California has the second highest unemployment rate in the U.S. and many Californians want to find California apartments closer to where jobs are. The good news is that there are several places thriving in California that have unemployment rates well below the national average.
Here’s a list of cities in California with a population of at least 50,000 and unemployment rates of 6.5% or lower (the national average is now 9.2%). I’ve even included the average monthly rent for apartments in each city:
San Ramon, CA – population: 72,148, unemployment: 4.6%, average rent: $1,594
About 25 miles east of Oakland, San Ramon is known as Tree City USA. Top 3 employers are Chevron, AT&T, and Robert Half International.
Pleasanton, CA – population: 70,285, unemployment: 5.4%, average rent: $1,600
About 30 miles southeast of Oakland, Pleasanton is the one of the wealthiest mid-size cities in the nation. Top 3 employers are Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, and Oracle.
Folsom, CA – population: 72,203, unemployment: 5.8%, average rent: $1,287
Just under 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, the city is known for having several prisons, including the maximum-security Folsom State Prison. Top 3 employers are Intel, California State Prison (Sacramento), and Verizon.
Yorba Linda, CA – population: 64,234, unemployment: 5.9%, average rent: $1,785
A little over 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Yorba Linda is the birthplace of Richard Nixon and home to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Top 3 employers are CareFusion, Nobel Biocare, and Costco.
Lake Forest, CA – population: 77,264, unemployment: 6.2%, average rent: $1,668
Just over 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the city has two beautiful artificial lakes. Top 3 employers are Western Digital, Apria Healthcare, and Beech Street.
Glendora, CA – population: 50,073, unemployment: 6.4%, average rent: $1,288
Nearly 30 miles east of Los Angeles, Glendora is upscale with a high-ranking school district and low crime rates. Top 3 employers are Glendora Unified School District, Citrus College, and the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.
Mission Viejo, CA – population: 93,305, unemployment: 6.5%, average rent: $1,650
About 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Mission Viejo is the second-largest master-planned community ever built under a single project in the United States. Top 3 employers are Saddleback College, Mission Hospital, and Unisis.
When you’re looking for California apartments in places with a secure job market, expect to pay a little more in rent, but also know that with such strong local economies, it’s probably worth the financial stretch.
Data source: Unemployment statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics (Feb, 2011 – pending).
How about you? Any luck finding apartments? California is a great place to look. Comment below.
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