The 50 Best Cities for New College Grads

15 May 2017

By: Yahoo Finance - Taylor Tepper

There are certain things that as a new college graduate you have little control over, such as when you’re forced to join the real world. If you happened to graduate in 2008 as I did — when the economy was hemorrhaging jobs while the stock and housing markets were collapsing — you were somewhat out of luck.

Still, there were things you could have done to improve your financial odds even in the Great Recession, such as picking a city with the best odds of finding a good-paying job and an affordable place to live.
Which begs the question: Where are those cities for young grads today?

The real estate site Trulia and the careers site Indeed have teamed up to look at which cities provide the best combination of affordable rental properties and the types of jobs that typically employ new grads.
Their conclusion: Finding the ideal place to work and live is tricky, because the market in which you might find the best-paying jobs may also happen to be too pricey for a 22-year-old to afford rent.

Take the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, Calif. metro area. That region of the Silicon Valley had the highest percentage of jobs that were amenable to those right out of college. Almost a third of all postings in San Jose were “grad-friendly,” and recent grads could expect to earn around $3,333 a month — the second highest median personal income in the country, just behind the Washington, DC/Arlington, VA market.

Trouble is, all of that economic activity has dramatically driven up demand and prices for homes and apartments. In the San Jose market, new grads can only afford 2.5% of the available rental listings in the area.

“Do new grads have to choose between a paycheck in their pocket or a roof over their head? To an extent, yes,” wrote Indeed and Trulia’s chief economists Jed Kolko and Ralph McLaughlin, the study’s authors.

Yet the researchers note that there are some “sweet spots” that offer the best of both worlds. These goldilocks towns, according to the report, include Seattle, Hartford, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Dayton.

MONEY took the data from the survey and organized it a bit differently.

We eliminated any location where less than than 10% of the housing market was accessible to new grads, and then looked at the top job markets among the remaining towns on the list.

Here are the Top 50 of those markets, ranked in order of median monthly income.

houston1. Houston-The Woodlands- Sugar Land, TX
Monthly Income: $3,188
Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 18.4%
Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.7%

dallas2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
Monthly Income: $2,925
Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 11.1%
Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 16.5%

houston3. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
Monthly Income: $2,890
Percentage of Listings Affordable to Recent College Grad: 13.3%
Percentage of Grad-Friendly Job Postings: 19.4%

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