10 American Cities With the Lowest Unemployment Rates (and Where You Should Look for Work)

By: Beth Braverman

Employers in cities with tight labor markets are increasingly looking outside the local talent pool for the right fit.

The percentage of people who moved for a new job is on the rise, with 12 percent of job seekers relocating for work in the second quarter.

That’s the highest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2014, when the relocation rate reached 15 percent, according to a new report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The trend reflects a tightening labor market, with more than 100 metro areas across the country experiencing unemployment rates below 4 percent.

“The number of metropolitan areas experiencing labor shortages is growing,” CEO John Challenger said in a statement. “As it does, employers in these areas will have to seek candidates from beyond the borders of the local talent pool. Job seekers who are willing to pull up takes and relocate for new opportunities are finding welcoming arms.”

Employers are also offering incentives to get people to move, with nearly 90 percent of companies offering some sort of financial assistance with the relocation expenses, according to the Atlas Van Lines 2016 Corporate Relocation Survey.

As people start moving more, they’re headed to some unexpected places. Oregon had the highest rate of inbound vs. outbound moves in 2015, according to the United National Movers Study, followed by South Carolina and Vermont.

For job seekers who are looking for tight labor markets and willing to relocate, here are the 10 metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the lowest unemployment rates, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

1. (tie) Ames, Iowa – 2.1 percent unemployment rate

1. (tie) Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont – 2.1 percent

1. (tie) Sioux Falls, South Dakota – 2.1 percent

4. Fargo, North Dakota-Minnesota – 2.2 percent

5. Portsmouth, New Hampshire-Maine – 2.3 percent

6. Dover-Durham, New Hampshire-Maine – 2.4 percent

7. (tie) Bismarck, North Dakota – 2.5 percent

7. (tie) Iowa City, Iowa – 2.5 percent

7. (tie) Lincoln, Nebraska – 2.5 percent

7. (tie) Manchester, New Hampshire – 2.5 percent

10 American Cities With the Lowest Unemployment Rates (and Where You Should Look for Work)