The 20 Toughest U.S. Cities for Starting a Career

uphill battle
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Here’s good news: This year started with the best hiring outlook for college graduates since 2007, says a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Almost 17% more graduates will be hired from the Class of 2019 than the year before.

That said, keep in mind that where you start your career can make a huge difference.

About 7 in 10 members of the class of 2019 have student loans and, according to CBS News, the average student debt load is about $33,000. If it takes all of your starter salary just to make rent, food and loan payments, you’ll never get ahead. And if low pay or a high cost of living keeps you from saving for emergencies or retirement, you’ll fall behind.

The personal finance site WalletHub ranked 182 U.S. cities for their “overall livability” for recent college graduates. The study looked at 29 data points, including starting salaries, the availability of entry-level jobs, unemployment rates and percentage of young adults in the population.

We honed in on the 20 toughest cities to begin your career, ending with the most challenging city of all for new workers.

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