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Blog | 2 min read

Greater Richmond claims top ranking in Hottest Job Market list

April 10, 2024

CoStar employee

The Wall Street Journal publishes rankings of America’s ‘Hottest Job Markets’ and this year’s list finds Richmond, Virginia, at #11. The rankings this year revealed a trend: cities that are more affordable and are home to tech and finance hubs are securing this year’s top spots. Greater Richmond has long been home to robust tech and finance industries, and at four points below the U.S. average cost of living, it’s no surprise the region is included in this prestigious list.

Hottest Job Market ranking

Hottest Job Market Ranking

change in labor force size

Change in Labor Force Size

Net new residents per week

Net New Residents per Week

The ranking scores about 380 metro areas in five categories: unemployment rate, labor force participation, payroll change, change in labor force size and change in average weekly wages. Notably, Richmond scores #2 for change in labor force size and #14 for unemployment rate.

Richmond is one of only a few metros at the top of the list outside of Florida and Texas. Furthermore, it is the only location in the mid-Atlantic, meaning the region is outpacing its neighboring peers.

Greater Richmond talent: educated, diverse and growing

The workforce in Greater Richmond amounts to more than 675,240 individuals. Not only is the region’s talent abundant, but it is also well-educated with 24.8 percent of residents holding a bachelor’s degree. There are 22 colleges and higher education institutions in Greater Richmond alone. Within a 150-mile radius of Greater Richmond, employers can find 1.7 million higher education students. Post-graduation, a large portion of these students choose to locate in Greater Richmond to access the region’s superior quality of life and affordability.

Greater Richmond’s affordability also allows employers to retain top-notch talent at wages below other metros, including some metros ranked among the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Hottest Job Markets. With 182 net new residents per week, Greater Richmond’s educated and diverse workforce continues to expand, providing the region’s 11 Fortune 1000 companies and other major employers access to even more affordable talent.

Furthermore, Greater Richmond’s workforce reflects the overall metro population which is 41 percent non-white while the U.S. average is just 32 percent non-white. Greater Richmond provides a strong and diverse education-to-workforce pipeline as the region is home to two historically Black colleges and universities plus a Minority Serving Institution.

Learn more about the opportunities of operating in Greater Richmond.