Iowa’s largest city rates number-five in a new national list of best metropolitan areas to find a job. Allen Jones, spokesman for the employment website ZipRecruiter, says they ranked Des Moines and 49 other cities based on the volume of job postings. “We have the unique ability to have access to a lot of data through small businesses posting jobs,” Jones says. “The way we looked at this, we said, where is unemployment really low and where is there a surplus of jobs based on the activity we see on ZipRecruiter. We took a more non-traditional approach to trying to figure out an index of what looked promising.”
The report shows Des Moines is the center of recession-proof industries like insurance and health care. Just to the west on Interstate 80 lies Omaha, which ranked number-two on the list. “The reason Des Moines came in at #5 is, as it compares to Omaha, the median home price is actually a bit lower,” Jones says. “Omaha comes in at $125,000 while Des Moines is at $106,000, but the unemployment rate is a little higher, 4.4%, while Omaha is a 3.9%, so it kicked it down a couple of notches.”
The website says Salt Lake City is the best place for job hunting. Others in the top five include Madison, Wisconsin, at third and Minneapolis/St. Paul in fourth place. Jones says there are some cities on the list you wouldn’t expect to see there. “What you’ll see on our list of Top 10 or Top 50 cities for jobs is not the normal cities you’d see,” Jones says. “You see Des Moines, Iowa, and think, ‘Des Moines, really?’ but based on the volume of new jobs there, the unemployment rate, the cost of living and the median salaries, we see opportunity and we think it’s important to expose all of those things.”
ZipRecruiter’s rating is a bonus for Des Moines. The city made the Forbes list of Best Places for Business and Careers in 2010 and 2013, while NBC recently ranked Des Moines as the wealthiest city in America.