A recent article in the Washington Business Journal touted DC as the #2 place for job hunting grads based on the cost of living, employment opportunities, and wages. Surprisingly, DC placed only behind Houston as “The” place to live.
While I find this incredibly encouraging for myself and my East Coast friends, it seems surprising that Chicago doesn’t even place in the top 25. Chicago’s cost of living seems comparable to DC’s, it houses many major companies (such as Boeing, PepsiCo, and United Airlines) and it’s full of young people. Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, Belmont, etc. have bars on every block brimming with the under-30 set every weekend. No offense Tulsa, but it seems a little bit ridiculous that you would rank at #13 and Chicago doesn’t even make the list of Best Cities for New College Grads!
Some might argue that Chicago is expensive or the job market is slim and those are fair arguments. But New York (#12) living expenses are higher than the tallest skyscrapers, and why would anyone even want to work in Dayton (#20)? I don’t mean to hate on you, other cities, but come on, give Chicago a little credit.
Or, maybe I can see this as a good thing. If Chicago doesn’t even make the list but, in my opinion, has a reasonable cost of living and companies offering competitive pay, it suggests that Chicago is lacking in the third category: job openings. Maybe this explains why it is so tough finding work right now – I’m looking for jobs that truly don’t exist.
I might be born and bred on the East Coast, but Chicago, with all its Midwestern charm, will always hold a place in my heart. Even if no one here wants to hire me, I’m hoping this summer isn’t my last in The Windy City.