DC isn’t the best choice for Gen-Zers looking to relocate — but it has lots of jobs for them

The D.C. metro area’s cost of living makes it a tough choice for Gen-Z professionals looking to relocate, but the area is a fertile ground for young professionals looking to land a job.

D.C. ranks No. 1 among big cities for share of jobs for recent college graduates — with 30.4% of current job openings, according to CommercialCafe.

“The reason is because D.C. is, first of all, a very academic-rich environment. Also, it has a lot of government as well as diversified tech jobs which give a lot of opportunity,” said Doug Ressler of Yardi Matrix, parent company of CommercialCafe.

D.C. is also great for Gen-Zers who like the outdoors, ranking No. 2 for the number of parks per capita, at 7.13 per 10,000 residents. It also earned the third-highest score for its environmentally friendly commute, for bikes and public transportation.

Ressler said the District also has neighborhood amenities young professionals are looking for, particularly newer neighborhoods.

“Do I have grocery? Do I have retail? Do I have a cohort of people that I want to associate with? Are they my age group? That’s why the Navy Yard is so popular.” Ressler said.

The top Gen-Z cities on CommercialCafe’s list are Minneapolis, Atlanta and Boston. Boston has the highest percentage of Gen-Zers enrolled in college at 61.3%.

The East Coast is home to six of the 20 entries on the list, with Seattle being the only West Coast city making the top 20 at No. 13.

People can check out CommericalCafe’s full Gen-Z cities report and its methodology online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up