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Atlanta among top 3 best places to start a career, study finds

Thinking of jump-starting your career in Atlanta?

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According to a new analysis from personal finance website WalletHub, the metro is one of the top places in the United States to lay the foundation for recent grads or any folks entering the job market.

To determine the best and worst places to start a career, WalletHub analysts compared 182 cities, including the 150 most populated in the country and at least two of the most populated cities in each state, across two key dimensions: professional opportunities and quality of life.

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They assessed the dimensions based on 27 relevant metrics, such as number of entry-level job openings, unemployment rate, job satisfaction, median annual income, housing affordability and much more. Data used for the study was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics among other reputable sources.

The best place to start your career, according to the analysis, is Salt Lake City, which ranked first for quality of life and third for professional opportunities.

Rounding out the top three are Orlando and Atlanta.

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Here’s more on how Atlanta fared:

  • Overall rank: 3
  • Professional opportunities: 2
  • Quality of life: 11
  • Most entry-level jobs: 5
  • Percentage of adults aged 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree: 15
  • Monthly average starting salary (adjusted for cost of living): 19
  • Projected population growth (2046 vs. 2016): 40
  • Annual job growth rate (adjusted for population growth): 92

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The metro improved three spots from last year’s ranking, when it ranked sixth overall.

Atlanta has also been named one of the 50 best American cities for job seekers by employment search engine Indeed.com.

It was also recognized as one of the best cities in the world for the highest quality of living based on city infrastructure, clean drinking water and other big factors in Mercer’s 2017 Quality of Living study.

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Georgia cities Columbus (No. 171) and Augusta (No. 164) were noted as some of the country’s worst cities to start a career, according to the WalletHub ranking.

Here are the 10 best cities to start a career, according to WalletHub:

  1. Salt Lake City
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. Atlanta
  4. Charleston, South Carolina
  5. Tempe, Arizona
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Columbia, South Carolina
  8. Denver, Colorado
  9. Raleigh, North Carolina
  10. Grand Rapids, Michigan

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And the 10 worst:

  1. Santa Clarita, California
  2. Shreveport, Louisiana
  3. Oxnard, California
  4. Hialeah, Florida
  5. Newark, New Jersey
  6. Montgomery, Alabama
  7. Newport News, Virginia
  8. Jackson, Mississippi
  9. North Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. Detroit, Michigan

Read the full study and its methodology.

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