New York is the worst city to launch your career—see which other places made the list

New York City is undoubtedly a popular destination for recent college graduates as they transition into the professional world. A bustling city home to exciting restaurants and a diverse array of people, NYC offers postgrads an exciting new home

Yet, the city ranks last on the list of best places to start a career in 2023, according to a recent study from WalletHub analyzing the best and worst places for young professionals to launch their careers.

The study ranks over 180 U.S. cities based on their overall professional opportunities and quality of life. The cities were analyzed based on 26 metrics, including unemployment rate, availability of entry-level jobs, median annual income, monthly average starting salary, housing affordability and family-friendliness. 

But despite a high cost of living and expensive housing — factors WalletHub highlights in the report — New York remains highly attractive to young professionals, including the Class of 2023, WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez tells CNBC Make It. 

“It has the potential for great career development paths and income growth, while also being a fun city with plenty of opportunities for entertainment, recreation and nightlife,” Gonzalez says.

However, New York also has drawbacks. “Living in a city with significantly higher competition in the job market and a higher cost of living is not easy,” Gonzalez says. “Taking on a second job to make ends meet while starting out in your career is one way to manage living in New York.” 

New York is not the only city with a saturated job market and an expensive cost of living, though. For recent college graduates and young professionals, here are the top five worst places to start a career in 2023, according to WalletHub. 

1. New York 

  • Professional opportunities rank: 181
  • Quality of life rank: 174 

2. Gulfport, Mississippi  

  • Professional opportunities rank: 182
  • Quality of life rank: 156

3. Newark, New Jersey  

  • Professional opportunities rank: 176
  • Quality of life rank: 181 

4. Detroit

  • Professional opportunities rank: 177
  • Quality of life rank: 179

5. Santa Clarita, California

  • Professional opportunities rank: 180
  • Quality of life rank: 161

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