burlington and Manchester, and will give new residents up to $10,000 if they decide to work remotely. Want to take living in Vermont for a test drive before you commit? The state’s innovative Stay to Stay Weekend lets you do just that: transforming a fun weekend trip into a sort of relocation boot camp, connecting visitors with job interviews, real estate agents and fun activities.

The beautiful city of Burlington ranked as one of our Top 100 Best Places to Live for its excellent healthcare and schools, and for being the birthplace of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. What more could you need?

Chandler AZ
Courtesy of Flickr user Mircea Goia under a CC 4.0 license.

6. Chandler, Arizona

After analyzing job opportunities, monthly median salary and employment growth, WalletHub generated a list of the best cities for finding a job in 2018. At the top of the pack? Chandler, a little city southeast of Phoenix. In fact, many Arizona cities in the PHX East Valley made the list, so maybe it’s time to head west for your next job! The area is a hotbed for job growth, and it added a whopping 4,589 jobs in the first half of the year.

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Financial and manufacturing jobs are most abundant here, closely followed by technology as Silicon Valley begins to trickle into neighboring states. Big names like Paypal and Toyota Financial Services are pumping in thousands of jobs to the area, and even the financial tech industry, or FinTech, has established itself in Chandler with an outpost of San Francisco company Bright Benefit Inc. Because of all of this insane growth, Chandler has earned itself the title of – you guessed it – “Silicon Desert.”

With great schools and a dedication to parks and recreation programs led, Chandler also earned the distinction of being the No. 2 city in America to raise a family. In other words? It’s the perfect spot to launch your career and see your whole family thrive.

7. Fargo, North Dakota

Chances are, the word “Fargo” evokes snowy scenes from the iconic movie and TV show named after it. But in reality, if you can brave the cold, this small North Dakota city has thousands of unfulfilled jobs that are yours for the taking. A workforce shortage has hit Fargo and its surrounding areas in recent years, as its unemployment rate is an extremely low 1.8 percent. Experts are projecting a whopping 30,000 jobs will be unfilled in the next five years. Yes, you read that right: 30,000.

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The city, which has been named one of the fastest-growing small cities by Forbes, has deployed several measures to raise interest in starting a career there. The Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation has sought to encourage college students to consider staying in North Dakota to start their career, while also attracting talent to the area with multiple conferences, including TedxFargo. Like Ames, Fargo is desperate for skilled laborers. Even restaurants are struggling, and some are having to close their doors due to a shortage of employees. There is also no lack of tech or manufacturing jobs here, and Microsoft Fargo employees more than 1,600 people.

Like many other cities on this list, Fargo landed on our Top 100 Best Places to Live 2018 list. It’s got it all. It’s the home of North Dakota State University and has the restaurants, cultural attractions and nightlife to prove it. More than 90 miles of trails and 17 skating rinks make it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts, too. Trust us: enduring the winters here is totally worth it.

Cleveland / Photo Courtesy of 16-Bit Bar + Arcade

8. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is another city that is ripe for job seekers. High-paying jobs in IT, healthcare and manufacturing are in abundance, but the region doesn’t have enough qualified residents to fill them. According to a recent report titled “Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio,†2015 saw a demand for 16,638 IT workers, but only 1,764 credentials were awarded. That’s thousands of jobs left unfilled. Similarly, over the next decade, it has been reported that areas around Cleveland will need up to 50,000 new production workers. Some companies have even begun hiring high schoolers to work a few days a week, often extending full-time offers as soon as they graduate.

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In addition to the amazing job opportunities here, Cleveland is a great place to put down roots. Homes are still affordable here, costing just half of what a house would in a bigger city like Chicago. It’s an amazing place to be a sports fan, with the IndiansBrowns and Cavaliers calling the city home. Plus, residents have access to Huntington Beach along Lake Erie, which has been voted one of the cleanest beaches in the country.

If you’ve never considered Cleveland as a potential homebase, we’re here to tell you: the city deserves a second look.

Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs / Courtesy of Jasen Miller under a CC 2.0 license.

9. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ah, Colorado. It’s a state known for its incredible views and abundance of outdoor activities, but it’s also one of the best places to land a job in healthcare right now. In a similar fashion to many others, the state is experiencing an extremely tight labor pool that has not been seen since the dot com boom. In May of 2018, its unemployment rate sat at 2.8 percent, but job growth is not slowing down. The state is on track to create 70,000 new jobs next year, according to the Denver Post.

An aging population in the state is calling for an increased need in healthcare, and there just aren’t enough people to fill the positions, especially in Colorado Springs, which is the fifth-hottest job market in the nation. According to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum, the number of openings in Colorado Springs outnumbers the number of job seekers by 1,200.

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If you were thinking of making a career move, Colorado Springs is a really great choice. Once considered a resort town, this city, which is now the 40th largest in the nation, has retained its charm. Any outdoor activity you could dream of is offered here, and the city exudes positive vibes by being incredibly welcoming to newcomers and surprisingly affordable. It’s easy to feel at home here.

10. Cullman, Alabama

If you’re seeking a new job or want to start a career in the auto industry, make your way down to Cullman. The state as a whole, which is the sixth-biggest manufacturer of cars in the world, ranked as Business Facilities’ top state for business climate in 2018. This is partially thanks to a $1.6 billion project in the works from Mazda and Toyota slated for Huntsville. But it’s Cullman, a small, surprisingly cool city south of Huntsville, that is currently bursting with job opportunities.

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Cullman is home to four automotive manufacturers: Yutaka Technologies, REHAU, Royal Technologies, and Topre America, all of which are on track for expansions. This growing industry, along with Cullman’s prime position along I-65, helped the small city of 15,000 create more than 460 jobs last year. Meanwhile, Alabama as a whole is supporting more than 2,039,200 jobs, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

Besides a surplus of manufacturing jobs, Cullman boasts some great amenities, including some of the best schools in the whole state, low crime rates, clean air quality and beautiful parks, making it the perfect place to bring the whole family.

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