Special Report

32 Worst Cities to Find a Job for Recent Graduates

After finishing college, most graduates strike out on their own, looking for a job where they can apply their recently-earned degree. With a very low U.S. unemployment rate and a record-setting streak of 106 consecutive months of job growth, 2019 might be one of the best years in recent memory for job seekers.

Despite the overall strength of the U.S. job market, entry-level jobs for college graduates cannot be found everywhere. There are several cities where recent college graduates are much more likely to struggle to find a career in their field.

24/7 Wall St. created an index using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Workforce Indicators to determine the worst cities to find a job for recent college graduates. The index consists of three components: job growth for young workers, wages for young workers, and the concentration of jobs in sectors that tend to require a college education in U.S. metropolitan statistical areas.

Many of the worst cities for recent college grads are located in states with challenging economic conditions. Certain states have few full-time jobs available, and these jobs are often filled by people with work experience in the field — something recent college grads usually do not have. These are the states where it is hardest to find full-time work.

There is a big difference between having a job and having a good job. If young adults take a low-paying job, it can set them back for years by preventing them from saving their money and becoming more financially secure with time. Even if they are hired in their desired field, that is no guarantee they will be financially secure. Many college grads earn relatively little, sometimes less than $40,000 per year–or roughly $20,000 less than that of the typical worker with a bachelor’s degree. These are the worst paying jobs for college graduates.

Click here to see the 32 worst cities to find a job for recent graduates
Click here to read our methodology