GOBankingRates

10 US Cities With Plenty of Jobs and Cheap Housing

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With many American families struggling with high rent, credit card debt and student loans, as well as a global pandemic, it might be difficult to find an affordable place to lay down roots. Finding a place to live with good-paying jobs and affordable housing is certainly a delicate balance. Many U.S. cities have one or the other, with American families assuming that a city with decent wages will come with high housing costs. But luckily, there are plenty of cities that offer the best of both worlds.

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To identify cities in the U.S. that have plenty of jobs and cheap housing, GOBankingRates gathered information on the 200 biggest housing markets in the U.S., according to Zillow. We gathered data available regarding the typical home value and monthly rent as of March 2021, as well as the city’s unemployment rate, according to the 2019 American Community Survey.

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The 10 cities in the final ranking have values lower than the U.S. national average in all of the above factors. Additional data on labor force participation and livability score was gathered from the American Community Survey and AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of April 26, 2021.

Find out if your city has cheap housing and job opportunities.

Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Amarillo, Texas

  • Typical home value: $152,694
  • Typical rent: $872
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Labor force participation rate: 67%
  • Median household income: $52,725
  • Livability score: 79

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Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  • Typical home value: $245,835
  • Typical rent: $836
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 3%
  • Labor force participation rate: 74%
  • Median household income: $59,912
  • Livability score: 72

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Lubbock, Texas

  • Typical home value: $162,977
  • Typical rent: $924
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Labor force participation rate: 65%
  • Median household income: $50,453
  • Livability score: 74

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Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Typical home value: $161,633
  • Typical rent: $849
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 4.1%
  • Labor force participation rate: 66%
  • Median household income: $51,485
  • Livability score: 57

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Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Typical home value: $224,609
  • Typical rent: $926
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Labor force participation rate: 72%
  • Median household income: $57,746
  • Livability score: 81

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Oklahoma City

  • Typical home value: $158,473
  • Typical rent: $985
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 4.3%
  • Labor force participation rate: 67%
  • Median household income: $55,557
  • Livability score: 77

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Springfield, Missouri

  • Typical home value: $170,604
  • Typical rent: $817
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 4.9%
  • Labor force participation rate: 59%
  • Median household income: $36,856
  • Livability score: 63

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Omaha, Nebraska

  • Typical home value: $227,180
  • Typical rent: $982
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 4.3%
  • Labor force participation rate: 70%
  • Median household income: $60,092
  • Livability score: 77

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Kansas City, Missouri

  • Typical home value: $190,614
  • Typical rent: $1,078
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 4.8%
  • Labor force participation rate: 69%
  • Median household income: $54,194
  • Livability score: 59

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Greenville, South Carolina

  • Typical home value: $228,536
  • Typical rent: $1,114
  • 2019 unemployment rate: 4.3%
  • Labor force participation rate: 69%
  • Median household income: $56,609
  • Livability score: 74

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Jordan Rosenfeld contributed to the reporting for this article. 

Methodology: To identify cities in the U.S. that have plenty of jobs and cheap housing, GOBankingRates gathered information on the 200 biggest housing markets in the United States, according to Zillow. To be considered for ranking, each city had to have data available on: (1) its March 2021 typical home value, according to Zillow (2) its March 2021 typical monthly rent, according to Apartment List and (3) its unemployment rate, according to the 2019 American Community Survey. The 10 cities in the final ranking have values lower than the U.S. national average in all three of the above factors. The highlighted cities then were scored on all three factors and ranked against each other, with factors (1) and (2) carrying half as much weight as factor (3). Supplemental information also was provided on each city’s labor force participation rate (for the population 16 and older), median household income from the 2019 American Community Survey and livability score from AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of April 26, 2021.

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