Website Ranks Best Cities For Job Seekers

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A national financial website has ranked the top 10 cities in Indiana for job prospects. NerdWallet rates cities in Hamilton, Clark and Bartholomew counties at the top of the statewide list. You can read the full story by clicking here.

The top 10 cities in Indiana are:

1. Carmel

2. Fishers

3. Noblesville

4. Jeffersonville

5. Columbus

6. Kokomo

7. Plainfield

8. Greenwood

9. Crown Point

10. Bloomington

Story Posted to NerdWallet.com

on January 6, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. - Indiana is known as the home of Hoosiers and corn, and the mecca for racecar enthusiasts worldwide, but if you're a job seeker looking to make Indiana the place to hang your hat, how do you know where to begin your job search? There are several factors to consider in choosing the right city, and to help you out, NerdWallet took a look at them all and crunched the numbers. We began by asking the following questions:

-Is the city growing? We assessed growth in the working-age population, ages 16 and older, from 2009 to 2012 to ensure that the city was attracting workers and exhibiting a trend of upward population growth.

-Can you afford to live in the city comfortably? We looked at the city’s median household income to see if workers make a good living. We also analyzed the monthly homeowner costs, including mortgage payments, to see if the city had a reasonable cost of living.

-Are most people employed? We looked at the most recent unemployment rate.

The Best Places in Indiana for Job Seekers

1. Carmel

Smackdab in the center of the state, Carmel is a 30-minute drive north of Indiana's capital, Indianapolis. The state's eighth largest city, Carmel was named the best place to live in America by CNN Money Magazine in 2012. Between 2009 and 2012, the city saw nearly 17 percent growth in its working-age population. Median household income is $109,928, with the highest proportion of the population employed in the fields of education, health care, and social services, followed closely by manufacturing. The city's Meridian Corridor houses corporations such as CNO Financial Group, Delta Faucet and the headquarters of ITT Technical Institute. The 5 percent unemployment rate is the second lowest in the state, and most of Carmel City’s public schools are rated higher than average at GreatSchools. Job seekers will find employment assistance at Ivy Tech Community College.

2. Fishers

There's only one city in Indiana with an unemployment rate lower than Carmel City, and that's Fishers. Located in the center of the state, just east of Carmel and 16 miles north of Indianapolis, Fishers has an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent and showed a working-age population growth of 11 percent between 2009 to 2012, while the median household income was $87,968 in 2012. Fishers is home to offices for Sallie Mae, Marsh Supermarkets, Nexus Valve, IU Health Saxony, and Clarke Engineering. The city government is focused on attracting new businesses, boasting several high-traffic, easy access locations, as well as a highly trained workforce, with 60 percent of the city's population having earned a bachelor's degree. The city is also working to attract entrepreneurs with its Launch Fishers co-working space. If you’re interested in being your own boss, you might find assistance through the Entrepreneur Advancement Center. In addition, Indiana Tech has a Fisher campus as well as a career center for students and alumni.

3. Noblesville

Located on the banks of the White River, about fifteen minutes north of Fishers and 35 minutes north of Indianapolis, lies the Hamilton County seat of Noblesville, with a population of 55,075 as of 2012. The city boomed with 19.5 percent working-age population growth between 2009 and 2012. Several corporations call Noblesville's 3600 acre Corporate Campus Park District home, including; SMC corporation, Helmer Laboratories, Perkins Logistics, and - coming soon - Pharmakon LTC Pharmacy. The median monthly income for 2012 was $64,420, and the unemployment rate is 5.9 percent, down from 8 percent in January. Plans are currently underway to create a riverwalk along the White River, which would allow for the use of alternative transportation. Job seekers may want to check out Careers.org for employment assistance throughout Indiana.

4. Jeffersonville

Just across the Ohio River - and the state line - from Louisville, Kentucky, is a city the locals call, "Jeff," the county seat of Clark County. While the unemployment rate is slightly higher here at 7.3 percent, the city is focused on revitalization with its Big Four Bridge Project, which spans the Ohio River and connects Jeffersonville with Louisville, Kentucky, for pedestrians and cyclists. The city also began a half million dollar streetscaping project at the base of the bridge and is offering grants to business owners who want to renovate their storefronts. In 2008, the city annexed 7,800 acres and saw more than 25 percent growth in the working-age population between 2009 and 2012. The median household income was $50,289 in 2012, with median homeowner costs just above $1,100 per month. WorkOne Southern Indiana and Indiana Tech both offer career services and have sites in Jeffersonville. Companies located in Jeffersonville include Meijer, Accent, The Dallas Group, Shoe Sensation, AlliedBarton, and - coming soon - The Rivera Group.

5. Columbus

Forty-five minutes south of Indianapolis is the award-winning city of Columbus, the accolades of which include a ranking of number one in the country for economic growth. The town has also earned praise for its architecture, bike-friendliness, and walkability. While its growth is slightly slower - 9.8 percent increase in the working-age population between 2009 and 2012 - Columbus’s unemployment rate is also lower, at 5.3 percent. Companies located in Columbus include Cintas and Cummins, and the median income was $50,523 in 2012. The Columbus Learning Center houses classes for several local colleges and universities, in association with the Community Education Coalition.

6. Kokomo

About an hour north of Indianapolis and hour east of Lafayette lies Kokomo, the county seat of Howard County, with a population nearly 57,000. At 8.4 percent, the unemployment rate in Kokomo is higher than the state average; however, the city is focused on increasing employment through its Advancing Manufacturing training program, which is a collaboration with the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, Howard County, Ivy Tech, WorkOne, and local employers. The working-age population grew by slightly more than 22 percent between 2009 and 2012, and the median income was $33,598 in 2012, with median homeowner costs at $900 per month for that same year. While some of Kokomo’s schools are rated lower than the national average, GreatSchools rated Northwestern Senior High School a 9 out of 10. Some local companies include Delphi Delco Electronic Systems, Lorentson Manufacturing, Aqua Systems, Trialon, and General Motors. Job services and training are available at Bona Vista Industries.

7. Plainfield

With rolling hills, forest, prairie, two creeks, 205 acres of park land, and a population of nearly 30,000 in 2012, Plainfield is a cozy city located about 25 minutes west of Indianapolis. Growth here was slightly slower, with a 4.4 percent increase in the working-age population between 2009 and 2012; however, the unemployment rate, at 5.3 percent, is also lower than state average. The median income in Plainfield is nearly 57,000, with monthly homeowner costs just under $1,250 in 2012. Plainfield is home to the growing AirTech Park which houses companies such as Amazon, JCPenney, Electrolux, Belkin, and Ozburn-Hessey Logistics. WorkOne Central offers employment assistance and has an office in Plainfield.

8. Greenwood

Twenty minutes south of Indianapolis and centrally loc