Forbes: Twin Cities Among Best U.S. Metros For Young Professionals

The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area ranked 10th on the latest Forbes list of metros offering the best prospects for young professionals with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The Twin Cities are among the nation’s 15 best metropolitan areas for young professionals, according to recent research by Forbes.
The 3.4 million-population area of Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington ranked 10th on Forbes’ list, which assessed the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas to determine which offered the best prospects for professionals aged 24 to 34 with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Forbes evaluated the areas based on seven factors. It started by looking at local unemployment and job growth projections for 2014 through 2016. Forbes also assessed median salaries for employed college graduates aged 24 to 34 and how far those salaries may go using a cost-of-living index. Forbes also considered the number of both small and large businesses per capita and Census data on the percentage of the local population aged 25 and older that holds a bachelor’s degree or higher.
According to Forbes’ research, the Twin Cities offer young professionals a median salary of $55,800 while 38.4 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. The area’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent and its average yearly growth was 2.2 percent for the period Forbes studied. Those figures have held steady recently as state officials last week announced a 4.5 percent unemployment rate and 2.5 percent job growth rate for July.
Meanwhile, according to Forbes, the area’s cost of living index is 98.4 and there is one 500-plus-employee company for every 1,554 people and one company with less than 500 employees per every 48.32 people.
Twin Cities Business recently examined how the local metro area is (or isn't) leveraging its low cost of living when attempting to attract prospective residents and businesses. 
Des Moines topped Forbes’ list with a median salary of $51,200, 4.5 percent unemployment rate, average yearly job growth of 2.9 percent and 34 percent of the population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Raleigh and Omaha ranked second and third, respectively, followed by Salt Lake City; Madison, Wisconsin; Boise City, Idaho; Provo, Utah; Austin, Texas; Denver; Minneapolis-St. Paul; San Jose, California; Fairfield County, Connecticut; Seattle; Oklahoma City and San Francisco.
These figures arrive with the backdrop of high unemployment for young professionals nationwide: the 25-to-34 age group’s 6.6 percent unemployment rate in July was among the highest of any group. Smaller, non-coastal cities tend to shine on the list, Forbes said, thanks to their strong economies, reasonable salaries and low cost of living.
Earlier this year, Minneapolis and St. Paul each landed on lists lauding the nation’s best cities for job hunters as well as a May list in which Minneapolis ranked fifth and St. Paul 12th among the country’s 150 largest cities in terms of being the best for starting a career., meanwhile, ranked Minneapolis 10th on its annual “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates “ list.