Murfreesboro Ranks in Top 10 for SmartAssets 2023 ‘Best Job Markets’

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The income-to-housing-affordability ratio helped Murfreesboro rank No. 7 among the Top 50 “Best Job Markets” in SmartAsset’s 2023 study of the 340 largest U.S. cities.

“In general, a good job market is one where a worker can make a comfortable and sustainable living, feel confident about their job security and enjoy a suitable work-life balance with important amenities like health insurance,” according to SmartAsset.

The full report, including key findings, a chart with complete data and the study methodology, can be found here.

Top 10 Best Job Markets

  1. Huntsville, AL
    Huntsville is fairly inexpensive to live in based on average job pay. On average, housing costs make up only 15.9% of the $70,757 annual median salary. Unemployment was 3.9%, compared to an average of 6.9% across all cities. The average commute time is 19.2 minutes, although 21.1% of the workforce here was remote. Just over 82% of workers get health insurance through their jobs, and the median income grew 30% between 2019 and 2021.
  2. Sioux Falls, SD
    Unemployment in Sioux Falls was only 1.8%, lowest studywide. The median income was slightly above average at $73,273, of which 16.9% generally goes to housing costs. Only 13.6% of the workforce works from home here, but the commute time for others is only 16.7 minutes. Over two years, workers saw a 20% increase in the median income, and 78% got health insurance through their employer.
  3. Cary, NC
    Cary was most affordable studywide, when comparing the median income to median housing costs (15.2% of a $123,857 income). Unemployment here was a bit on the higher side at 5.3%, which tends to be the trend for cities with higher median incomes. More than 41% of the workforce here was remote, and 86% of the workforce had private health insurance. Over two years, income grew by roughly 16.5%.
  4. Fargo, ND
    Despite having the lowest median income of the top 10 at $59,089, housing affordability is still exceptional in Fargo, with only 17.9% of that income going toward housing costs. Unemployment was 4.2%, 83% of workers got health insurance through their employer and the average commute time was 17.7 minutes. Meanwhile, just over 14% of the workforce was remote.
  5. Olathe, KS
    Housing is affordable in Olathe, as 17.6% of the $99,631 median income goes toward housing costs. Unemployment was only 2.1% in Olathe, while the average commute was 19.8 minutes. Just over 76% of the population commutes to work, with the rest working remotely. Just under 82% of workers got health insurance from their employer. However, wage growth was fairly low here compared to the rest of the top 10, at 5.7%.
  6. Chandler, AZ
    Just under 20% of the $94,613 median income in Chandler goes to housing costs. Unemployment was 3.3% in 2021, while income grew by 13% over two years. While 27.8% of the workforce was remote, the remainder had a 22.4-minute commute time.
  7. Murfreesboro, TN
    The income-to-housing-affordability ratio came in at 19.2% for Murfreesboro, where the typical income was $77,584. Median income increased by 13.5% between 2019 and 2021. About 17.8% of the workforce worked from home, while others had a 24.3-minute commute on average. Across all workers, 83.8% had health insurance through their employer, and unemployment was 4.2%.
  8. Lincoln, NE
    Lincoln had low unemployment at 2.8%, and affordable housing costs relative to the median income at 19.3% of $62,294. The average commute was only 18.4 minutes long, while a relatively low percentage of the workforce worked remotely (13.2%). More than 81% of employees got their health insurance through work. However, Lincoln had fairly low income growth at just 5.2%.
  9. Bellevue, WA
    While Bellevue had the highest unemployment rate of the top 10 at 5.8%, the median income was also highest at $144,274 – fourth-most studywide. Housing payments accounted for only 18.5% of the median income, and nearly 45% of the workforce worked from home. The other portion had a 22.1-minute commute. Income grew by just over 13% in two years, and 84.7% of workers had employer-sponsored health insurance.
  10. Arlington, VA
    Arlington had the highest proportion of remote workers studywide at 48%. The other half of the workforce had an average commute of 22.2 minutes. At 88.8%, Arlington also had a particularly high rate of workers getting health insurance through their job. However, Arlington also had the lowest wage growth among the top 10 at 4.9%. Still, the median income was relatively high at $125,651, of which 20.7% typically goes toward housing.

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