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Where are all the jobs? The cities and sectors hiring now

Finding a job during the pandemic can feel like an impossible task. Covid-19 has ravaged the economy and stalled hiring, with 14.8 million Americans remaining unemployed, hiring activity slipping significantly and competition for jobs increasingly intense. But, if you can be flexible on location, following in the footsteps of many big corporates and moving to cities with a lower cost of living and strong sector growth could be a way to turbocharge your job hunt.

Here at Adzuna, we analyzed the top 20 major cities in the US to reveal the best and worst places to find a job, comparing over 4.1 million live vacancies with local unemployment trends. Here’s what we found.

According to our research, Louisville is the top city to find a job, with the lowest competition for positions at 4.0 jobseekers/vacancy. The city currently boasts 10,400 open positions and is an established manufacturing stronghold, home to Ford and GE Appliances among over 1,000 others. It could be a great place to start your job hunt.

Austin, Denver and Seattle are three more cities well worth considering. Austin also offers lower competition for jobs, with 6.5 jobseekers/vacancy, making it the second best city in the US to find work, and Denver (6.7) and Seattle (7.4) come in third and fourth.

By comparison, competition for jobs is steeper in the biggest three city labor markets: New York (9.0), Los Angeles (15.0) and Chicago (18.3). These cities are currently hiding over 275,000 jobs between them, but with more people hunting down each role they are much more competitive job markets. Coupled with the high costs of city living and an increase in remote working, this is fuelling internal migration of skilled workers from these areas to cheaper cities like Denver and Austin.

On the West Coast, San Diego beats both San Francisco and Los Angeles as the easiest city in which to find work in California, with 7.9 jobseekers/vacancy in comparison to 13.3 and 15.0.

At the bottom end of the scale, Baltimore is the hardest city to find a job, with 27.9 jobseekers competing for each job opening. The scarcity of job opportunities in Baltimore is particularly concerning given 21.8% of Baltimore residents are living below the poverty line, according to estimates by the United States Census Bureau. 


Table 1: The Top 20 cities to find work in the US

RankCityLive VacanciesApplicants per Vacancy
6San Diego26,4007.9
9New York163,2009.0
14San Francisco17,20013.3
15Los Angeles74,30015.0


Logistics & Warehouse Jobs double since Covid-19 pandemic

We also took at look at different sectors within the US, to see how they had each been affected by the pandemic. In fact, despite hiring stalling earlier this year, several industries are now seeing hiring surges as they look to rebuild their workforces after layoffs and staff exoduses. 

The Logistics & Warehouse sector is aggressively hiring with nearly 746,000 live vacancies listed on Adzuna, more than doubling hiring levels seen before the pandemic. Amazon, which is currently hiring for over 309,000 positions across the US and are the top hiring company, represents 1/13 of total hiring activity across the nation. Delivery company Shipt and trucking giant C. R. England are also hiring tens of thousands of workers to meet rising demand for home delivery services.

In terms of volume, Healthcare & Nursing jobs are going strong with over 590,000 positions listed, just 25% lower than at the start of the year. CareInHomes and CVS Health both feature in the top 8 companies hiring now.

The IT sector is also a bright spot, with 358,000 positions available, boosted by hiring at tech giants Oracle (46,200 open positions) and Microsoft (5,100 open positions), though job openings remain 28% lower than pre-Covid19.

Meanwhile, Manufacturing is showing a strong sector bounceback, with hiring levels nearly back to normal, just 1% below the start of the year. Lagging behind, Hospitality & Catering and Retail both have a way to go, with job openings tracking 37% and 41% below normal activity.

Overall hiring levels across the US are tracking 17% beneath pre-pandemic levels, with 4.1million positions currently open compared to an average of 5.0 million over the first seven weeks of 2020.


Table 2: The hottest hiring sectors in the US

RankSectorLive vacanciesChange since the first 7 weeks of 2020 (pre-Covid19)
1Logistics & Warehouse745,900+146%
4Customer Service63,500-19%
6Healthcare & Nursing590,400-25%
8Hospitality & Catering183,600-37%
10Trade & Construction44,200-47%


Table 3: The hottest hiring companies in the US

RankCompanyLive vacancies
3Uber Eats92,500
4C. R. England65,400
8CVS Health40,600


We hope that’s a useful overview of the US jobs market and the sectors and cities worth considering if you’re on the hunt for work. We know it’s tough out there right now, but things are gradually picking up and if you know where to look, there are thousands of jobs on offer. To start your job search, or for more data insights, check out our US website.