We surveyed 3,000 full-time workers, an equal number from ten of the most popular job sectors, to better understand the unique and sometimes poor relationship between managers and employees.
GoodHire analyzed data from 155 US cities — those with a labor force of more than 150,000 — to uncover the best cities for opportunity and affordability in 2022. Join us as we dig into the key factors that make American cities great places to live, work and flourish financially.
2021 was a tumultuous year for many Americans. Across the country we dealt with continued restraints and restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, threats to an already shaky labor market, spiking housing costs, and record inflation that saw prices increase at the fastest rate in 40 years. Many Americans have struggled this past year, and those same people are looking for financial relief in 2022.
So, what is the source of that relief? Will financial relief for Americans arrive in the form of a new job, a salary raise, cheaper rent, or a refinanced mortgage? Will it necessitate relocation to a new city with increased opportunities for financial stability? Our research shows the latter may indeed be the case.
Data from North American Moving Services shows that 20% more Americans moved in 2021 compared to 2020. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report shared that “2021 brought an acceleration of moves to smaller, midsized towns and cities,” because of a desire to leave high density areas due to risk of COVID-19 infection, but also due to Americans perception of work flexibility in 2022. Add in the cost of a home or rent in major cities, and a 2022 move to more affordable cities that also offer great work opportunities makes sense.
Therefore, if a person needs to make a major move in 2022, what guides their decision, and ultimately, where would they like to go?
To provide answers, data scientists at GoodHire crunched the numbers using data sourced from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the US Department of Commerce.
We dug into seven key factors for cities in the US with a labor force of more than 150,000 people. Each of the following seven key factors were weighted appropriately and scaled. Our data scientists then calculated the weighted sum of the factors to obtain the final score and create a list of the most affordable places to live and work in America in 2022.
- Wage Growth (20% weight)
- Unemployment Rate (10% weight)
- Job Growth (20% weight)
- Percentage of Jobs Open (10% weight)
- Renter Affordability (15% weight)
- Homeowner Affordability (15% weight)
- Real Per Capita Personal Income (10% weight)
Now, let’s check out some of the key findings.
America’s Most (& Least) Affordable Cities In 2022
Let’s start by taking a look at the most and least affordable cities.
Above you’ll see that Sioux Falls, SD is the big winner in 2022, with the best total score and the top ranking among all US cities. Reno, NV, Provo, UT, Madison, WI, and Huntsville, AL round out the top five.
Joining them on the top ten list are a few southern gems—Charleston, SC, Spartanburg, SC, and Fayetteville, AR, along with two popular Utah cities—Ogden and Salt Lake City.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles, CA lands as the least affordable city in 2022 and is joined in the bottom ten by the Big Apple—New York City.
Other cities on the bottom ten list include: Hartford, CT, Corpus Christi, TX, Bakersfield, CA, Shreveport, LA, Modesto, CA, El Paso, TX, Rockford, IL, and McAllen, TX.
If you’re relocating and looking for the most bang for your buck, these least affordable locales are not your best choices.
America’s Best Jobs Markets In 2022
We combined the factors of job opportunities, earning potential, and housing affordability, and that allowed us to uncover the most affordable places across the country. Now, let’s take a look at the major factors individually. First up, job markets.
With many people across the country getting called back to the office, it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable in a city with plenty of employment opportunities. You never know when your perception of the meaning and purpose at work might change, subsequently leading to an immediate job hunt in your city.
If you’re moving and looking for a city with endless job openings and career opportunities, look no further than the top five employment score leaders, including Reno, NV, Spartanburg, SC, Savannah, GA, Provo, UT, Boise, ID. And don’t forget about the cities rounding out the top ten—Naples, FL, Ogden, UT, Salt Lake City, UT, Phoenix, AZ, and Palm Bay, FL.
America’s Most Affordable Housing Markets In 2022
In 2022, many Americans have found great joy and purpose via the opportunity to work remotely. Additionally, that same ability to work from anywhere in the country has prompted many Americans to consider making a move to cities with more affordable housing and rent.
Why stick around New York City or Los Angeles where home and rent prices are through the roof when you could reduce your expenses by finding a new home in one of the most affordable housing or rental markets in the country?
If that’s what you’re looking for, then the winners above—cities with the highest affordability score—should be on the top of your list, especially the top five cities, including Fayetteville, AR, Sioux Falls, SD, Green Bay, WI, Cincinnati, OH, and Davenport, IA.
