For the third time in two months, a national analysis of cities has named Atlanta a top landing spot for young Americans freshly graduated from college.

The good news for Class of 2023 graduates is that employers plan to hire almost 15 percent more grads this year than last, according to personal-finance website WalletHub. And the best city in the land for getting that career off the ground right now is Atlanta, according to a WalletHub study released today titled "2023’s Best & Worst Places to Start a Career."

Analysts compared more than 180 U.S. cities, based on 26 key indicators of “career-friendliness,” with data ranging from the availability of affordable housing and prevalence of entry-level jobs to average monthly starting salary. (New York City ranked dead last on WalletHub’s list.)

Interestingly, for once, a national study considered only the City of Atlanta proper and excluded all other cities in the metro.


WalletHub reps provided Urbanize Atlanta with the following, localized summation of their findings—some of which could seem surprising:

Starting Your Career in Atlanta (1= best; 91= average):

40th – Projected Population Growth (2046 vs. 2016)

31st – Monthly Avg. Starting Salary (Adjusted for Cost of Living)

11th – Entry-Level Jobs per 100,000 Working-Age Population

23rd – Annual Job Growth Rate (Adjusted for Population Growth)

96th – Unemployment Rate

15th – % of Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree

The No. 1 rating follows research by online database CoworkingCafe that declared Atlanta the best big-city landing spot in the country for people who’ve recently obtained degrees. 

That triumph came after ApartmentAdvisor’s findings in April that Atlanta’s relative affordability, abundant nightlife, healthy economy, and robust creative scene were good for fourth place in a “Best Cities for College Grads” ranking, which used different metrics. 

It all follows Atlanta’s headline-grabbing winning streak for positive—if sometimes questionable—city rankings last year.

Most famously, Money magazine’s October issue declared the city proper “the Best Place to Live in the U.S.”, citing Atlanta’s “booming jobs market and eye on equality,” among other factors.

A poll in April last year among 175 organizations in 23 countries determined ATL to be the top target for global real estate investment in the U.S. British publication The Economist declared Atlanta the “most livable” city in the United States in August. A couple of weeks after that, a CommercialCafe analysis found Atlanta to be the country’s best city for young adults, or Generation Z. And in December, the National Association of Realtors anointed Atlanta the “top real estate market to watch in 2023 and beyond” of 179 studied.

That’s all despite a ballooning cost of living in the region—and home prices that have shot through the roof across metro Atlanta, though prices in some areas have more recently cooled.


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