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Best Job Markets for Recent Grads? Not in Maryland

It’s graduation season, meaning hundreds of thousands of American high school, college and graduate school students are about to hit the job market. Where are the best places for them to start a career — to find good jobs, rewarding long-term career prospects and desirable lifestyles?

Not, according to a survey from a financial news website, in Maryland.

Using 28 metrics, the website WalletHub compared 182 U.S. cities — including the 150 most populated cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across two key dimensions, “Professional Opportunities” and “Quality of Life.”

In the “Professional Opportunities” category, WalletHub tabulated several considerations, including availability of entry-level jobs and starting salaries, poverty and unemployment rates, workforce diversity, job satisfaction and more.

In the “Quality of Life” category, considerations included median annual income, share of population aged 25 to 34, projected population growth, housing affordability, “fun-friendliness,” and family-friendliness.

With all these metrics in mind, the top 10 U.S. cities in which to start a career are: Salt Lake City; Orlando; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Columbia, S.C.; Seattle; Overland Park, Kansas; Durham, N.C.; and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Washington, D.C., clocked in at No. 57 on the list. In Maryland, Columbia was at No. 64. Baltimore was way down at No. 167. At the very bottom of the list, at No. 182? Newark, N.J.

“Unfortunately, new graduates aren’t entering the market at a great time, as the unemployment rate for people ages 20 through 24 was 10.5% in April 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” WalletHub writes. “The good news is that employers plan to hire 7.2% more graduates from the Class of 2021 than they did from the Class of 2020.”

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Best Job Markets for Recent Grads? Not in Maryland