In Felicity, one of the 1990's quintessential coming-of-age dramas, actress Keri Russell portrays the title character, Felicity Porter, a high-strung, high-school graduate who follows her longtime crush to New York City instead of enrolling at Stanford. Felicity's parents are horrified and most of the people who know her are surprised by her impulsivity, but things end up mostly okay for the television heroine by the series' end.
We can all debate the creep factor of someone uprooting their life to chase after a person who barely knows they're alive, but it's inarguable that people do move, reasonably, for love. People also move to places they've always aspired to live, where their dream industry is, where their current industry takes them, or where the cost of living is affordable. Glassdoor's 2017 list of the 25 best cities for jobs, released today, takes some of that into account.
The cities were selected based on three factors: ease of getting a job, cost of living, and job satisfaction. Although there is some overlap, Glassdoor's 2016 list of best cities is pretty different — with the West and East Coasts claiming the top spots. This year, the Midwest won.
Glassdoor's chief economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain says that's because last year's report included work-life balance as an additional factor, since "we know this is something job seekers consider when looking for a new employment opportunity." However, he says Glassdoor's goal this year was to hone in on the three aforementioned factors, and showcase areas that people with slightly different motivations might appreciate.
"This list isn't necessarily designed for extremely career-driven individuals looking for the best jobs in major cities with the best brand names, workplace culture or benefits. This report is for people who want to find a job they will be satisfied in relatively easily, as well as be able to afford living in their city," Chamberlain explains. "It illustrates to job seekers and employees who may be looking for a new job that it may be worth broadening your horizons beyond famous U.S. cities — you may find a few surprising opportunities that fit your life."
A bigger city isn't necessarily a better city, he says, which is why many more mid-sized metro areas, such as Pittsburgh and Indianapolis, made this year's list. What's more is that shifting the idea of what makes a great city also made room for a wider variety of industries that pay living wages.
"While wages in major metropolitan cities tend to normalize based on the local cost of living, the ratio of median base pay to median home value for cities like San Francisco or New York City greatly underpaces that of other mid-sized cities like Cleveland or St. Louis, which negatively impacted these major tech and healthcare hubs for purposes of this list," Chamberlain adds.
So, if a particular city was a more expensive one for home ownership, had a higher cost of living that made it difficult for employees to live comfortably, or had a low satisfaction rating from local employees, it ranked lower on the list — gleaming metropolis or not.