San Jose Is Home to the Happiest Workers

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News Posted: Wed, Feb 2 2011 12:00 AM

CareerBliss has dubbed San Jose, CA, the Happiest City to Work. Folks there are happier than workers in Portland, New York and Tucson. They are way happier than workers in Saint Paul, MN, which was found to be the most miserable city to work.

With San Jose's average February temperature a brisk 54°F degrees, while Saint Paul's mean hovers at 21.4, it's easy to see why Californians are whooping it up about now. (On February 1, San Jose was 61 degrees, while St. Paul was 11°F with a wind chill of -6).

After a week of feeling irregular, Brad had a breakthrough moment...

But CareerBliss didn't rate the cities on their weather. It concentrated on eight areas: growth opportunities, compensation, benefits, work-life balance, career advancement, senior management, job security and if people would recommend their employer to others. The fact that San Jose is loaded with tech jobs made it score well in those areas. The IT industry generally "yields happy employees" says Matt Miller, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of CareerBliss. Good pay, good prospects and mentally stimulating work tends to make it so.

More to the point: the mean salary for workers in San Jose: $85,000. Mean salary for St Paul's workers: $59,000, according to

The No. 2 city on the list can be found just up the 101, San Francisco. Though it can't lay claim to better weather, as another high tech employment hub, it has all of the rest. Plus, it beats the pants off San Jose on food, city views, nightlife, entertainment, sports, culture ... and yet its workers are not quite as happy as the folks in the South Bay. Go figure.

Here's the full Top 10.

The CareerBliss Happiest Cities to Work:



Metro Area

  Index Score: Work Happiness


1.   San Jose, CA   3.5386
2.   San Francisco, CA   3.4669
3.   Jacksonville, FL   3.4495
4.   Miami, FL   3.448
5.   Washington, DC   3.448
6.   Memphis, TN   3.4433
7.   El Paso, TX   3.4269
8.   Los Angeles, CA   3.4266
9.   San Diego, CA   3.4243
10.   Birmingham, AL   3.4192

* Happiness Rating: One to five scale - rating eight aspects of job happiness

Interestingly, New York, Atlanta and Chicago didn't make the Top 10 list, while the paradise of El Paso, TX, did. (Just sayin'.)

Workers in cities such as Jacksonville, FL, and Washington, DC, named job security, work-life balance, and growth opportunities as their bliss. You wouldn't think that San Jose could have scored as well on work-life balance. Silicon Valley is notorious for making high demands on tech workers. But it actually ranked No. 1 there. Guess when you sleep at work, that is your life so what's to balance?

In any case, workers in Saint Paul, Indianapolis and Omaha have more to complain about. Here's the full Bottom 10.

The CareerBliss Unhappiest Cities to Work

Rank   Metro Area   Index Score: Work Happiness


1.   Saint Paul, MN   3.2415
2.   Indianapolis, IN   3.2469
3.   Omaha, NE   3.2668
4.   Cleveland, OH   3.2788
5.   Pittsburgh, PA   3.2824
6.   Salt Lake City, UT   3.2861
7.   Brooklyn, NY   3.2864
8.   Tucson, AZ   3.2938
9.   Portland, OR   3.2984
10.   Tampa, FL   3.3009

Happiness Rating: One to five scale - rating eight aspects of job happiness

These lists were created by analyzing data on 200,000 independent company reviews, CareerBliss says.

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I always thought that California was a great place to live. But I really like it in Virginia since I moved here in 2006.

This is where I'll stay.

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Yeah... you would have better luck finding a rent controlled apartment in New York than finding a job in San Jose :P

They are only happier up there because they have better "medicinal" access then everywhere else!

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RA1D replied on Mon, Feb 7 2011 1:40 PM

I'm moving from San Diego to the Bay area after I graduate. #9 to #1 :)

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