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The Hardest and Easiest Jobs to Find by City

The Hardest and Easiest Jobs to Find by City

With the unemployment rate approaching 10% in parts of the country, more Americans will surely cross geographic lines to find work. A just-released survey reveals the cities with the most competitive (fewest jobs available) and least competitive (most jobs available) employment markets. Having benefited from the creation of more government positions, Washington looks sunniest for job seekers. Detroit holds the least promise. The study also determines which occupations are in the highest demand in each metro area. "Don't move from Detroit to Washington if you're looking for an auto-manufacturing job," says Dion Lim, CEO of, a Mountain View (Calif.) search engine with a database of 3 million openings aggregated from Web sites posting jobs in business and industry, education, civil service, law, medicine, and the nonprofit sector. In much of the country, physical therapy jobs are the most plentiful, while spots in human resources are the hardest to come by. Among the hardest, financial managers and HR specialists.

Sources: Number of job seekers, (July 2009). Salary figures, (Sept. 16, 2009). Unemployment figures, Bureau of Labor Statistics (July 2009). Metro area populations: Census Bureau (2007).