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Sugar House Journal

Millennials weigh in after Salt Lake City named the fourth best city to find a career

Feb 03, 2021 12h01 ● By Drew Crawford

Salt Lake City named fourth best city to find a career. (Photo by Tanner Crockett on Unsplash)

By Drew Crawford | [email protected]

The dynamics of job hunting, and the landscape of the labor market have changed significantly during COVID-19. The current unemployment rate sits at 6.7%, a sizable increase from the 3.5% in February 2020. 

Employees in a variety of fields now enjoy a menu of new benefits ranging from work from home or telecommuting privileges, to flexible sick leave policies. 

With a shift in opportunities, many job seekers have been forced to introspect on factors that they might otherwise not consider during normal circumstance.

To aid in job searching, WalletHub used a variety of metrics in their recent report, “2021’s Best Cities for Jobs” to calculate the best and worst spots to be a candidate in the labor market. The report compared 182 cities and assigned weighted values to a variety of categories in the dimensions of “Job Market” and “Socio-economics.”

Overall, Salt Lake City came in the report as the fourth best city to hold a job, indicating that there are ample job opportunities to find employment and that the unemployment rate is low. 

However, for Tayler Kramer, a graduate in fashion merchandising who works in retail as a store manager, her experience since moving to Salt Lake City has been frustrating.

“I’ve sent out probably 100 applications in the last two years, and I’ve only gotten a few calls back,” Kramer recounted. “The job market in general for Salt Lake is high. For college graduates there’s nothing. Even for entry level positions I’ve found a lot of jobs want one to two years of experience. College just doesn’t seem to be enough to get the job.”

Kramer doesn’t think that the job market in Salt Lake is all bad, but that many of the openings represent specific areas of work.

“I would say customer service, and manual labor type jobs are easiest for millennials to find. The turnover rate for those jobs is high, so those types of companies are always hiring,” Kramer said.

Rachel Leonard got her bachelor’s degree in communications and has aspired to work in the entertainment industry for years. When she graduated, she started off selling tickets for ArtTix and worked her way up to marketing for touring Broadway shows before her employment got cut short from COVID-19. 

Leonard feels that there are many opportunities in the STEM fields in Utah but that other industries require a specific approach to gain employment. 

“You kind of have to have connections here, or you have to really have connections to get something. You have to go above and beyond,” Leonard explained citing the difficulty of getting her foot in the door for her industry. 

Leonard currently markets for another organization and feels that there are many job postings in the field but that it is saturated with people looking for work due to COVID-19. Her strategy that has paid off over time has been to start off small and work up to more desirable positions.

“It’s definitely hard coming out of college because you don’t have all of the experience that you want. There are people that need jobs but there’s not a shortage; there’s a lot of specialized jobs out there.”

West Valley City came in as the next closest Utah city at No. 24. While Boise, Idaho (5) and Scottsdale, Arizona (6) were other regional cities in the top 10. South Burlington, Vermont took the top spot. 

WalletHub’s report, which also includes answers to questions from experts about job seeking and the current state of the labor market can be read in its entirety at