Presented by: WalletHub

Thousands of young Americans are hitting the bricks and looking for work after finishing college this spring, and here’s a look at five cities they should focus their job searches on. “It’s important for young people to realize that there’s a big, big difference between some of the best and worst cities in terms of what you can earn, the cost of living and even [dating] opportunities,” says Odysseas Papadimitriou of WalletHub, which recently named 2014’s Best Cities to Start a Career.

WalletHub, which tracks banking rates and provides consumer reviews of personal-finance firms, chose winners by grading America’s 150 most-populous cities on a weighted scale of 18 economic and quality-of-life measures important to recent graduates. Factors ranged from local jobless rates to how many young adults and unmarried people (i.e., potential dates) call a given city home.

Third-best city to start a career: Irving, Texas: Part of the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, Irving is home to a surprisingly large number of major employers. Exxon-Mobil, Kimberly-Clark and other big corporations have headquarters there, while Citigroup, Verizon and other top firms have significant local operations as well.

Partly as a result, Irving comes in fourth for having a diversified labor force, sixth for per-capita entry-level jobs and 11th for median-income growth.

Young people who move there will also find that the community ranks 10th for 25- to 34-year-olds as a share of total population — although arranging a successful date could be a challenge. That’s because Irving places 111th for percentage of residents who’ve never been married and 102nd for per-capita arts-and-leisure offerings. doesn’t break out median home prices for Irving, but says the typical Dallas-area residence carries a $233,900 asking price.

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