Attention college graduates: The easiest places to get a professional job and save money are Phoenix, Seattle and Charlotte.
The determination was part of a joint study from housing website Zillow and professional networking website LinkedIn that looked at employment data, salaries and other factors from 2016 to see where job candidates have the best chance of pocketing cash at the end of the month and getting hired in three major categories.
So, how did San Diego do?
America's Finest City ranked near the bottom in two categories and almost the middle in one. It could be worse — Los Angeles was dead last in all categories.
Here's how San Diego measures up by job category:
- Finance (22 out of 30 cities): San Diegans in this profession had $2,810 in disposable income a month after paying rent in 2016. In the first place spot, Charlotte, workers pocketed $3,685 a month. There were also more jobs available in the North Carolina city, about .45 for every 1,000 people. It was .39 in San Diego. The worst region was Los Angeles, where workers saved the least of any city studied — $2,292 a month — and had about .23 job openings per 1,000.
- Health care (27 out of 30 cities): San Diego scored worst in this category because workers only kept 34.5 percent of their earnings after paying taxes and rent, about $2,735 a month. The best place was Phoenix, where workers kept $3,793 a month and there were 2.9 job openings per 1,000 adults. The worst was Los Angeles where workers keep $2,962 a month, which was more than San Diego but had less job movement.
- Technology (17 out of 30 cities): San Diego did the best in this category, but only because of hiring. Workers can expect to retain $2,772 (second-lowest of all cities) a month. In Seattle, which also has high home prices, workers hold on to $5,493 a month. San Diego had 1.5 job openings per 1,000 adults, higher than more than half of the cities studied.
Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, said the organizations decided to look at the data to give job seekers a leg up on their decision to move.
"We had in our mind someone working in one of these industries and deciding between a bunch of different places," he said. "Probably someone that is highly mobile and just starting out."
Terrazas said a job seeker considering San Diego may have a tough decision to make.
"The reality is the cost of living, for housing and taxes, certainly weighs on the take-home pay you're going to have," he said. "A lot of people want to live in San Diego and it's a beautiful place. But, it is expensive."
The overall subjective beauty of a location did not always correlate in the study. For instance, technology workers in Miami got to keep 46.9 percent of their monthly income after rent and taxes compared to 34.6 percent in San Diego.
Just looking at take home pay, San Diego ranked the second-worst in technology out of the 30 cities, and fourth-worst in finance and health care.
However, job openings are the city's saving grace. San Diego had the eighth-most job openings in technology per 1,000 adults and ninth-most in finance (tied with Phoenix and Dallas). Health care was near the bottom, with only Cleveland and New York City having less per capita job openings.
The study also looked at share of workers that changed their jobs in 2016. The theory is job changes show how strong an industry is and how confident workers are staying in the area.
By that metric, San Diego did pretty well. About 7 percent of health care workers in San Diego changed jobs in 2016 (seventh-highest out of the 30 cities), along with 11.3 percent of technology workers (tied for ninth place) and 9.8 percent of finance workers (tied for 14th place).
Housing costs are typically the reason why most studies of San Diego give the city poor marks. A larger report last year from Bankrate of 21 cities found San Diego was the seventh-worst place for growing wealth. Although the city ranked high on access to education and workers that have access to a retirement plan, it fell behind other cities because of a lack of savable income as a result of home prices.