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The 5 Best Cities for Your Career in 2013

If you are considering moving to a new city, it might be smart to factor wage and employment potential into your city choice. But how do you know which cities are thriving and which are struggling?

To find out, we consulted online salary database PayScale.com. The PayScale Index analyzes wage growth by metro area. Katie Bardaro, Director of Analytics at PayScale, told us which industries are growing. "IT, biotech, and oil and gas are all seeing significant growth," Bardaro explains. "All three industries are experiencing increased demand for their products and services, which means they are hiring and paying accordingly," she says.

Which cities came out on top? Read on to find out more about the places in the U.S. that enjoy a relatively low unemployment rate and relatively high wage growth. 

5. Seattle
Unemployment Rate: 7.3 percent
Wage Growth: 3.1 percent

The Emerald City is well-known for its presence in the world of tech. The overly caffeinated workers in this city enjoy careers in IT, aerospace and software development. Popular jobs in Seattle include program manager, IT, senior finance manager, technical program manager and aerospace engineer.

4. Minneapolis
Unemployment Rate: 5.3 percent
Wage Growth: 3.2 percent

Minneapolis enjoys an economy that thrives on manufacturing, including electronics, medical equipment, and machinery. Popular jobs in Minneapolis include actuary, senior business manager, project manager, marketing and category manager.

3. Boston
Unemployment Rate: 5.9 percent
Wage Growth: 3.3 percent

Living in one of America’s oldest cities, Boston workers enjoy careers in healthcare, biotechnology and finance. Popular jobs in Boston include principal scientist, principal software engineer, research scientist and research associate.

2. Dallas
Unemployment Rate: 6.3 percent
Wage Growth: 3.5 percent

Known for big hair and bigger lifestyles, this Texas city specializes in telecommunications, defense and technology. Popular jobs in Dallas include landman, radio frequency engineer, senior recruiter, and tax accountant.

1. Houston
Unemployment Rate: 6.3 percent
Wage Growth: 3.9 percent

The largest city in Texas is home to many industries, including aeronautics and healthcare. Healthcare is growing due to the increasing population. As the population ages, more healthcare services are needed. The biggest boom, though, is oil and gas, which has had the most positive impact on wages in Houston. Popular jobs in Houston include petroleum engineer, petroleum geologist, geophysicist and drilling engineer.

Source: Wage and industry data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are median annual salaries for full-time workers with five to eight years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.
Unemployment data provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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