Here are the top U.S. cities for healthcare jobs based on the employment market

Medical residents
An analysis ranked five U.S. cities as tops for healthcare jobs based on areas with robust job markets for the healthcare field combined with a relatively lower cost of living. (Wavebreakmedia)

Millions of recent graduates are joining the nation’s health workforce and helping on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

Where are the best places to look for jobs?

Health workers should head to Pittsburgh, according to an analysis by Grand Canyon University.

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The university ranked the top cities for healthcare jobs based on several factors including percent change in number of open hospital and healthcare jobs through April 2020, average median pay, employment per 1,000 jobs, average location quotient, living wages and average rent.

The number of healthcare jobs declined by 1.4 million in April, led by a major decline in jobs in physicians' and dentists' offices, according to government figures.

The healthcare sector has been slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic due to a steep drop in patient volume. Hospitals have also been hit hard financially by the cancellation of elective procedures, which are beginning to resume.

RELATED: Here's a look at what docs' average starting salaries were—before COVID-19 hit

Despite job loss in recent months due to economic hardship, jobs in the healthcare industry are projected to grow post-pandemic. Employment of healthcare jobs is projected to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028, adding roughly 1.9 million new positions and projected to grow much faster than the average for all other jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Grand Canyon University gathered information from many different sources in order to create an up-to-date ranking on the top U.S. cities for healthcare jobs.

Following Pittsburgh, the top four cities for healthcare jobs are:

2. Cleveland
3. Providence, Rhode Island
4. Indianapolis
5. Milwaukee

These cities include a combination of robust job markets for the healthcare field and a relatively lower cost of living to make for a great place to live and work in the medical field, according to the analysis.

Particularly, Pittsburgh saw an 80% increase in open healthcare jobs during the month of April, which is significant as it is one of the only cities that saw a net positive change, as the healthcare industry saw record job losses these past few months.

When determining the best cities for healthcare jobs, the research team determined the most crucial factors to be the percent change in open jobs and the annual mean wage for healthcare occupations. Secondary factors include average location quotient and employment per 1,000 jobs, as these give an indication of how popular the healthcare field is in a given area and how robust the job market is in that region.

RELATED: COVID-19 has flipped the physician job search to a seller's market, recruiters say

The lowest rated factors were the living wage and average rent for each city, as these are not directly tied to hospital and healthcare jobs but are more quality-of-life factors that speak to the desirability of living in a city, according to the study.

The analysis looked at the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and ranked each city on a total score of 50. San Jose, California, ranked the lowest with a score of 13.8. For San Jose, the change in hospital and healthcare jobs in April was -9% compared to Pittsburgh's 80% increase in open healthcare jobs. San Jose only had 39 healthcare jobs per 1,000 jobs in April, compared to Pittsburgh, which had 76 healthcare jobs per 1,000 jobs.

San Jose also has comparatively high rent at $1,900 for an average one-bedroom apartment compared to an average of $740 a month in Pittsburgh.

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