San Francisco Bay Area Ranks As #3 U.S. City For Career-Oriented Professionals, According To New Robert Half Career City Index

San Francisco Bay Area Gets High Marks for Career Prospects and Median Income

Feb 25, 2016, 06:00 ET from Robert Half

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- There's good news for career-oriented professionals living in or looking to relocate to San Francisco Bay Area. According to new research commissioned by staffing firm Robert Half and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), San Francisco ranks #3 in the nation as the best destination for career-oriented professionals among 25 large U.S. metropolitan areas studied. The city's bright career prospects, coupled with the top median income, helped it reach the number three spot. In addition to San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh ranked among the top five cities overall.

The Robert Half Career City Index is a benchmarking tool that ranks 25 U.S. cities across 25 indicators that measure and influence career choices, quality of life and work-life balance. The indicators are separated into four main categories: career prospects, quality of life, cost of living and cultural diversity. The study quantifies different aspects that make a city unique and factors that individuals may consider when deciding where to move.

View an infographic featuring the top rankings for San Francisco.

"The San Francisco Bay Area is a global financial mecca with abundant career opportunities for highly-skilled talent, particularly in technology, financial services and healthcare," said Sharon Black, senior district president for Robert Half in the Bay Area. "There is a considerable growth in relocations as recent graduates are looking to enter the lucrative industries which the Bay Area has cultivated in the last decade, and more tenured professionals, who are receiving multiple offers, are finding that the demand for skilled local talent is real. With the San Francisco Bay Area's labor force topping the list both in median income and career prospects, and ranking second in most educated workforce, it's no surprise that it's among the top three U.S. cities for career-oriented professionals."

Should I Stay or Go?
A second current study, the Robert Half Relocation Survey, sheds light on the topic of relocation and shows most professionals are open to the idea of moving to a new city. Sixty-seven percent of workers would consider relocating for a job, and 37 percent believe a move would improve their career prospects.

The most important factors in deciding to move are tied to money: A higher salary (88 percent) and a lower cost of living (61 percent) ranked substantially higher in importance than being closer to family and friends (39 percent)for the workers polled.

The Robert Half Relocation Survey also found:

  • Workers in the South and West regions of the United States are significantly more likely than those in the Northeast and Midwest to consider relocating.
  • An equal percentage of men and women (39 percent) consider being closer to family and friends an important factor in deciding to relocate.
  • Thirty-six percent of respondents are unsure whether moving to a new city would improve their career prospects.
  • Respondents in the Northeast, South and Midwest regions are significantly more likely than those in the West to consider a higher salary an important factor in deciding to move.
  • Men in the 18-34 age group are significantly more likely to believe moving will improve their career prospects.

About the Research
The Robert Half Career City Index provides users with timely data to help them choose a location to start their career or make a life change. Robert Half commissioned the study, which was conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, to shed light on how cities stack up in the eyes of professionals. The Robert Half Relocation Survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes more than 1,000 U.S. professionals.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 340 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at For career and management advice, follow our blog at

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SOURCE Robert Half