Nerd Wallet Finance has identified the top 20 cities in California for job seekers – and Orange County did fairly well. Irvine was ranked #16. Other OC cities on the list included: Lake Forest (#9); Newport Beach (#15); and Mission Viejo (#17). The top five cities are all located in Norther California.
Here’s how they decided on their picks:
- Is the city growing? We assessed growth in the working-age population, ages 16 and older, from 2009 to 2011 to ensure that the city was attracting workers and showing population growth. We only included cities with populations of 40,000 or more .
- Can you afford to live in the city comfortably? We looked at a city’s median household income to see if workers made 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 unemployment rate.
While they didn’t comment on Irvine, here is what they had to say about Lake Forest:
Located around 10 miles inland from Laguna Beach in Orange County, Lake Forest is home to high-end sunglasses company Oakley Inc., which employs 2,400 people in this laid-back community. The median household income here ($94,632) is high compared to the average monthly homeowner costs (about $2,584), meaning that more of your heard-earned money can stay in your pocket. Job seekers can also find work here at Panasonic Avionics, which builds in-flight entertainment systems. On the weekends, residents can make the drive out to the Pacific coast or stay local and hike around Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, a 2,500-acre landscape of canyons, sagebrush and cliffs. And you can do it all knowing you’re in the state’s 15th safest city, according to Safewise, a home security provider.
For more information, check out their cost of living calculator here.