Find a Job You Really Want In
When it comes to starting your career, you want to start out on the right foot.
Or, at the very least, in the right place. Sure, you could pick a state to find a job in and probably have some success.
You could also try your luck at finding a job in one of the best cities in the U.S. or even the best city in each state.
Maybe you could start your career in a mid-sized city or a small city. And we’ve heard that beach cities have it going on when it comes to starting a career.
But perhaps, you should consider narrowing your career search even further to state capitals. From low unemployment rates and rent averages to high salary rates, we found out that these state capitals want you to succeed when it comes to entering the workforce.
Best 10 State Capitals
- Pierre, South Dakota
- Bismarck, North Dakota
- Jefferson City, Missouri
- Montpelier, Vermont
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Helena, Montana
- Lincoln, Nebraska
- Topeka, Kansas
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Cheyenne, Wyoming
These cities are state capitals for a reason. Maybe it’s time for you to find out why. Treat yourself by starting a career in one of these capitals.
Once you see these average salaries and rent rates, you won’t want to look anywhere else. Plus, the unemployment rates are so low that you just know it’s not hard to find a job and keep it.
If these state capitals aren’t doing it for you, then be sure to check out the full list below to see how other state capitals fare.
How We Determined The Best State Capitals to Start Your Career
We looked at all 50 capitals and ranked them on the following areas:
- Median Income
- Average rent
We first examined median income to find the cities where young professionals can expect to bring home the biggest paychecks. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy creature comforts and pay off hefty student loans which goes a long way.
However, big paychecks can come with big bills- so next we looked at average rent costs. For those just graduating college and moving to jump-start their careers, it can be a struggle to scrape together first month’s rent, last, and a security deposit. That first paycheck may not make it into their bank account for a month! The smaller the monthly rent, the better.
Finally, we looked at average unemployment. If that first job doesn’t end up being a dream job, getting your next job is easier when you’re in a city with a strong labor market.
All of our data came from the most recent Census’ ACS.
1. Pierre, South Dakota
Unemployment Rate: 2.2
Pierre, South Dakota, is at the top of the list when it comes to starting your career. That’s because it ranks first in the nation for how cheap rent is there. At $617 a month, it truly doesn’t get any better than that. If that wasn’t enough to sell you on Pierre, then it having the second-lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. of 2.2% might be enough. Here we come, Pierre!
2. Bismarck, North Dakota
Unemployment Rate: 1.9
The second best state capital to start your career is Bismarck, North Dakota. With an unemployment rate of 1.9%, you’ll have no problem holding down a job here. Plus, with the average salary at $39,300 you’ll be able to pay that $850 rent easily enough.
3. Jefferson City, Missouri
Unemployment Rate: 4.0
Just outside of the Mizzou college town, Jefferson City, Missouri, awaits your arrival to join the workforce. The capital features the second-lowest rent average of $621 compared to the rest of the capitals.
4. Montpelier, Vermont
Unemployment Rate: 3.9
Montpelier, Vermont, is the fourth-best state capital city for your career to take off. The second-highest salary rate of $41,027 is here, and you won’t want to miss out on that. Plus with a 3.9 unemployment rate and $992 average rent, Montpelier is living up to the hype.
5. Little Rock, Arkansas
Unemployment Rate: 4.3
As if the BBQ food here wasn’t enough to make you want to move here in the first place, maybe these other factors will convince you. Like a 4.3% unemployment rate. Or the average salary of $32,751. For us, though, it’s the $850 average rent. We wish our rent was that cheap!
6. Helena, Montana
Unemployment Rate: 3.3
At No. 6, Helena, Montana, has a whole lot to offer in terms of careers. The unemployment rate of 3.3% is the third-lowest in the country. And the average monthly rent of $818 isn’t that far behind either.
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
Unemployment Rate: 3.6
Lincoln, Nebraska, is the seventh-best state capital to start your career. From the fifth-lowest unemployment rate to the 10th-lowest monthly rent, you’d be living here practically stress-free.
8. Topeka, Kansas
Unemployment Rate: 5.0
Kansas may get a bad wrap from being too flat (a.k.a. boring to drive through). But we think you should give it a chance. Especially when it comes to starting a career. Topeka, Kansas, is a great place to start with it’s $790 average rent and 5% unemployment rate.
9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Unemployment Rate: 4.8
Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains. That’s not all you’ll be singing about in the state’s capital, though. Oklahoma City has lots to offer for those who are just starting out in their careers, like an average salary of $31,434 and low monthly rent of $849.
10. Cheyenne, Wyoming
Unemployment Rate: 5.8
There are a lot of great things about Cheyenne, Wyoming, and one of those is the career potential. Cheyenne features one of the highest average salaries on this list at $36,684. And with rent only averaging $898, you won’t have any problems living here.
Summary of the Best State Capitals to Start Your Career
There is a lot of potential that lies within a state capital city. Especially for someone who is just starting their career.
We narrowed it down and found that the 10 cities listed above are the best when it comes to careers.
These cities feature low unemployment rates, low monthly rent and high salaries. The table below gives you the full picture of how all the capital cities in the U.S. rank when it comes down to these factors.
The Best and Worst State Capitals
|16||Utah||Salt Lake City||4||$31,225||$938|
|28||New Mexico||Santa Fe||5||$31,761||$1,043|