Top 20 small and mid-sized U.S. cities for jobs

Find out which small or mid-sized US cities offer the best job opportunities, and which cities have the most openings in the top 10 most popular industries.

We’re proving that city size truly doesn’t matter when it comes to great employment and that incredible roles are available for job seekers in less populated (but still awesome) U.S. cities. Using CareerBuilder data, as well as information on city population and size, we created an official guide to the best small and mid-sized U.S. cities for jobs, and which fields are booming.

Let’s face it, big cities have gotten all the attention lately; it’s time to give smaller cities some love.

Best job markets in the U.S. for small to mid-sized cities

According to our recent CareerBuilder survey, 46% of respondents said they considered themselves "explorers" when it came to their most recent job search. That could mean their hometown or state — even region of the country. So, if you’re hiring in one of these small and mid-sized cities (in every region of the U.S.), here’s what the job market looks like.

10 best small cities with the most job opportunities:

1. Bellevue, WA - 151 jobs/1,000

Just a 15-minute drive from Seattle, Bellevue offers the best of both worlds: small-city living within touching distance of a big city. Bellevue has a population of 139,820, and there are 21,147 jobs being advertised there right now. That’s 151 jobs per 1,000 people. Its proximity to Seattle, a city known for its tech industry, means its top industries are in this sector, including computer hardware and IT. Bellevue offers job seekers all the benefits of Seattle without the big city living.

2. Tempe, AZ - 129 jobs/1,000

Workers in Tempe, AZ earn up to 17% more than the state average, making it easier to attract top talent seeking to relocate. The healthcare industry is hot with 620 current job openings.

3. Salt Lake City, UT - 119 jobs/1,000

In Salt Lake City, hiring within the healthcare industry is also competitive, with 616 jobs available right now. Professionals earn around 12% more than the state average. The cities many outdoor attractions make it an appealing place for workers to put down roots.

4. Sioux Falls, SD - 89 jobs/1,000

In Sioux Falls, healthcare is also the top industry at the moment, so expect competition for talent.  The city is home to stunning landscapes - one being the falls in the Big Sioux River - and workers can expect to earn up to 145% more than the state average.

5. Springfield, MO - 83 jobs/1,000

Currently, healthcare is the number one industry in the city of Springfield. There are 840 job openings at the moment. Like some of the aforementioned cities, Springfield is rife with attractions, making it a magnet for those looking beyond big city life.

Completing the top ten:

6. Akron, OH- 82 jobs/1,000. 7. Knoxville, TN- 78 jobs/1,000. 8. Grand Rapids, MI- 75 jobs/1,000. 9. Fort Collins, CO- 67 jobs/1,000. 10. Peoria, AZ- 64 jobs/1,000. 

10 mid-size cities with the most job openings:

1. Orlando, FL has 156 jobs/1,000

Orlando isn’t just the theme park capital of the world, it’s also a destination for job seekers. With 42,229 jobs currently being advertised, Orlando offers plenty of opportunity for job seekers, especially in the healthcare sector, which has 1,201 current openings. The average Orlando salary is 18.58% higher than the state average, which could help attract families and fans of a certain mouse.

2. St. Louis, MO has 151 jobs/1,000

With 151 jobs per 1,000 people, St. Louis is a close second for the best mid-sized cities for job seekers. The population is 315,685 people, and the industry with the most job listings at the moment is health services.

3. Tacoma, WA has 142 jobs/1,000

Located between two of the trendiest cities in the U.S. - Portland and Seattle - Tacoma is a has plenty of opportunity. The top industry in the city is healthcare, with 278 openings currently being advertised, and overall, there are 29,506 jobs listed on CareerBuilder. The cost of living is affordable and your company could lure Seattle workers with the promise of less rain.

4. Cincinnati, OH has 138 jobs/1,000

Home to the first baseball team in America, Cincinnati has 138 jobs per 1,000 people, and, once again, healthcare is the top industry, with 1,373 job openings in the sector available.

5. Richmond, VA has 128 jobs/1,000

The capital of Virginia is one of the oldest major cities in the U.S. Job seekers with a penchant for history may be drawn to this market. Richmond has 128 jobs per 1,000 people, making it one of the best mid-sized cities for job seekers.

Rounding out the mid-sized top 10 cities:

6. Tampa, FL has 128 jobs/1,000. 7. Minneapolis, MN has 128 jobs/1,000. 8. Pittsburgh, PA has 128 jobs/1,000. 9. Des Moines, IA has 128 jobs/1,000. 10. Chandler, AZ has 128 jobs/1,000

20 top cities that have the most popular job industries

We may know which small or mid-sized cities are competing for talent, but what about the industries? Here, we will look at the industries with the highest demand at the moment, and which city is the current hotspot for those looking to enter these professions.

More than 42,000 healthcare jobs

Mid-size: St Louis, MO, Cincinnati, OH, Orlando, FL
Small: Sioux Falls, SD, Knoxville, TN, Little Rock, AR and Boise, ID
Healthcare has always been a huge industry in the US, and this won't change. With the tens of thousands of job vacancies in this sector, it’s a candidate’s market -- especially since there is a serious shortage of workers for these jobs.

Computer hardware is booming with 32,000 jobs

Mid-size: Miami, FL, Raleigh, NC and Des Moines, IA
Small: Fort Lauderdale, FL
With our ever-growing dependency on computers, it’s no surprise that the computer hardware industry is heating up. There are 32,299 computer hardware jobs open, and 1,194 of them are in Minneapolis, MN.

35,000 accounting jobs available right now

Mid-size: Durham, NC and Scottsdale, AZ
Small: Plano, TX
The accounting and financial industry is larger than ever, with a total of 35,897 jobs currently available all over the country. The city that is most competitive among employers is Minneapolis, MN with 1,642 current openings. Durham, NC also has many vacancies in this sector, as it’s the city’s top industry.

No shortage of jobs in the IT industry

Mid-size: Tampa, FL
Small: Bellevue, WA
Experienced information technology workers are experiencing a surge in demand. Talent drawn to a small or mid-sized city where IT is the top industry will find endless opportunity in Tampa, FL and Bellevue, WA.

The aerospace industry is taking off at the moment

Small: Sunnyvale, CA and Huntsville, AL
Recruiting for the aerospace industry is uber competitive in Sunnyvale, CA and Huntsville, AL. Getting creative with relocation assistance could draw post-pandemic dreamers seeking a new adventure to your city and company.

Using internal data, the top industry for each city was calculated based on the number of jobs in each industry. The number of jobs available in each area was calculated using the same method.

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