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Providence: One of the Worst Cities to Start a Career Says Study

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Providence is ranked as one of the worst cities to start a career in.

Providence is one of the worst cities in the country to start a career. 

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Providence is ranked 113th out of 150 ranked cities. 

“Deciding where to lay the foundation for a long and prosperous career can be a daunting task, especially for recent graduates entering the job market for the first time. After all, there are numerous factors — job-market saturation, housing affordability and commuter-friendliness, for instance — to consider about each prospective area,” said WalletHub. 

Providence is ranked 138th for professional opportunities and 39th for quality of life. 

The Rankings 

Providence is ranked behind Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Garden Grove, California who rank 111th and 112th respectively. Providence is ranked ahead of Aurora, Illinois and Henderson, Nevada, who rank 114th and 115th respectively.

Salt Lake City, Utah is ranked as the best place to start a career, while Newark, New Jersey is ranked as the worst place. 

See the full rankings in the map below. 

Source: WalletHub

The Method 

WalletHub’s data analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across two key dimensions, “Professional Opportunities” and “Quality of Life.” 

They evaluated the two dimensions using 23 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for job-market entrants.

WalletHub then calculated the total score for each city based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.

Professional Opportunities – Total Points: 70

  • Availability of Entry-Level Jobs: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Monthly Average Starting Salary: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Annual Job Growth Rate: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Median-Income Growth Rate: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Economic Mobility: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Workforce Diversity: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)
  • Job Satisfaction: Full Weight (~6.36 Points).
  • Entrepreneur-Friendliness: Full Weight (~6.36 Points)


Quality of Life – Total Points: 30

  • Median Annual Income: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Average Length of Work Week (in Hours): Half Weight (~1.36 Points)
  • Commuter-Friendly Jobs: Full Weight (~2.73 Points).
  • Average Commute Time (in Minutes): Half Weight (~1.36 Points)
  • Share of Population Aged 25 to 34: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Strength of Social Ties: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Share of Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Projected Population Growth (2044 vs. 2014): Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Housing Affordability: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Fun-Friendliness: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Family-Friendliness: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)
  • Singles-Friendliness: Full Weight (~2.73 Points)

Related Slideshow: 20 Hipster Hotspots in Rhode Island

Prev Next

White Electric

711 Westminster St, Providence

Hipsters love coffee almost as much as they love their beards. Located in the up-and-coming West End, White Electric is famous for their coffee and their baked goods. Especially popular amongst the hipster set is the avocado and bean sprout on a bagel. They also cater to all of you vegetarian/vegans out there, featuring soy milk and "tofutti" cream cheese (that's cream cheese made from tofu instead of dairy) alongside more standard fare.

Prev Next

What Cheer? Tavern

228 New York Ave, Providence

What do hipsters love more than their beards and their coffee? Craft brews and whiskeys, of course. What Cheer? Tavern, named for the first thing the Narragansett Indians said to Roger Williams upon his arrival in Rhode Island, has an ample supply of both. The beer selection focuses on American craft beers like Long Trail and Goose Island, and they offer up creative tasty meals like the "bacon wings", a kimchi hot dog, and of course, The Hipster Taco, consisting of "2 Soft flour tortillas, 5 Spice Tofu , kimchi, and quick pickle."

Photo Credit: Mike L/Yelp

Prev Next

AS220 Food

115 Empire St, Providence

Hipsters love to Yelp. Perhaps Philip Peter W. of Brooklyn NY said it best about AS220 Food

When you live in a city that isn't very hip, a little hipster goes a long way--in a good way!  I'm vegan/vegetarian...we ordered mac and cheese, kale/tempeh/butternut squash salad, and hummus with pita...I appreciate a place that focuses on a small, conscious menu and getting those few items right.  

There's a decent craft beer selection at the bar and some inspired cocktails; i had one that involved american vodka, ginger beer, muddled basil, and bitters.  Beer is a little pricey.  

