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Go West, Jobseekers: Study Names Top 10 U.S. Cities to Land Work

The top 10 places for jobs all are in cities dotting the western two-thirds of the country, according to a recent study conducted by
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If you're looking for a new job with a good mix of work- and personal-life attributes, explore west of the Mississippi River.

The top 10 places for jobs all are in cities dotting the western two-thirds of the country, according to a recent study conducted by In fact, you have to scroll down to No. 17 to get to an East Coast city: Raleigh, North Carolina.

The top cities "have more variety of industries than a lot of East Coast cities," said Jill Gonzalez, spokesperson for "Most of the top cities also have [a majority of] employees with insurance through work."

WalletHub ranked the 150 most-populated U.S. cities using 16 metrics that ranged from job openings and poverty rates to crime rates, housing affordability and nightlife options.

Topping the list is a city almost as far west in the U.S. mainland you can go: Seattle.

The Emerald City, which also is one of the fastest-growing cities and the country's 21st largest, boasts a variety of large employers, like Amazon, Starbucks and Nordstrom. About 30 minutes away, in Redmond, Washington, is Microsoft.

The study also said that the average one-way commute for Seattle workers is 25.4 minutes and 85.3 percent of workers have insurance through their employers.

Workers in Seattle earn a median salary of $65,277, according to 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Adjusted for cost of living, however, that number drops to $54,957, according to the WalletHub report. The national median is $53,046.

Slideshow: Need a job? Make like Lewis and Clark, and go west

Taking a city's cost of living into consideration is crucial when job hunting, as $50,000 in some places has as much purchasing power as $100,000 in more costly places.

For instance, the median value of homes in Seattle is $433,800. That compares to $176,700 nationally and $118,200 in Des Moines, Iowa, which ranked second overall in the WalletHub list.

With a population roughly a third the size of Seattle's 652,000 people, Des Moines boasts an annual job-growth rate that ranks among the fastest in the country, at 2.73 percent.

Its workforce is also spread across a variety of industries, which WalletHub used as a metric in its study. Additionally, 76.9 percent of workers have work-based health insurance. Its median annual income is $49,646, adjusted for cost of living.

Ranking third on the WalletHub list is America's largest incorporated town, with a population of 230,000: Gilbert, Arizona.

Located about 30 minutes from Phoenix, Gilbert's population has doubled every five years since 1980.

Although its cost of living is above the national average, its adjusted median household income stands at $76,276. The median value of homes in Gilbert is $225,800.

Other pluses: 86.2 percent of workers are insured through work, and Gilbert has a low crime rate as well as a low unemployment rate: 2.7 percent for workers with at least a bachelor's degree, and 4.9 percent for those with only a high school diploma.

Ranking fourth on the list is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The city, with a population of 164,676, boasts the lowest unemployment rate for college grads (1.7 percent). The unemployment rate for high school is 5.1 percent. On the plus side, the average commute time is just 16.9 minutes and 84.1 percent of workers have insurance.

The median household income in Sioux Falls stands at $49,495; the median home value is $132,400.

-- Sarah O'Brien, Special to CNBC

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