Investing

The Ten Best Cities For Educated Workers

10. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
> Unemployment rate: 10.4%
> Change in unemployment from pre-recession low: +5.8%
> Median household income: $85,020

Although San Jose has an exceptionally small education gap, it has an above-average unemployment rate. This is because the city’s manufacturing sector took a major hit during the recession. The city’s population is highly educated due in large part to the technology industry. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is headquartered in the city, which has been nicknamed the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” and other large tech companies, such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), employ many people there.

9. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Unemployment rate: 7.5%
> Change in unemployment from pre-recession low: +3.7%
> Median household income: $65,101

Minneapolis’s education gap is kept small by the University of Minnesota, which is located in the metropolitan area, and by a number of successful local companies that continue to hire. Six different Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in the city, including Target (NYSE: TGT), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP). Unemployment increased 3.7% since the pre-recession low — a small amount relative to most of the country’s metropolitan areas.

8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
> Unemployment rate: 7.1%
> Change in unemployment from pre-recession low: +3%
> Median household income: $69,907

The Boston metropolitan area is home to some of the top schools in the world, including Harvard, Tufts and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These schools support the area’s demand for a highly educated workforce. Boston has highly developed health care and education industries. Both fields have been among the most resilient during the recession, according to Brookings.

7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Unemployment rate: 9.1%
> Change in unemployment from pre-recession low: +5%
> Median household income: $64,219

Seattle is considered one of the most literate cities in the U.S. There are nearly 20 colleges and universities within the city limits. It is also home to several large companies, including Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which is the second-biggest employer in the city. Boeing (NYSE: BA) relocated its corporate headquarters to Chicago some years ago, but still remains Seattle’s biggest employer, which is why the city is often called “Jet City.”

6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
> Unemployment rate: 10.1%
> Change in unemployment from pre-recession low: +5.8%
> Median household income: $74,876

San Francisco is a major biotechnology and biomedical center. The city’s technology industry, which is closely tied to neighboring San Jose, has drawn thousands of highly educated, skilled workers to the area in recent years, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Despite this, the metropolitan area has an above-average unemployment rate. This is primarily the result of “the difficulty of being in California during the recession,” says Brookings’s Jonathan Rothwell. The state was badly hurt by the collapse of the housing bubble.