Happiest and Unhappiest Cities to Work in the U.S.

happiest cities to work in If you love everything about your job, from your salary to the benefits to the work/life balance it provides, chances are you live in Northern California, where the two happiest cities for workers in America, are located. If you hate your job and your boss, and you see little room for advancement, you may be living in St. Paul, Indianapolis or Omaha. Since these are the U.S. cities with the least job satisfaction, according to an extensive recent survey conducted byCareerBliss.com.

CareerBliss analyzed data from more than 200,000 independent company reviews on which the employees were asked to rate their employers based on eight factors that affect work happiness: growth opportunities, compensation, benefits, work-life balance, career advancement, senior management, job security and whether the employee would recommend the company to others.

The ten happiest cities, in order, are:

  1. San Jose, Calif.
  2. San Francisco, Calif.
  3. Jacksonville, Fla.
  4. Miami, Fla.
  5. Washington, D.C.
  6. Memphis, Tenn.
  7. El Paso, Texas
  8. Los Angeles, Calif
  9. San Diego, Calif.
  10. Birmingham, Ala.

San Jose and San Francisco are not surprising -- both are Meccas for the high tech industry, a sector in which employees are particularly happy and well paid. Some companies, like Google, go out of their way to make sure they keep top talent by paying them well and giving them what some consider to be outrageous perks. The high tech industry is also notorious for helping their employees achieve high levels of work/life balance, creativity and room for advancement.

Matt Miller, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of CareerBliss says "A field that often yields happy employees is information technology. The city of San Jose comes in first overall with happy workers, and San Jose is home to Silicon Valley, a technology hub, where tech jobs provide growth opportunities, advancement and good compensation. All of these factors can have a significant impact on scores."

Find out if your city makes the top fifty happiest working cities by visiting CareerBliss.com.

Both San Jose and San Francisco also have an average salary that exceeds most cities. For example, CareerBliss data indicates that the average annual salary in San Jose is $82,000 a year, whereas the average salary in Minneapolis is $62,000 a year.

It's a little more surprising, however, to see a small city like Jacksonville come in at number three. Alia Henson, CareerBliss Director of Communications, noted that Bank of America is one of the area's largest employers, and it's employees ranked their jobs high in all areas.

Henson also notes that areas where there is a high military population, such as El Paso, San Diego and Washington, DC, also rank high. She says military men and women consistently rank their job satisfaction in almost all areas extremely high.

Another interesting finding of the survey is that compensation does not always equate to happiness. Factors like work/life balance and job security are becoming increasingly important to workers these days.

Heidi Golledge, Co-founder and CEO of CareerBliss says, "There is never just one factor that contributes to overall work happiness. In the CareerBliss Happiest Cities to Work list you will find employees who not only feel they have an opportunity to grow their career, but find there is a sense of work-life balance and good compensation in the city they work."

"Some may be surprised that a smaller city like El Paso, Texas actually outranks large metropolitan areas like New York and Chicago," Golledge adds. Those major cities, along with Atlanta and Philadelphia, ranked neither high nor low on the list.

The unhappiest cities to work in are:

  1. St. Paul, Minn.
  2. Indianapolis, Ind.
  3. Omaha, Neb.
  4. Cleveland, Ohio
  5. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  6. Salt Lake City, Utah
  7. Brooklyn, N.Y.
  8. Tucson, Ariz
  9. Portland, Ore.
  10. Tampa, Fla.

Most of those cities ranked low in job security, work/life balance and opportunities for growth. "The don't have booming economies where one particular industry or company stands out, and compensation is lower," observed Henson.

One commonality that can't be denied, although it wasn't measured, is the fact that almost all the happiest cities have mild climates, while most of the unhappiest often have long and brutal winters. "We've thought of adding weather factors to the survey next time, since trend seems so obvious," said Henson.

Next:Find your happiness, then find your job

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