NYC ranked worst city for college grads starting a career


NYC was ranked the worst place to start a career in 2024, according to a recent WalletHub study – following a similar ranking in 2023.


The website compared the relative market strength and overall livability of over 180 cities in the United States, examining each city based on 26 key metrics ranging from the availability of entry-level jobs to the average monthly starting salary to housing affordability.

New York City ranking

  • Total score: 33.14
  • Professional opportunities rank: 182
  • Quality of life rank: 171

The Big Apple also ranked last in entry-level jobs (per 100,000 working-age population).

"Transitioning out of school and into the workforce can be a difficult and stressful process, but certain cities make things a lot easier than others," said WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe.

FOX 5 NY spoke with Barry Drexler, a career coach in New York City, last year. He disagreed with the findings in the 2023 study. 

"Very surprising to me that New York is ranked last," Drexler said. "I don't agree with it, and I'm speaking from someone whose office is currently in New York."

However, he did agree with WalletHub's findings that it's expensive to live in NYC on a starting salary, but believed Gen Z could figure it out. 

"The recent grads, they share apartments," Drexler said. "They find a way at that age, they don't care as much about the trappings, so to speak." 

United States map

Atlanta ranked first, with a score of 65.84, followed by Orlando and Salt Lake City.

Source: WalletHub

"The best cities for starting a career not only have a lot of job opportunities but also provide substantial income growth potential and satisfying work conditions," Happe said.

To see the full list, click HERE.

No college degree? Worst US places for a job

In addition, a new study ranked the best and worst job markets in the U.S. for job-seekers that do not hold degrees.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Indeed, CashNetUSA found New York is "by far the worst state to look for a job" without a degree, with 21.94 local nondegree holders for every open position. 

Specifically, New York City was named the worst city in the nation for finding a job without a degree, with 41.48 nondegree holders for each available job.

To see the full list, click HERE.