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

20. Newark, New Jersey

Newark, New Jersey at night
mandritoiu / Shutterstock.com

Total score: 40.70

Newark doesn’t stack up well in WalletHub’s eyes. The study places Newark at 163rd of 182 cities overall.

Some big companies call Newark home, including Audible.com, Prudential, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Manischewtiz.

Despite that, Newark ranked 144th of the 182 cities for professional opportunities. Among factors were the number of entry-level jobs, salaries and job-growth, the number of workers in poverty, economic mobility, diversity, unemployment and under-employment. Access to and participation in employer-based retirement plans counted, too.

Newark came in close to the bottom — 172nd — for its quality of life. The study considered commute times and commuter-friendly jobs, the strength of social ties locally, housing affordability, the share of young adults, college education and a town’s friendliness for singles, families and fun, among other data. See the study’s Methodology section for a detailed explanation.

On the upside: Newark is becoming safer, says this report from real estate analyst Neighborhood Scout.

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