If you are one of those millennials who are already planning your escape from DC, yet would like to move somewhere similar, the New York Times has a tool for you.
A new interactive post in the Times enables users to pinpoint which cities are most similar to other metros from a job perspective. Using Indeed.com job postings, cities’ mix of jobs are used as the barometer, with the implication being that two cities with comparable mixes of employment opportunities also have comparable academic opportunities, institutions, topographical advantages, and supply and demand dynamics.
The analysis suggests that if you want to live in DC but don’t want to live in DC, Baltimore is a great alternative. Chicago is the DC of the Midwest, San Francisco is the DC of the West Coast, Raleigh is the DC of the South, Charlottesville is a less-populated version of DC and Dallas is a DC for Trump voters.
Using a 100-point scale, Baltimore has a similarity ranking of 79 when comparing its job pool with that of DC. Boston and New York City are tied for second place, with similarity rankings of 77 when comparing their job pools to the nation’s capital.
If one assumes that large companies searching for a home for a second headquarters would prefer to settle in a city similar to where it is currently based, then Amazon would be barking up the wrong tree if it chose to locate HQ2 in the DC area. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Austin are the only cities on the Amazon shortlist that are also seen as the most similar cities to Seattle.
While this particular tool focuses on job listings, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has been developing a Peer City Identification Tool (PCIT) that looks at a number of factors and datasets to compare cities to each other. While the PCIT selects a group of the most comparable cities for various factors, Boston is the only city that shows up in both the tool and the job posting study — although by PCIT’s measure, Boston and DC are most alike where housing is concerned as well.