Happiest and Unhappiest Cities for Work in 2012

Posted January 01, 2012

Looking to make a big career move in 2012? Consider CareerBliss' annual list of Happiest and Unhappiest Cities for Work.

Thousands of employees in the happiest cities say they're most satisfied with the people they work with, the way they work and the work that they do. Employees in the unhappiest cities, however, want to see better growth opportunities, compensation and company culture.

Did your city make either list?

Happiest Cities for Work in 2012

RankCitiesBliss Rating*Average Salary
1Miami, FL4.140$53,764.00
2Worcester, MA4.106$54,524.00
3Oklahoma City, OK4.105$54,323.00
4San Jose, CA4.073$83,088.00
5Oxnard, CA4.072$63,527.00
6Wichita, KS4.069$57,681.00
7Killeen, TX4.063$53,841.00
8Syracuse, NY4.063$45,821.00
9San Antonio, TX4.054$62,633.00
10Provo, UT4.052$46,858.00
11New Orleans, LA4.051$58,759.00
12Washington, DC4.046$70,346.00
13Virginia Beach, VA4.040$61,964.00
14Palm Bay, FL4.031$62,127.00
15New York, NY4.026$78,404.00
16Atlanta, GA4.025$70,294.00
17Houston, TX4.020$64,792.00
18Jackson, WY4.020$52,142.00
19Bridgeport, CT4.014$57,991.00
20Tampa, FL4.014$58,765.00
21Los Angeles, CA4.011$62,349.00
22San Diego, CA4.008$67,305.00
23Durham, NC4.005$56,173.00
24Grand Rapids, MI4.002$54,011.00
25Philadelphia, PA3.996$57,592.00
26Riverside, CA3.995$56,799.00
27San Francisco, CA3.994$83,033.00
28Memphis, TN3.979$56,668.00
29Saint Louis, MO3.975$66,205.00
30Stockton, CA3.975$54,698.00
31Portland, OR3.963$66,736.00
32Columbus, OH3.962$58,396.00
33Baltimore, MD3.961$58,793.00
34Orlando, FL3.953$55,754.00
35Ann Arbor, MI3.952$60,594.00
36Chicago, IL3.951$63,602.00
37Detroit, MI3.950$53,199.00
38Pittsburgh, PA3.949$57,436.00
39Phoenix, AZ3.934$63,409.00
40Las Vegas, NV3.933$61,347.00
41Dallas, TX3.932$65,271.00
42Columbia, TN3.929$58,907.00
43Colorado Springs, CO3.928$66,398.00
44Birmingham, AL3.925$53,436.00
45Jacksonville, NC3.923$44,690.00
46Akron, OH3.921$48,927.00
47Boston, MA3.913$64,610.00
48Trenton, NJ3.909$57,723.00
49Sacramento, CA3.908$60,976.00
50Seattle, WA3.906$74,841.00

Unhappiest Cities for Work in 2012

RankCitiesBliss Rating*

1=Poor 5=Good

Average Salary
1New Haven, CT3.465$62,604.00
2Dayton, OH3.669$58,160.00
3Milwaukee, WI3.687$52,425.00
4Tulsa, OK3.690$56,170.00
5Albuquerque, NM3.696$60,598.00
6Fort Collins, CO3.700$63,256.00
7Buffalo, NY3.748$48,648.00
8Greensboro, NC3.783$61,748.00
9Austin, TX3.785$73,923.00
10Cincinnati, OH3.790$60,518.00
11Boulder, CO3.791$69,983.00
12Salt Lake City, UT3.793$57,331.00
13Louisville, KY3.795$57,734.00
14Richmond, VA3.800$63,787.00
15Hartford, CT3.805$58,808.00
16Kansas City, MO3.811$54,909.00
17Tucson, AZ3.820$58,116.00
18Rochester, NY3.821$57,200.00
19Indianapolis, IN3.821$55,725.00
20Springfield, OH3.831$55,523.00
21Denver, CO3.834$63,832.00
22Cleveland, OH3.871$51,943.00
23Raleigh, NC3.882$59,813.00
24Providence, RI3.894$51,399.00
25Harrisburg, PA3.895$57,487.00
26Knoxville, TN3.896$54,793.00
27Bakersfield, CA3.897$60,642.00
28Minneapolis, MN3.898$66,589.00
29Nashville, TN3.904$53,869.00
30Madison, WI3.904$62,769.00


The CareerBliss data evaluates the key factors which affect work happiness, including: one's relationship with their boss and co-workers, their work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, their daily tasks, and job control over the work that they do on a daily basis. The data accounts for how an employee values each factor as well as how important that factor is to the employee's overall happiness. Each review is given an average score indicating where the company places between one and five. All assessments are derived from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. A total of 43,000 employee reviews were used for this report. A minimum of 50 employee reviews was required within each city to be considered for this data set.

* Bliss Rating: Overall job happiness score assigned by employees. Bliss Rating is derived from company reviews which evaluate each of the key factors that contribute to the overall happiness in the workplace.

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

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