10 Least Competitive Job Markets

Where the number of job openings is more aligned with the volume of job seekers.

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It's not always useful to talk about the condition of the job market nationally, because job markets can be quite different between cities. There are plenty of reasons for this, including differences in how local industries have fared, and how volatile home values have been through the recession. Also, some cities entered the downturn with higher unemployment rates.

[See 5 things to know about hiring right now.]

For a look at how competitiveness for jobs varies between metros, a new report from job search engine Indeed.com ranks the nation's 50 most populous cities by the ratio of job postings to the number of unemployed workers in June. Indeed does a broad comb of company and association Web sites, job boards, newspapers and blogs for its postings.

Washington is, no surprise, the city that had the most job postings for the number of unemployed in June, with a ratio of 6 to 1. Of course, the nation's capital tends to draw job seekers from throughout the country, as opposed to just the local pool of workers, which certainly cranks up the competitiveness.

Jacksonville, Fla., is a suprising no. 2 spot, given its June unemployment rate of 10.5 percent. If employers are ramping up hiring, the Labor Department data should improve in the coming months. Both Baltimore and New York moved up four spots from past rankings, according to Indeed, suggesting that either those job markets are improving, or there were seasonal conditions that boosted postings for the month in those cities.

[See 9 things to know about the job market of the future.]

The top 10 cities are ranked below, along with their ratios. (Note that the ratios are rounded, and the rankings reflect the unrounded data.)

  1. Washington, D.C.   6:1
  2. Jacksonville, Fla.   3:1
  3. Baltimore, Md.   1:1
  4. Salt Lake City   1:2
  5. New York, NY.   1:2
  6. San Jose, Calif.   1:2
  7. Hartford, Conn.   1:2
  8. Oklahoma City, Okla.   1:3
  9. Austin, Texas   1:3
  10. Boston   1:3
  11. Next, the bad news: The last-ranked and most competitive job market—by far—was Detroit, which had 18 unemployed job seekers for every job posting in June.

    Miami was second to last, with 10 unemployed workers for every posting. Southern California's metro area ratios also depicted a challenging environment for job seekers—Riverside and Los Angeles were ranked in the bottom four.

    You can read the whole list here.


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