10 Happiest Places to Work in the U.S.

Which U.S. city was named the happiest place to work? Find out.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 17, 2016

10 Happiest Places to Work in the U.S.

What makes people happy in their jobs? Is it the money? The working culture? The location? Forbes’ top 20 happiest places to work appears to be a little of all three. Most top 20 locations are either on the East or West Coast, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that three of the top 10 locations are in Silicon Valley. Also, nine of the top 10 happiest places to work earns an average salary over the national median household income of $51,939, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

So whether you’re a college senior looking for your first job or simply an opportunity to relocate, consider one of the top 10 happiest places to work in the U.S. right now. Check out the locations along with the median annual salary for each city.

10. Buffalo, New York — $48,457

Buffalo may be one of the more obscure “happiest places” but making this list means that city employers offer employees a great work-life balance, compensation and opportunities for advancement. Some of the biggest employers there include state and federal governments.

9. San Francisco, California — $71,138

As of 2015, San Francisco has officially become part of the Silicon Valley network. This is in large part due to the number of start-ups located in the city, which is just north of the epicenter of Silicon Valley. The city is home to employers like Yelp, Pinterest, Reddit and Twitter as well as Levi Strauss and Co. and Gap Inc.

8. Arlington, Virginia — $90,391

Though it’s located in Virginia, Arlington is home to many of Washington D.C.’s must-see sites, like The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. Its biggest employer is not surprising: the federal government. Arlington offers jobs with the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice.

7. Los Angeles, California — $75,005

Los Angeles isn’t just home to the stars; it’s also home to some of the happiest workers in the country. Job seekers can obviously find plenty of work in entertainment – from movies and television to video games and music recording. Additionally, there are opportunities in international trade, manufacturing and higher education.

6. Redmond, Washington — $104,199

It may not be Silicon Valley but that doesn’t mean that Redmond is any less vital to the technology and development scene. The largest employer, by far, is Microsoft. Nintendo’s American headquarters are also based in Redmond.

5. San Jose, California — $96,209

San Jose considers itself the capital of Silicon Valley, mostly because it’s the largest city in the Valley. Engineering and computer science students flock to the area to work at notable tech companies like Adobe, PayPal and eBay. In 2014, Forbes dubbed it the happiest place to work in the country.

4. Brooklyn, New York — $53,907

Hop on over to the other side of the country, and you’ll find that tech and development aren’t the only fields that yield happy employees. One of the largest boroughs in the New York City area, it’s no doubt that Manhattan jobs attract most of the boroughs’ residents. However, in 2000, roughly 91% of business establishments in Brooklyn were considered small businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

3. Mountain View, California — $91,733

Google has long been known as one of the best places to work – so obviously its headquarters in Mountain View helped push this locale to the top of the happiest places to work list. In addition to Google, Mountain View is home to other tech-focused companies like LinkedIn, Mozilla and Samsung.

2. Jersey City, New Jersey — $78,107

Also located just outside of New York City, Jersey City takes the second place spot on the list. It has been working hard to woo large companies to make Jersey City host to their headquarters. In recent years, it has attracted Goya Foods and Forbes Magazine.

1. Miami, Florida — $63,825

Finally, whether it’s the sun and sand or the international economic opportunities, Miami is considered the happiest place to work in the country, according to Forbes. In addition to several cruise lines being headquartered in Miami, it’s also the base for brands like Bacardi, Burger King and Benihana. Its proximity to Latin America and large Hispanic population makes Miami the perfect city to host Latin American operations for companies like American Airlines, Disney and Wal-Mart as well.

So if you’re looking for a job that offers everything – including happiness – get your resume ready and start your search in one of the above cities.

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