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Which cities in the United States make the best destinations for career-oriented professionals? Where should job seekers consider moving to?

To find out, Robert Half and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) examined 25 diverse indicators that influence career choices and overall happiness.

The indicators are separated into four categories: Career prospects (unemployment rate, GDP per capita, etc.); quality of life (crime rates, number of sunny days, etc.); cost of living (median housing costs, state/city income taxes, etc.); and cultural diversity (population diversity, availability of food and drink, etc.).

Seattle ranks as the top metropolitan area in the Robert Half Career City Index, thanks to its performance in the career-prospects and cost-of-living categories, which were both assigned extra weight by the researchers because of the role they play in professional mobility.

Boston ranks second, followed by the San Francisco Bay area and Washington, DC.

The San Francisco Bay area ranks as the top place in the US for career prospects, thanks to its educational attainment levels, GDP per capita, and relatively low unemployment rate.

Phoenix ranks first for quality of life, scoring well on its quality of education (second of the cities examined), number of sunny days (first), and park space as a share of total city acreage (seventh).

Seattle tops the cost-of-living category, scoring well on lowest average supermarket grocery costs (second of the cities examined) and highest median income (third).

Los Angeles tops the list for cultural diversity. It has the most entertainment venues per square mile of the cities examined, and ranks second for having the largest number of foreign-born residents (34%).

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of 25 diverse indicators that influence career choices and overall happiness.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji