UC Davis Graduate School of Management Professor Offers Job Market Expertise

City skyline

Kimberly Elsbach, Associate Dean and Professor of Organizational Behavior at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, recently consulted with a team of colleagues to reveal which US cities hold the best job opportunities.

In a recent article on, Elsbach and her fellow analysts compared 150 of the most populated cities in the country using 17 key metrics. The cities were examined across two key categories: “Job Market” and “Socioeconomic Environment”. The former category was given more weight, as the market exerts the heaviest influence on a job-seeker’s decision.

Included in the metrics for the “Job Market” category were: job opportunities, employment growth, monthly median salary, unemployment rate, industry variety, and disability friendliness. Among the metrics in the “Socioeconomic Environment” dimension were median annual income, commute time, housing affordability, and crime rate.

Elsbach and the other experts raised such questions as “What fields are expected to grow the most in the coming decades?”; “Which are the most common mistakes job seekers make when seeking employment?” and “What types of programs have proven effective in helping unemployed individuals find work?”

The top five cities on the list are Plano, TX; with a rating of 2 in the job market category and an 8 in socioeconomic environment; Overland Park, KS with a 5 and a 4 in those respective categories; Austin, TX, with a 4 and a 15; Irving, TX, with a 1 and a 73; and Salt Lake City, UT which held a 3 and a 37 in the categories’ rankings.

The study revealed a positive outlook for college graduates, and noted a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers which found that less than 2% of positions requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher were unfilled in 2015, and that more than 60% of employers intend to raise salaries in 2016.



About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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