The 15 Best Cities To Restart Your Career

U.S. Cities

With new unemployment numbers only masking widespread joblessness, Kerry Hannon, author of What’s Next, crunches the numbers to determine the 15 best cities to begin anew.

Go straight to the list of cities >>

She and The Daily Beast looked at how more than 300 cities across the country ranked in the following categories:

Small business friendly, based on the rate of small business growth of companies with less than 500 employees according to U.S. Census Bureau for 2005-2007

• Ease of finding a job, based on August 2010 unemployment figures compiled by the Bureau of labour Statistics

• High income level, based on per capita income figures for 2009 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis

• Low cost of living, based on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2010, in which a 100 is the average for all places and each city’s index is a percentage of the average.

• Non-profit friendly—non-profits are a key job source—based on Charity Navigator’s ranking of the top 30 cities that are most charity conscious

• Student friendly—key for retraining—based on the American Institute for Economic Research’s 75 Best Colleges for Students, which ranks small, medium and large cities, as well as college towns in terms of academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunity

Statistics and rankings aside, there’s one more vital ingredient not to be taken lightly: personal happiness.

This gallery originally appeared at The Daily Beast.

15. San Francisco, CA

Small business growth rate: -1.3

Number of small businesses: 99,599

Personal income per capita: $59,696

per cent unemployed: 10.6

Cost of living index score: 162.5

Charity-conscious rank: 4

Best cities for college rank: 1

14. Minneapolis, MN

Small business growth rate: -3.3

Number of small businesses: 74,513

Personal income per capita: $45,750

per cent unemployed: 7

Cost of living index score: 110.3

Charity-conscious rank: 8

Best cities for college rank: 9

13. Boston, MA

Small business growth rate: -2.9

Number of small businesses: 101,633

Personal income per capita: $53,713

per cent unemployed: 7.6

Cost of living index score: 131.1

Charity-conscious rank: 12

Best cities for college rank: 4

12. Des Moines, IA

Small business growth rate: -5.2

Number of small businesses: 11,409

Personal income per capita: $41,790

per cent unemployed: 6.5

Cost of living index score: 91.2

Charity-conscious rank: 31

Best cities for college rank: n/a

11. New York, NY

Small business growth rate: -1.0

Number of small businesses: 471,661

Personal income per capita: $52,375

per cent unemployed: 8.8

Cost of living index score: 168.3

Charity-conscious rank: 9.0

Best cities for college rank: 2

10. Tulsa, OK

Small business growth rate: -4.2

Number of small businesses: 19,559

Personal income per capita: $39,442

per cent unemployed: 7.6

Cost of living index score: 88.0

Charity-conscious rank: n/a

Best cities for college rank: n/a

9. Denver, CO

Small business growth rate: -2.1

Number of small businesses: 60,503

Personal income per capita: $45,982

per cent unemployed: 8.1

Cost of living index score: 103.4

Charity-conscious rank: 11

Best cities for college rank: 12

8. Pittsburgh, PA

Small business growth rate: -5.5

Number of small businesses: 46,604

Personal income per capita: $42,216

per cent unemployed: 8.2

Cost of living index score: 91.8

Charity-conscious rank: 1

Best cities for college rank: 6

7. Nashville, TN

Small business growth rate: -1.1

Number of small businesses: 29,066

Personal income per capita: $38,266

per cent unemployed: 8.8

Cost of living index score: 88.9

Charity-conscious rank: 26

Best cities for college rank: 10

6. Seattle, WA

Small business growth rate: 1.2

Number of small businesses: 81,757

Personal income per capita: $48,976

per cent unemployed: 8.5

Cost of living index score: 120.2

Charity-conscious rank: 15

Best cities for college rank: 5

5. Washington, DC

Small business growth rate: -0.8

Number of small businesses: 111,930

Personal income per capita: $56,442

per cent unemployed: 6.2

Cost of living index score: 139.7

Charity-conscious rank: 10

Best cities for college rank: 3

4. Midland, TX

Small business growth rate: -4.1

Number of small businesses: 3,567

Personal income per capita: $49,441

per cent unemployed: 5.6

Cost of living index score: 93.8

Charity-conscious rank: n/a

Best cities for college rank: n/a

3. Dallas, TX

Small business growth rate: -0.3

Number of small businesses: 105,319

Personal income per capita: $39,514

per cent unemployed: 8.4

Cost of living index score: 91.9

Charity-conscious rank: 3

Best cities for college rank: n/a

2. Omaha, NE

Small business growth rate: -3.6

Number of small businesses: 17,312

Personal income per capita: $42,412

per cent unemployed: 4.9

Cost of living index score: 88.2

Charity-conscious rank: n/a

Best cities for college rank: n/a

1. Houston, TX

Small business growth rate: 0.8

Number of small businesses: 93,383

Personal income per capita: $43,568

per cent unemployed: 8.7

Cost of living index score: 91.9

Charity-conscious rank: 2

Best cities for college rank: n/a

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