When Gen Z goes job hunting, doors open widest in these college towns

As a newly minted college graduate in 2020, Cheyenne Carder felt stuck. Hardly anyone was hiring in the midst of the COVID pandemic. For more than a year, she pursued marketing jobs in her native state of Illinois, but nothing panned out.

Then Carder moved to Madison, Wis. — and everything got better.

She quickly landed a social-media internship with a major nonprofit organization, as well as a side gig helping other clients. Carder and her boyfriend have rented a $1,500-a-month apartment that’s near their favorite stores and well within their budgets.

“This is such an exciting place to live,” Carter says, At age 24, she’s enjoying everything from Madison’s lakeside concerts in the summer to ice skating in the winter, surrounded by plenty of career starters her age.

What’s working for Cheyenne Carder turns out to be a winning scenario for many members of the U.S. workforce’s youngest generation. A new analysis by LinkedIn’s Economic graph team highlights the 15 U.S. metro areas with the largest percentages of Gen Zers — aged 25 and under.

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