10 tough cities for getting your career off to a good start


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New college graduates face plenty of big decisions, and one of the most important is where to start out.

That used to mean moving to whatever city had the single best job offer waiting. But with the recently graduated now expecting to job-hop frequently, in part because of instability in the economy, more degree-holders are moving to big cities.

“College graduates might be hedging their bets a little bit more, trying to go to larger labor markets and what we would refer to as ‘thicker’ labor markets, meaning that there are more job opportunities,” explains Michael Betz, an assistant professor with the Institute for Population Research at Ohio State University.

And it’s not just jobs that have young grads pouring into urban areas. “There’s something about the preferences of the younger, college-educated people for very urbanized amenities in entertainment, services and retail,” says Victor Couture, an assistant professor of real estate at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Bankrate has ranked 100 U.S. metro areas on whether they’re good places to launch a career, and large cities dominate the top of the list. Now, see the smaller, most challenging places on the lowest rungs.

Here, in ascending order, are Bankrate’s 10 toughest cities for new graduates to start a career.

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