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5 Best & Worst U.S. Cities for Employment

Updated: May 17


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As a passive multifamily real estate investor, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a market is employment. A strong job market means more people moving to the area and looking for places to live, which can lead to higher rents and occupancy rates for your rental properties.


Here is a look at the top 5 and worst 5 US cities for employment in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


Top 5 US Cities for Employment as of August 2023


1. Bismarck, ND

  • Unemployment Rate: 1.5%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,169

2. Fargo, ND-MN

  • Unemployment Rate: 1.6%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $695

3. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

  • Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,473

4. Burlington-South Burlington, VT

  • Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,550

5. Grand Island, NE

  • Unemployment Rate: 1.8%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,245


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Worst 5 US Cities for Employment as of August 2023


1. El Centro, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 19.7%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,600

2. Yuma, AZ

  • Unemployment Rate: 18.7%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $850

3. Visalia-Porterville, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 9.8%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $925

4. Merced, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 8.6%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,188

5. Bakersfield, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 8.1%

  • Average Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment: $1,025


*The employment data is sourced from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the average rent data is derived from Zumper.


Implications for Passive Multifamily Real Estate Investors


If you are a passive multifamily real estate investor, you should focus your investment efforts on cities with strong employment growth. These cities are likely to see higher demand for rental housing in the coming years, which can lead to higher rents and occupancy rates for your properties.

Here are some specific tips for passive multifamily real estate investors in the top 5 cities for employment growth:

  • Invest in Class B and C properties. These properties are typically more affordable than Class A properties and can offer higher returns.

  • Target neighborhoods with strong job growth. Look for neighborhoods that are home to major employers or that are experiencing rapid job growth.

  • Work with a reputable sponsor who won’t skimp on property management. A strong sponsor will know that good property managers can help you maximize your rental income and minimize your expenses.

Here are some tips for passive multifamily real estate investors in the worst 5 cities for employment growth:

  • Be cautious about investing in new construction. New construction properties can be more expensive and may take longer to lease up.

  • Focus on niche markets. Consider investing in properties that cater to specific groups of renters, such as students, seniors, or families.

Have a long-term investment horizon. It may take longer to see returns on your investment in cities with slower job growth.


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Final Thoughts


By focusing your investment efforts on cities with strong employment growth, you can increase your chances of success as a passive multifamily real estate investor. However, it is important to do your research and understand the specific risks and rewards of investing in each market.

Here are some additional tips for passive multifamily real estate investors:

  • Diversify your portfolio by investing in properties in different cities and states.

  • Work with a team of experienced professionals, not “mom & pops”. This will help to reduce your risks and ensure your investment is being managed by experienced professionals, including your sponsor, CPA, and financial adivsors.

  • Have a realistic understanding of your investment goals and risk tolerance.

With careful planning and execution, passive multifamily real estate investing can be a great way to build wealth and generate passive income.


Be Bold, Be Great, and Keep Pushing Forward!

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P.S. If one of your priorities, like mine, is building and preserving your wealth through multifamily real estate investments, click here to discuss how we can partner together.


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If you are an accredited investor interested in learning more about passively investing in multifamily properties, click here to complete our investor form and schedule a call with our Investor Relations team.


About Ellie Perlman


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Ellie Perlman is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.


A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.


Ellie is the founding host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.


She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.


Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.


You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at www.bluelake-capital.com.


*The content provided on this website, including all downloadable resources, is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. Furthermore, this material does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.

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