Skip to main content

The City Journals

Utah ranks nationally as one of 2022’s best places to find a job

Feb 02, 2022 02:39PM ● By Lizzie Walie

WalletHub’s comprehensive 2022 study names Salt Lake City as one of the best locations for job market opportunity in the nation. (Photo courtesy of Searchsaltlake.com)

By Lizzie Walje | [email protected]

Despite the collective labor struggle currently at play throughout the nation, according to Wallethub.com, Salt Lake City ranks as one of the best locations in 2022 for jobs and job seekers in the United States. According to WalletHub’s Communications Manager Diana Polk, multiple job markets across the United States were weighed and tested based on certain criteria. 

“To determine the strongest local job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 31 key metrics. The data set ranges from job opportunities to employment growth to monthly average starting salary,” Polk said. 

Salt Lake City was bested only by Columbia, Maryland as the top choice for best city for jobs. Incidentally, several West Coast cities were also present on the top 10 list for best job cities including San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose. As for the worst cities for job growth? Louisiana featured the No. 1 worst city, Baton Rouge, and another contender with Shreveport. 

What makes Salt Lake City such an attractive option for job searchers? According to Adam McMann, a financial writer for WalletHub, the methodology for the study called upon a significant amount of data for consideration. 

In order to determine the best job markets in the U.S., WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state across two key dimensions. “Job market and socioeconomics,” McMann said.

“We then evaluated the two dimensions using 31 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for job seekers….Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. In determining our sample, we considered only the city proper in each case, excluding cities in the surrounding metro area,” McMann said.

The metrics that held the most weight were those linked to job opportunities and satisfaction such as availability, employment growth, industry variety, unemployment rate, and overall job satisfaction. The study further compounded these results by adding in socioeconomic criteria as well like median annual income, safety, transportation costs and availability, vaccination rate, average commute, housing affordability, and life satisfaction surrounding dating, recreation and overall friendliness. 

Ironically, Salt Lake City ranked the highest when it came to the job market. However, when factoring in its socioeconomics score of 23, Salt Lake City was knocked to the second slot when combining both job market and socioeconomics. Another Utah city, Salt Lake’s neighboring West Valley City, also made WalletHub’s list as the 22nd best city for jobs. In essence, despite the overall challenges faced in the years of Covid-19, Salt Lake City proves a relatively promising frontier for job seekers.

Despite the promising shifts in unemployment rates, John Winters, a professor of economics at Iowa State University urges for cautious optimism. “The unemployment rate for 2022 will depend on Covid variants and policy responses, and there is much uncertainty in those. That said, the economy is currently quite strong, and I expect that will likely continue through 2022.” 

As for tips for getting gainful employment, Winters believes your best bet is to strike a balance regarding the types of work you apply for.

“Historically, one of the biggest mistakes people make is limiting their search too much or not searching at all. Most workers early in their careers should cast a very wide net and apply to many different jobs, including outside their local area,” Winters said.

Most experts who contributed to the study agreed that while the economy is certainly in a better spot than it was in 2020, it’s still best to operate with caution and make smart moves related to your current employment status. Trying to reform your circumstances in your current place of employment is always a smart first step. However, at this time, Winters does encourage those with jobs to be on the continuous lookout for new and better opportunities.

“Furthermore, [people] should keep an eye out for new and better opportunities even when they have a job,” Winters said. “The best way to get a pay raise is to change jobs or have an attractive outside job offer and negotiate with your current employer to stay.”