02/28/2019 Molly Moseley

Millennials navigate career based on location

Every generation seems to have different priorities when it comes to career and lifestyle choice. For many baby boomers, climbing the corporate ladder and maximizing income to prepare for retirement is top of mind. For Gen X, a nice house with a large yard for family is often a focus. But what about the elusive millennial generation? This group of people born roughly from 1981 to 1996 has often shunned tradition, instead opting to define their own pathway to happiness.

Millennials continue to push the boundaries when it comes to their careers, prioritizing lifestyle amenities and location over pay and benefits. It appears the big suburban houses and the job titles their parents enjoy are not big factors of consideration, at least at this point in their lives. Living in a city that thrives and offers bountiful opportunities for social and professional endeavors seems to hit the target for many people in the millennial generation.

In the article, “The top 10 cities where millennials want to live,” Salt Lake City holds the top spot, offering much of the lifestyle opportunity desired by this much-talked-about generation. Here at LinkUp we just released our 2018 Job Market Diversification Report, which measures the diversity of job listings in 150 markets across the U.S. Interestingly enough, Salt Lake City also happens to be the city with the highest Job Market Diversification (JMDR) score on the report.

Click here to download the report, which measures the diversity of job listings in 150 markets across the United States and grades them based on the distribution of these listings across sectors, companies and job types. More diverse job markets tend to have stronger economies, be more attractive to businesses and workers, and see less impact when one company or sector fails.

What’s more, it appears these areas are more attractive to millennials, an important residential component for short- and long-term city growth. Diverse job markets attract diverse residents, and millennials are ready to jump at the opportunity to live in a city where they can be selective about work and enjoy the lifestyle they crave.

A recent Bloomberg article that features the LinkUp report points out the downfall for cities that greatly lack diversification. The article noted, “The value of diversification was ‘glaringly obvious’ during the most recent government shutdown in Washington, D.C., as the area suffered due to more than half of its jobs linked to the federal government, according to the report.”

Washington, D.C., has consistently been one of the least diversified markets on the report. With more than half of its workforce focused in one sector — government — this area is the perfect example of low job market diversification and what can happen when an economy quickly changes. During the shutdown, job searches for part-time employment in other sectors skyrocketed, with part-time jobs on LinkUp increasing 74 percent from December through January.

When looking at the report as a whole, 72 out of the 150 markets (48 percent) increased their JMDR score over the four quarters of 2018. Here are the leaders and losers of the bunch:

Most Diversified Job Markets:
Large: Salt Lake City, UT
Mid: Spokane, WA
Small: Beaumont, TX

Least Diversified Job Markets:
Large: Las Vegas, NV
Mid: Columbia, SC
Small: Fayetteville, AR

Job search priorities for the millennial population appear to differ vastly compared to previous generations. As this generation continues to mature, it will be interesting to see if their goals stay the same or if they evolve. As of now, city living and job diversity appear to be in top demand.