The Economic Policy Institute reported in early March that entry-level wages of male and female college graduates have fallen in recent years; no surprise there.  The average hourly wage for graduates aged 23-29 has fallen to $21.68 for men (a whooping 11% decrease in the past ten years) and $18.80 for women, which is a 6.7% decrease.

So where can recent graduates go for jobs?  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has data showing the unemployment rate dropping from September 2011 to March 2012, but where are those jobs?  Utilizing the articles and databases of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to start informing yourself about where the jobs are in your field.

Forbes has released an article naming ten cities to be the Best Cities For New College Grads.  The cities to win the lowest unemployment rate of the ten is tied, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. and Washington, D.C., including Arlington and Alexandria, Va. at 5.5%.  The latter also has the highest mean wages hourly as of May 2010 at $29.95.  Other cities to make the list are Boston, Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Raleign/Durham, and Austin.

MSNBC released an article in September of 2011, which would add Hartford-New Haven, Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and St. Louis to the list of best metropolitan areas to start out in.

So what are these cities ranked on?  What makes a city great enough to make the cut?  These lists are based on job markets and local economies, but there are many other factors that you should consider.  Is there a metropolitan area that has a growing job market that is within commuting distance to a family’s house?  Living at home is not always ideal, but spending a year or two crashing with Mom and Dad can save you enough money to put a down payment on a place of your own, or at least help you save enough to get you on your feet.

Coed Magazine posted an interesting infographic in the beginning of the year that is worth checking out:

Moving to an area based on statistics without a job prospect can lead to a great adventure, but not always a great career.  Start your job hunt within these areas first before packing up and jumping in.


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