Additionally, the rest of the top ten—Pittsburgh, PA, Des Moines, IA, Omaha, NE, Columbus, OH, and Madison, WI—are fantastic choices as well for families, new college graduates, and others looking for a more affordable city to call home.
Finally, let’s take a look at the full rundown of all US cities and how they stack up in terms of opportunity and affordability. Americans can use this list to pursue employment opportunities in cities where life is simply more affordable.
The Full List Of The Most Affordable Cities To Live & Work In 2022
|1||Sioux Falls, SD Metro Area||80.1|
|2||Reno, NV Metro Area||79.7|
|3||Provo-Orem, UT Metro Area||78.0|
|4||Madison, WI Metro Area||77.5|
|5||Huntsville, AL Metro Area||77.3|
|6||Charleston-North Charleston, SC Metro Area||76.4|
|7||Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR Metro Area||76.1|
|8||Ogden-Clearfield, UT Metro Area||75.3|
|9||Salt Lake City, UT Metro Area||74.4|
|10||Spartanburg, SC Metro Area||72.6|
|11||Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA Metro Area||71.4|
|12||Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Metro Area||71.0|
|13||Boise City, ID Metro Area||70.7|
|14||Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metro Area||70.2|
|15||Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN Metro Area||70.0|
|16||Raleigh-Cary, NC Metro Area||69.9|
|17||Oklahoma City, OK Metro Area||69.5|
|18||Green Bay, WI Metro Area||69.2|
|19||Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN Metro Area||68.4|
|20||Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metro Area||68.0|
|21||St. Louis, MO-IL Metro Area||66.9|
|22||Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX Metro Area||66.5|
|23||Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA Metro Area||66.4|
|24||Columbus, OH Metro Area||66.3|
|25||Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metro Area||66.2|
|26||Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ Metro Area||66.0|
|27||Kansas City, MO-KS Metro Area||65.3|
|28||Fort Wayne, IN Metro Area||64.8|
|29||Greenville-Anderson, SC Metro Area||64.7|
|30||Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metro Area||64.6|
|31||Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC Metro Area||64.0|
|32||Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL Metro Area||63.6|
|33||Knoxville, TN Metro Area||63.4|
|34||Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC Metro Area||63.3|
|35||Lincoln, NE Metro Area||63.3|
|36||Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA Metro Area||63.2|
|37||Naples-Marco Island, FL Metro Area||63.1|
|38||Ann Arbor, MI Metro Area||62.9|
|39||Springfield, MO Metro Area||62.4|
|40||Tulsa, OK Metro Area||62.1|
|41||Salem, OR Metro Area||61.6|
|42||Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metro Area||61.1|
|43||Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Metro Area||60.9|
|44||Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI Metro Area||60.4|
|45||Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC Metro Area||59.9|
|46||Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL Metro Area||59.7|
|47||Savannah, GA Metro Area||59.6|
|48||Pittsburgh, PA Metro Area||59.5|
|49||Jacksonville, FL Metro Area||59.5|
|50||Tucson, AZ Metro Area||59.2|
|51||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metro Area||58.9|
|52||Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI Metro Area||58.7|
|53||Colorado Springs, CO Metro Area||58.3|
|54||Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area||58.0|
|55||Columbia, SC Metro Area||57.9|
|56||Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA Metro Area||57.5|
|57||Port St. Lucie, FL Metro Area||57.3|
|58||Tallahassee, FL Metro Area||57.1|
|59||Lexington-Fayette, KY Metro Area||56.5|
|60||Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Metro Area||56.0|
|61||Canton-Massillon, OH Metro Area||55.3|
|62||Boulder, CO Metro Area||55.0|
|63||Evansville, IN-KY Metro Area||54.8|
|64||Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL Metro Area||54.6|
|65||Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metro Area||54.5|
|66||York-Hanover, PA Metro Area||53.8|
|67||Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metro Area||53.3|
|68||Lancaster, PA Metro Area||52.7|
|69||San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA Metro Area||52.6|
|70||Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metro Area||52.3|
|71||Wichita, KS Metro Area||52.2|
|72||Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metro Area||52.1|
|73||Greeley, CO Metro Area||51.9|
|74||Cleveland-Elyria, OH Metro Area||51.7|
|75||Chattanooga, TN-GA Metro Area||51.6|
|76||Trenton-Princeton, NJ Metro Area||50.4|
|77||Portland-South Portland, ME Metro Area||50.0|
|78||Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL Metro Area||49.8|
|79||Dayton-Kettering, OH Metro Area||49.5|
|80||Lansing-East Lansing, MI Metro Area||49.2|
|81||Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metro Area||49.1|
