The 4 worst cities to find a job

How to Land a Job

The unemployment rate is down for the country at large, but the recovery has been pretty spotty and these rates vary widely state-to-state. It's important that folks looking for work understand the landscape of the current job market, so that they can make the best decisions for their futures. Recently, WalletHub released their report on 2016's Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job.

Some of the 17 metrics analyzed by WalletHub in order to rank these cities carried especially important weight. Cities toward the bottom of the list tended to have high unemployment rates and high cost of living rates as well. Let's take a closer look at the cities ranked as the worst places to find a job in 2016.

1. Stockton, California.

Stockton, California was determined to be the worst city to find a job in 2016. It has the third highest unemployment rate of all the cities listed, and partially as a result, a high poverty rate as well.

When asked about this city as well as other California towns that topped the list, Jill Gonzalez, analyst with WalletHub said, "A lot of cities there, Stockton, Ontario, San Bernardino, are still feeling effects from the recession; they have not yet fully recovered from bankruptcy, recession, and other types of strife."

She also mentioned that things are better in other parts of California because of "the tech boom" which is "alive and well" in places such as Silicon Valley.

2. Fresno, California.

Fresno, California had the highest unemployment rate of all the cities profiled; it was tied with Detroit, Michigan. This large inland city does have a lot of potential though, and a lot to offer, from great food, to museums, and even a minor league ball park. There have been some indications of economic growth in recent years. Hopefully the tide will continue to turn in that direction.

3. Detroit, Michigan.

With a high unemployment rate and a low median annual income (adjusted for cost of living) it's not hard to understand why Detroit made this list. Gonzalez is hopeful though for the future of many cities in the Midwest:

"The Midwest is actually making really huge climbs in lists like this because a lot of entrepreneurs are going from the big colleges and universities and settling down there and creating their own companies," she said. "They're really pulling from top talent and getting more bang for their buck, stretching their investment dollars further as well."

A year after the city filed for bankruptcy, there are positive signs that the economy in Detroit is improving. Hopefully, we will see this city's rank change for the better in the years to come.

4. Modesto, California.

Modesto, California is currently ranked as the fourth worst city to find a job. A high crime rate has followed unemployment problems, but the city is working hard to get back on its feet and there are some indications that an economic breakthrough could be on the way.

For now though, living in these cities could be a real challenge, particularly if you're looking for work. Gonzalez offered some advice for people in this position:

"You have to think of moving of course," she said. "There are some upfront costs there, but in the long run it really might pay off for you for years to come."

For more information, be sure to check out the full report.

Related: See the 13 best jobs with under 40 hours per week:

13 Hottest Jobs For Under 40 Hours
See Gallery
The 4 worst cities to find a job

13. Postal service clerks

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.32

Median earned income: $51,000

What they do: Perform any combination of tasks in a post office like receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail racks or in bags; and examine mail for correct postage.

(Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images)

12. Speech-language pathologists

Average hours typically worked a week: 36.17

Median earned income: $54,000

What they do: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders.

(Jayme Poisson via Getty Images)

11. Registered nurses​

Average hours typically worked a week: 37.59

Median earned income: $56,000

What they do: Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing-care plans, and maintain medical records

(Reza Estakhrian via Getty Images)

10. Psychologists

Average hours typically worked a week: 36.75 

Median earned income: $56,000

What they do: Diagnose or evaluate mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observations, interviews, and psychological tests and formulate and administer programs of treatment.

(Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

9. Chiropractors

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.75

Median earned income: $60,000

What they do: Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system.

(Yellow Dog Productions via Getty Images)

8. Occupational therapists

Average hours typically worked a week: 36.02 

Median earned income: $60,000

What they do: Provide rehabilitative treatments and procedures that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills.

(Dan Porges via Getty Images)

7. Technical writers​

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.61

Median earned income: $62,000

What they do: Write technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices, or operating and maintenance instructions.

(Thomas Barwick via Getty Images)

6. Physical therapists

Average hours typically worked a week: 37.43 

Median earned income: $63,000

What they do: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

5. Audiologists

Average hours typically worked a week: 37.77

Median earned income: $64,000

What they do: Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders.

(Boston Globe via Getty Images)

4. Radiation therapists

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.40

Median earned income: $70,000

What they do: Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards.

(Thomas Tolstrup via Getty Images)

3. Optometrists

Average hours typically worked a week: 39.03

Median earned income: $100,000

What they do: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system.

(Vince Talotta via Getty Images)

2. Pharmacists

Average hours typically worked a week: 38.38

Median earned income: $102,000

What they do: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use.


1. Dentists

Average hours typically worked a week: 37.83

Median earned income: $130,000

What they do:Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums.

(Don Bartletti via Getty Images)


More on
The most (and least) expensive city for a gallon of milk
Most Americans aren't financially ready for a $1,000 emergency
9 cities where it's getting cheaper to rent this year

Read Full Story

From Our Partners