by Justin Greig
A place with affordable housing, low unemployment rates and access to nearby attractions and education: is that too much to ask? For 18 to 29 year olds, Tacoma, Wash., is among the best of the best metropolitan areas to live, according to Moving.com rankings. With a weak job market and other challenges millennials face, the harsh realities of college graduation begin before school even ends. When looking for a place to live and a job to launch your career – think Tacoma.
Make More MoneyUsing U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Richard Florida from TheAtlanticCities.com compiled a list of the top 20 largest metros that saw the highest raises between 2006 and 2011. Tacoma fell fourth on the list, with $8,230 recorded as the total raise amount between the five years. In other words, you'll make more money living in Tacoma as the pay scale is increasing, not decreasing.
According to 247wallst.com, the unemployment rate in Tacoma is 7.6 percent – lower than the overall U.S. unemployment rate, which was 8.4 percent in May.
Location, Location, LocationLocated just 30 miles from Seattle, living in Tacoma provides millennials with the big city experience without the big city price. Rent in Tacoma is as much as 35 percent lower than in Seattle, according to 247wallst.com. Tacoma Apartments' average rent is $963, with the median home list price around $239,000, nearly a third less than homes in Seattle. Including Seattle and Bellevue in its metropolitan area, the city boasts its sustainability efforts and has a high proportion of workers commuting by public transportation.
Quality EmployersTacoma is a livable city that attracts companies of all sizes. The diverse economy is strong in agricultural and forest products, manufacturing, health care, financial and professional services and the military, according to city-data.com. Among the top employers are the Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Washington State and the many health care and public school systems. Tacoma is a great place to live, and with a quality resume you can find a great employer to work for.
Room to ProgressThe home town of the University of Washington Tacoma, this port city supports a population of approximately 200,000 residents with the average person being 34 years old, Tacoma-Washington-Living.com reports. The number of people moving to Tacoma is rising and people are learning Tacoma is “The Place to Be” in Washington state, according to the site. With manufacturing as the largest employment sector and retail trade following closely behind, new grads have a chance to join the work force and be heard by people who were in their position just a few years ago.
Arts, Entertainment and Things to DoPutting Tacoma on the nation's culture maps are the many art-glass exhibitions, museums and glassblowing studios located in the city. Dale Chihuly, one of the world's leading glass blowers, is one of the city's most famous residents, according to Tacoma-Washington-Living.com. Besides the creative experiences it offers, the city has parks, museums, theater performances, wineries and breweries, zoos, landmarks and sporting activities. Outside the city's core Mount Rainier stands tall offering hiking and mountain biking expeditions in the summer and plenty of snow for winter sports. Encompassing arts, sports, history and organic and man-made beauty, Tacoma isn't lacking in any department.
Posted by Steve Brady