...it's great that these folks are putting local/sustainable/vegetarian food, craft beer, art, and music all in one place.  

Small plastic cups for water is a bit questionable from an environmental standpoint. No annoying TVs = major +  
Bartender kinda looked like Amy Winehouse...

Prev Next

Olympic Records

580 Wickenden St, Providence

You won't find the latest One Direction CD at Olympic Records. In fact, you won't find CD's at all. Olympic specializes in used vinyl, and stocks a selection of new titles, as well. Hipsters love to "spin the black circle," or at least love to be seen with them as a status symbol or fashion accessory. Sure, you can buy records at Urban Outfitters or Newbury Comics, but a true hipster knows you can find gold (and maybe some leftover seeds from a bygone era) in those used stacks of vinyl.

Prev Next

Pour Judgement

32 Broadway, Newport

Pour Judgement is the hipster haven of Aquidneck Island. Offering "Cheap bites, and an amazing craft beer selection," you can also make your own postcard at the "postcard station" and share a selfie through the old fashioned US Mail. What do hipsters love more than a real life anachronism? (Besides beer and whiskey and beards and vinyl and...)

Prev Next

The Avery

18 Luongo Square, Providence

The Avery in Federal Hill has lots to offer the Providence hipster - a beautiful, hand carved bar, dim lighting, many whiskeys available, and, in true hipster fashion, no sign on the door outside. USA Today compared The Avery to a 1920's speakeasy. Some of the facial hair on the hipsters harken back to that decade, as well.

Prev Next

The E + O

289 Knight St, Providence

The E + O Tap is your classic dive bar. It's located in the middle of a neighborhood, they have an outdoor patio 'round back, and have all kinds of beer - from cheap hipster favorite Miller High Life to craft beers on tap, there's something for every shade of hipster at the E + O. 

Prev Next


75 South St, Providence

This south-side hipster mainstay is known for having one of the best jukeboxes in the state- plus, it's dog friendly, so hipsters-best-friend can tag along while his owner enjoys a PBR or two. Nick-a-Nees is too cool to have a website, but they do have a Facebook page. There's never a cover, and there's always an interesting music act - from bluegrass to blues. Also: Shuffleboard!  Hipsters love playing the games of your grandfather's generation.

Prev Next

New Harvest Coffee

65 Weybosset - In the Providence Arcade

Downtown hipsters need their coffee and booze, too. Complete with a "speakeasy" side entrance, New Harvest Coffee and Spirits is located in the historic Providence Arcade, the first indoor shopping mall in America. New Harvest boasts coffee and whiskey - alone or together. It's two great hipster tastes that taste great together. Coffee is roasted in the Hope Artiste Villiage in Pawtucket, and is single sourced and sustainable. 

Prev Next

The Grange

166 Broadway Providence

The Grange is a vegetarian restaurant in the West End that has the goal of "expand(ing) the array of choices available to this community as they move toward a mostly plant-based diet and a more wholesome way of living." There is also a bar boasting quirky cocktails and all sorts of beer ranging from your standard hipster issue Narragansett tallboy to an impressive selection of craft beers on tap.  The interior is made of "100% repurposed materials," like the wardrobe of many hipsters.

The image on the left shows The Grange's Stumptown Coffee and a vegan pastry.

Prev Next

Brooklyn Coffee House

209 Douglas Ave, Providence

The Brooklyn Coffee and Tea House in Providence combines several hipster loves - coffee, tea and independent filmmaking: RHODYWOOD. Plus, they host live music nights that "resist corporate music," in other words, all music performed must be original work or in the public domain. Hipsters love sticking it to "the man" - and what's more symbolic of "the man" than the music industry?

Prev Next

The Steel Yard

27 Sims Ave, Providence

Perhaps the most unique spot on our list, The Steel Yard is a non-profit that "acts as a catalyst in the creative revitalization of the industrial valley district of Providence."

