Here Are The Hottest Job Markets In California For 2019

by Kathy Morris
Study - 11 months ago

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Did you look for a job in 2019? If so, you probably have a general feel for how your local job market it is. Which is good. Or bad. Or somewhere in between. Cities in the same state can have dramatically different job markets. Job hunting in one part of the state can be a piece of cake, while in another city it can be a herculean task to just land an interview.

Here at Zippia, we love math (and jobs!), so we delved into the data to determine where in 2019 it was easiest to find a job in California.

Here are the top 10, most sizzling hot job markets in California for 2019:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
  2. Santa Rosa
  3. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
  4. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield
  6. Bakersfield
  7. Napa
  8. Fresno
  9. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara
  10. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande

There you have it, folks- the ten cities where it is easiest to get a job in California. Keep reading for a more detailed breakdown of how we reached these results. Your city not in the top 10? Keep scrolling to see where it landed on the full list.

How We Determined The Best Job Markets In California

We used the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics to pull data for the main California metro areas.

While unemployment rate can tell you a lot about the local job market, it is simply one metric and job markets are complex entities. We opted to take a more in-depth look at the best job markets in the country.

Each metro-area was ranked 1-to-24 in four categories:

  • Unemployment Rate
  • Change In Unemployment Rate
  • Wage Change
  • Current Average Wage

The lower the score in each category the better. For example, San Jose had an average salary of $72,358, earning it the #1 spot in Current Average Wage. The four ranked categories were then averaged together to produce our final list. The final list ranks the 24 metro areas from 1-to-24. Once again, the lower the score, the stronger the job market.

Here is a more in-depth breakdown of the top 10, with the full list at the bottom:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA


Source: Wikipedia User Sanjosecaliforn

Employed Population: 1,000,827
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Average Annual Wage: $72,358

2. Santa Rosa, CA


Source: Public Domain

Employed Population: 246,663
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Average Annual Wage: $62,697

3.Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA


Source:Wikipedia User Alfher

Employed Population:402,333
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Average Annual Wage: $62,232

4. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA


Source:Wikipedia User

Employed Population: 992,325
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%
Average Annual Wage: $66,324

5.Vallejo-Fairfield, CA


Source:Wikipedia User Eugene Zelenko

Employed Population: 192,341
Unemployment Rate: 4%
Average Annual Wage: $64,034

6. Bakersfield, CA


Source:Wikipedia User Bobak Ha’Eri

Employed Population: 349,673
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Average Annual Wage: $60,472

7. Napa, CA


Source:Wikipedia User Oleg Alexandrov

Employed Population: 70,513
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Average Annual Wage: $63,771

8. Fresno, CA


Source:Wikipedia User Gemini2525

Employed Population: 395,031
Unemployment Rate: 7.3%
Average Annual Wage: $57,349

9. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA


Source:Wikipedia User Mr. Brendel

Employed Population: 205,852
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
Average Annual Wage: 62,243

10. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA


Source:Wikipedia User User:Basar

Employed Population: 132,067
Unemployment Rate: 3%
Average Annual Wage: $59,195

Measuring The Best Job Markets

You might be reading this and thinking, “Hey, I live in San Jose and have been unemployed for months- this can’t be right!” That’s entirely possible.

While San Jose and the surrounding metro area have the hottest job market in California, personal finances can be, well, personal. Education, work experience, and occupation all play a big role in securing a job. However, overall, job seekers in San Jose will have an easier time than those in El Centro, which came in dead last.

Check out the full list below to see where your city landed.

Rank City Unemployment Rate Employed Population Average Wage
1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara 2 1,000,827 72,358
2 Santa Rosa 2 246,663 62,697
3 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura 3 402,333 62,232
4 Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade 3 992,325 66,324
5 Vallejo-Fairfield 4 192,341 64,034
6 Bakersfield 7 349,673 60,472
7 Napa 2 70,513 63,771
8 Fresno 7 395,031 57,349
9 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara 3 205,852 62,243
10 San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande 3 132,067 59,195
11 San Diego-Carlsbad 3 1,471,425 65,450
12 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 4 1,824,810 61,823
13 Santa Cruz-Watsonville 4 132,575 63,663
14 Salinas 6 201,653 63,498
15 Visalia-Porterville 9 179,078 54,447
16 Madera 7 53,526 55,317
17 Merced 8 101,562 54,680
18 Stockton-Lodi 6 287,192 57,471
19 Yuba City 7 65,251 58,547
20 Modesto 6 218,119 55,989
21 Redding 5 68,435 55,670
22 Chico 5 93,930 52,891
23 Hanford-Corcoran 7 51,702 54,286
24 El Centro 19 58,727 53,387

Curious where this lands them nationally? Check out our national ranking of the best job markets in the US.

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