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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One study says Huntsville is one of the best places in the country for career opportunities.

According to SmartAsset, the Huntsville metro area ranks as the second-best metro in the country for those seeking new opportunities or looking to grow in their career.

Citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), SmartAsset noted Huntsville’s May unemployment rate of 1.9% – the fifth-lowest in the nation. SmartAsset also cited data from the Census Bureau’s 2020 Five-Year American Community Survey showing a 25% increase in income between those 25-44 and those 45-64. Additional data from the BLS shows overall median earnings across the metro grew roughly 15% over a two-year period ending in 2021.

The SmartAsset accolade comes two months after the U.S. News and World Report named Huntsville the best place to live in the U.S. The May report also named Huntsville the No. 3 Most Affordable Place to Live, No. 16 Fastest-Growing Place, and No. 54 Best Place to Retire.

Huntsville was surpassed by just one metro area in the SmartAsset study – Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, located in the west central portion of the Hoosier State, along the Illinois border.

Huntsville wasn’t the only Alabama metro area to make it in the top five of the SmartAsset study – Tuscaloosa, home to the main University of Alabama campus, came in at No. 4.

Tuscaloosa had a May unemployment rate of 2.5% and a 4.1% gain in total employment between May 2021 and May 2022 – among the top 20% of metro areas nationwide. In addition, Tuscaloosa has the 27th lowest annual housing costs – just $10,152 and workers have access to roughly three career counselors for every 1,000 workers within the metro area – the 24th-highest ratio in the nation.

For more information on the study, a full list of rankings, and information on how SmartAsset came up with its rankings, visit the SmartAsset website.