Image: Hartford, Conn.
Rick Hartford  /  Zuma Press
Hartford, Conn., tops the list of places where new grads should put down roots.
updated 9/12/2011 7:35:24 AM ET 2011-09-12T11:35:24

Sometimes to move forward, you have to move. As summer's end approaches, many of this spring's college graduates are finding that they have yet to launch — no job, no apartment, and no obvious prospects. And in the face of that, some are considering a potential Plan B — relocating to someplace where the streets are paved with a bit more possibility.

For those willing to move in the hopes of getting the employment party started, the fourth annual Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates from and, ('s college job search website), offers some clues about where to search for opportunities.

The list is based on the ranking of the U.S. cities with the highest concentration of people ages 20-24, an inventory of jobs requiring less than one year of experience, and the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment.

"There are almost three times as many renters moving for new job opportunities this year than in 2010, according to our annual moving survey," said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager at, in a prepared statement. "This tells us that the economy is improving, but people are relocating as a result. Because this adds more pressure on new grads to find the right place at the right price, we issued our list as a resource to help them make informed decisions on the best places to live based on job availability and cost of living."

The good news too, according to, is that 46 percent of employers plan to hire recent college graduates this year — a hair better last year, when 44 percent said they planned to hire recent grads.

Here's a rundown of the best metropolitan areas to get your start:

1. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
2. Cleveland
3. Boston
4. Denver
5. Minneapolis
6. San Francisco
7. Washington D.C.
8. Philadelphia
9. Atlanta
10. St. Louis

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