The Steel Yard serves over 300 people annually through community education classes, introduces dozens of teens to metal fabrication through special youth programming such as Camp Metalhead and educational partnerships, and has prepared dozens of Rhode Islanders for the metalworking trade through the Weld To Work program. The Yard is also home to Public Projects, which produces one-of-a-kind street and park amenities, including art bike racks, tree guards, and trash cans that can be seen throughout New England. 

Pretty awesome stuff.

Prev Next

The Parlour

1119 North Main Street, Providence

The Parlour is a bar/live music venue that hosts quirky local and national acts, and serves interesting dishes that feature only local organic & all-natural ingredients. For example: the "Bill Walton" consists of roasted organic portobella, pickled jalapeno & candied organic beet quesadillas w/ all natural cheeses in house made, organic flour tortillas.

Image: Hillary H/Yelp

Prev Next

7 Stars Broadway

342 Broadway, Providence

Hipsters cannot live on coffee, whiskey, and beer alone. 7 Stars has several locations throughout the city, but the Broadway location is a hipster favorite. All sorts of bread and pastries are available, plus sandwiches, and of course, coffee.

7 Stars has a simple mission statement: "Bake great stuff and treat our customers well." 

Prev Next

The Scurvy Dog

1718 Westminster St, Providence

The best way to describe The Scurvy Dog is spelled out on it's own website:

Punk rock and roll pub in the West Side of Providence.

Twenty taps, no crap. Forty-five bottles, forty plus whiskeys.

Hamburgers with wacky, delicious toppings.

Huge, breezy and shady outdoor beer garden overlooking scenic Olneyville.

Tasty punk rock and roll, garage, death metal, outlaw country, blues, rockabilly, etc. etc.

What more could a hipster (or anyone else) want?

PS- the Scurvy Dog may have the greatest FAQ section of any bar's website we've come across.

Prev Next


11 Olneyville Square, Providence

Justine's is an unassuming, signless storefront that masquerades as a lingerie shop, but behind the velvet curtain, you'll find a hipster-paradise old school speakeasy.

Chandeliers and matching sconces enhance the dark atmosphere. Justine's is so secret, they don't even have a web page, but you can check them out on Yelp. Check it out, if you can find it.

Photo via Ben S/Yelp 

Prev Next

In Your Ear

462 Main St, Warren

In Your Ear was once a Thayer St mainstay before the gentrification and rents went sky high. This old school record shop is now located on Main St in Warren, giving East Bay hipsters (but it's worth the drive from anywhere in the state) a place to dive for vinyl treasure - plus they also sell vintage equipment, so trash that junky turntable you got at Target and pick up something that will actually show off the sound quality of that vinyl treasure.

Prev Next

Wickenden Pub

320 Wickenden St, Providence

This Fox Point dive bar mainstay on Wickenden has been around forever. They have over 99 beers from around the world with 19 on tap. Beer aficionados can join the Beer club, drink all 99 beers, and get on the wall of shame. Hipsters need goals, too.

Prev Next

Loie Fuller

1455 Westminster St, Providence

Hipsters love brunch, and the art nouveau Loie Fuller's delivers brunch in spades. Named for Loie Fuller, a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques, this hipster favorite also offers interesting appetizers and entrees, such as striped bass with potato leeks and a vegetable and grits combo. 

Woody Allen filmed parts of his latest film here, too.

Prev Next

Prov. Kickball League

Dexter Field (Armory Park)

During the summer, kickball is hipster ground zero in Providence. Nothing says hipster like kickball. The Providence Kickball League starts up this year on May 30, and you can still sign up for a team.  Games are played at Dexter Field near the Cranston St Armory, and wrap up September 6. 

There's even a championship cup named after Stephen Olney, a Revolutionary War hero. The loser's cup is the "Vincent Cianci" cup. Seriously. The Providence Kickball League even has a sponsor, fittingly, Narragansett Beer. 


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