This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com.
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has impacted nearly all facets of life, and one of the most difficult challenges for Americans to deal with has been the disruption to the job market, a fact that can jeopardize their hard-earned savings.
While the national unemployment rate was still a substantial 11.1% in June 2020, this percentage marks a decline from previous months as people across the U.S. look for ways to adjust to the new normal and ways to stay employed.
Some parts of the U.S., though, have a better chance of offering job prospects in this environment. SmartAsset analyzed data from various sources to find the metro areas in the country with the best career opportunities in the COVID-19 downturn.
To find the best places for career opportunities in the COVID-19 recession, we analyzed data for 200 of the largest U.S. metro areas across the following seven metrics:
- Unemployment rate. Data is for May 2020.
- Change in total employment from 2019-2020. This figure shows the percentage change in total employment in a metro area from May 2019 to May 2020.
- Median income. This is the annual median income of all workers from 2019.
- Income growth over career. This is the percentage change in median income for households where the head of household was between the ages of 25 and 44 compared with those where the head of household was between 54 and 64. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2018 five-year American Community Survey.
- Annual median housing costs. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2018 five-year American Community Survey.
- Number of career counselors per 1,000 workers. Data is for 2019.
- Number of post-secondary teachers per 1,000 workers. Data is for 2019.
Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise noted.
First, we ranked each metro area in every metric. We then found each area’s average ranking, giving all metrics an equal weight except for number of career counselors and number of post-secondary teachers, each of which was given a half weight.
The metro areas were ranked according to this average. The metro area with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The metro area with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
Following are the best overall metro areas for career opportunities amid the pandemic.