LA and Philadelphia are the Two Best American Cities to Find Young Talent

July 8, 2015

If you want to hire a recent college graduate in the United States, there’s no better place to look than Philadelphia or Los Angeles.

A new study by our research team at LinkedIn found that in those two cities, the supply of recent college graduates has exceeded the demand. In other words, there is a lot of young talent in those two cities, but not a lot of recruiters are interested in it, compared to other metropolitan areas.

Conversely, Phoenix and Seattle have the opposite problem: a lot of demand from recruiters for young talent and not enough recent college graduates to meet it.

Where you should (and shouldn’t) be looking for graduates

For the report, we defined demand by the amount of InMails recent college graduates received from recruiters and divided it by the total number of LinkedIn members who meet our recent grad criteria. So, a city with high demand means that the average recent college graduate in that city is receiving a lot of messages from recruiters.

Supply was measured by totaling the amount of LinkedIn members who recently graduated college in that city. The graph below illustrates that:

supply and demand for students in the US

As you can see, “saturated” cities – cities that fell into the upper-left corner of the graph - are ones with a small talent pool of college graduates and a high demand for them. “Hidden gem” cities, or ones that fell into the bottom-right corner of the graph, were the opposite: a large talent pool of college graduates, but little demand for them.

Based on this, here is how the largest US cities map to student pool supply and demand:

supply and demand for recent graduates in us


And here is a map, representing the same information:

map of supply and demand for students in the US

Four takeaways to consider:

  • As mentioned, Philadelphia and particularly Los Angeles have too many recent college graduates and not enough demand for them. Recruiters should look to those two cities to source young talent.
  • St. Louis, San Diego and Baltimore have both few recent college graduates and little demand for them.
  • San Francisco has far more demand for recent college graduates than any other American city.
  • New York City has the largest supply of recent college graduates of any American city and there is a high demand for them, although not as high as Boston and San Francisco

What this means for you

There are two takeaways from the graph above: the bigger point and what you can do today. What you can do today is use the data to inform your decision making, so Seattle companies should start looking to Los Angeles for young talent, as an example.

The bigger point is this: if you are having trouble finding talent, it might not be your company, but your location. Recruiters in Phoenix, for example, will generally have a harder time sourcing young talent than recruiters in Philadelphia.

If you can’t source locally, the solution is to find the labor markets where the supply exceeds the demand, i.e. where there is more talent than jobs to fill, and look there. And while this article gives a macro view of America’s labor markets, here’s a playbook to uncovering a much more granular view of any location’s labor market.

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*Image by Eric Demarcq

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