In an NPR interview, National Geographic researcher Dan Buettner noted that cutting an hour-long commute each way out of your life is the equivalent of making an additional $40,000 a year for those who are around the $50 to $60K level when it comes to happiness levels. He recommends moving closer to where you work, but where should you move if you’re looking for the best job opportunities?
San Francisco, California
While it’s a pricey city to live in, San Francisco offers some of the most job opportunities for millennials with its unemployment rate recently dropping more than 40 percent – as of November 2018 it was at just 2.2 percent, whereas the national unemployment is 3.9 percent. It’s frequently rated high on many surveys for its weather, diversity, nightlife, food, health and fitness. Common job openings in the City by the Bay include web developers, marketing managers, software developers, computer systems analysts and retail workers.
Phoenix has been experiencing a tech boom that’s predicted to get even bigger. Salaries tend to be high while rent is low. The suburb of Chandler is home to multiple high-profile companies like Intel which employs more than 10,000, as well as eBay, PayPal, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Verizon Wireless. The area is also famous for its plentiful sunshine with 330 days a year, with a wide range of outdoor activities to take advantage of it, including some of the best golf in the country, hiking and mountain biking. And, if you’re really into pizza, you should know that Travel + Leisure chose Phoenix as the city with the country’s very best pizza scene for 2016.
In an analysis of population movement over the five-year period from 2009 through 2014, Denver gained 12,682 people in the age group between 25 to 34, which means that means that more millennials moved here each year than left, which is the highest number for any U.S. metro area. One of the obvious reasons so many are arriving here are the jobs, with around a-third of the jobs here held by 19- to 34-year-olds, as the New York Times reports. While some may be coming for the legal marijuana, the great food, craft beer scene, and nearby Rocky Mountains doesn’t hurt either.
Charleston, South Carolina
This coastal city has been attracting lots of millennials, with its millennial population growing 48 percent between 2000 and 2016. Its metro area has the highest percentage of millennials at 15.7 percent, and it’s consistently ranked among the world’s best cities to live. Residents here enjoy a thriving creative culture, beautiful beaches, historic architecture and a growing tech scene with over 250 tech companies housed here, many of which tend to hire a large number of millennials. The major aerospace company Boeing is located in Charleston, as well as Benefitfocus, Bibliolabs and SPARC.