|82||Albuquerque, NM Metro Area||48.6|
|83||Asheville, NC Metro Area||48.5|
|84||Lubbock, TX Metro Area||48.2|
|85||Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Metro Area||48.0|
|86||Kalamazoo-Portage, MI Metro Area||48.0|
|87||Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metro Area||48.0|
|88||Killeen-Temple, TX Metro Area||48.0|
|89||Wilmington, NC Metro Area||47.9|
|90||Fort Collins, CO Metro Area||47.7|
|91||Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI Metro Area||47.4|
|92||Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA Metro Area||46.9|
|93||Toledo, OH Metro Area||46.7|
|94||Winston-Salem, NC Metro Area||46.4|
|95||Gainesville, FL Metro Area||46.3|
|96||Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro Area||46.2|
|97||Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metro Area||46.1|
|98||Roanoke, VA Metro Area||45.7|
|99||South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI Metro Area||45.6|
|100||Eugene-Springfield, OR Metro Area||45.3|
|101||Visalia, CA Metro Area||45.3|
|102||Buffalo-Cheektowaga, NY Metro Area||45.1|
|103||Rochester, NY Metro Area||44.9|
|104||Baton Rouge, LA Metro Area||44.8|
|105||Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL Metro Area||44.5|
|106||Anchorage, AK Metro Area||44.4|
|107||Montgomery, AL Metro Area||44.4|
|108||Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area||43.9|
|109||Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV Metro Area||43.6|
|110||North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL Metro Area||43.5|
|111||Flint, MI Metro Area||43.1|
|112||Reading, PA Metro Area||43.0|
|113||Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metro Area||42.8|
|114||Peoria, IL Metro Area||42.8|
|115||Richmond, VA Metro Area||42.3|
|116||Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metro Area||42.0|
|117||Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metro Area||41.9|
|118||Akron, OH Metro Area||41.7|
|119||Syracuse, NY Metro Area||41.6|
|120||San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metro Area||41.3|
|121||Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA Metro Area||41.1|
|122||Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metro Area||40.7|
|123||Gulfport-Biloxi, MS Metro Area||40.5|
|124||Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metro Area||40.4|
|125||Greensboro-High Point, NC Metro Area||39.6|
|126||Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metro Area||39.6|
|127||Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metro Area||39.4|
|128||Lafayette, LA Metro Area||39.2|
|129||Stockton, CA Metro Area||39.1|
|130||Fresno, CA Metro Area||37.7|
|131||Salinas, CA Metro Area||36.6|
|132||Jackson, MS Metro Area||35.7|
|133||Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metro Area||35.0|
|134||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metro Area||34.5|
|135||Salisbury, MD-DE Metro Area||34.5|
|136||Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metro Area||33.6|
|137||Vallejo, CA Metro Area||33.5|
|138||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL Metro Area||33.4|
|139||Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metro Area||33.4|
|140||San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA Metro Area||33.4|
|141||Brownsville-Harlingen, TX Metro Area||32.0|
|142||New Orleans-Metairie, LA Metro Area||32.0|
|143||Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA Metro Area||31.9|
|144||Mobile, AL Metro Area||31.7|
|145||Urban Honolulu, HI Metro Area||31.6|
|146||McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metro Area||31.4|
|147||Rockford, IL Metro Area||29.8|
|148||New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area||29.5|
|149||El Paso, TX Metro Area||29.3|
|150||Modesto, CA Metro Area||28.9|
|151||Shreveport-Bossier City, LA Metro Area||28.5|
|152||Bakersfield, CA Metro Area||27.4|
|153||Corpus Christi, TX Metro Area||26.9|
|154||Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT Metro Area||25.7|
|155||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metro Area||23.5|
For more information on GoodHire’s research or to request graphics or an interview about this study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To rank America’s most affordable places, GoodHire analyzed seven key factors from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and U.S. Department of Commerce. These factors make up a formula to determine the most affordable places to live and work in 2022. The factors include: wage growth, unemployment rate, job growth, percentage of jobs open, renter affordability, homeowner affordability, and real per capita personal income. Each factor was weighted appropriately by GoodHire’s data science team and scaled, giving each a value between 1 and 100. Only cities with a labor force of more than 150,000 were included in this analysis.
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