These Are The Cheapest Cities For Recent Grads

Photo: Justin Sykes/Getty Images.
While many grads are packing up and looking for job prospects, they're probably looking not only for that elusive work-life balance, but also a balance between where they can find a job and afford to live. In a new survey conducted by Trulia and Indeed, statisticians found that while a robust job market basically comes with expensive housing, there are certain cities where the two do reach a sweet spot.
"While there's no place that offers the magic combination of extensive job opportunities and easily affordable housing (and if that place existed, it probably wouldn’t stay affordable for long)," Trulia reports, "we found six metros where you can spend a bit less on housing without giving up too much on the job options."
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To find the cities, researchers looked at jobs that recent grads can actually attain. Using U.S. Census data, the survey looked at the "share of employees in each occupation that are 22 to 27 year-olds with a bachelor's degree only." Then, the report looked at the "share of rentals listed on Trulia that are reasonably priced for a typical college grad in that market" to find where recent grads can live without spending their entire paycheck ("less than 30% of monthly income," to be precise) on rent.
Huge metro areas like Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C., have plenty of job listings for recent grads, but the rental market in each of those areas prices out many candidates. Exactly where does the balance get everything just right? According to the data, Seattle, where 23.7% of all job listings are for recent grads, earns top marks. Hartford, CT, also scored high, thanks to its high median income for recent grads. Detroit ranks no. 3 overall for affordability and in Dayton, OH, 42.8% of all rentals are affordable. Pittsburg and Baltimore round out Trulia and Indeed's list.
Recent grads looking for a fresh start should keep these metros in mind if they don't mind a major relocation, but Trulia has some advice for all grads, whether they plan on heading back home or looking for new digs: "Your best bet is to do your homework this summer to find a good mix of jobs and affordable rent."
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