Is DC Really the 4th Worst City for New Graduates?

A survey by a “sugar daddy” dating website says yes.

By: Tanya Pai

Earlier this year we published a feature on the rise of the “permatern,” which became one of our most popular Web stories of all time. It seems the inability to secure a decent job in one’s chosen field, instead resorting to slogging through low-paying internship after low-paying internship, struck a chord with many readers. Now, supposedly, a new trend is on the rise, according to a survey by the website Seeking Arrangement, which ranks DC as one of the worst cities in America for new college graduates. Seeking Arrangement, which calls itself an “elite sugar daddy dating site” for those “seeking mutually beneficial arrangements,” reports that since 2009 the number of new members between the ages of 21 and 24 joining the site has spiked in June. Most of the new members were female and just out of college, and 30 percent came from 20 cities in particular—including the District, which landed fourth on the list, behind Philadelphia, Sacramento, and Detroit. (Baltimore comes in at number nine.)

Ickiness of the idea aside, the findings are somewhat problematic. Seeking Arrangement cites a statistic from Forbes that states only 40 percent of graduates from the country’s top 100 schools can find work in their chosen field. But the survey’s findings contradict an article published this May by Forbes that rounds up the ten best cities for college graduates—and includes Washington, DC, as well as other cities on Seeking Arrangement’s list, including Atlanta, St. Louis, and Seattle.

So, is relying on sugar daddies a real trend among recent female college grads? We highly doubt it. But it seems finding gainful employment after graduating from college continues to be a source of anxiety for many young people.

See Seeking Arrangement’s full list below.

The 20 Worst Cities for New Grads in America—New Grad Membership June ’12 & ’13

1. Philadelphia (1,089 new members)
2. Sacramento (954)
3. Detroit (827)
4. Washington, DC (791)
5. New York (653)
6. San Francisco (525)
7. Seattle (519)
8. Phoenix (504)
9. Baltimore (424)
10. Atlanta (407)
11. Columbus (398)
12. Los Angeles (350)
13. Salt Lake City (342)
14. Tampa (317)
15. Raleigh (305)
16. Louisville (295)
17. St. Louis (274)
18. San Jose (262)
19. Chicago (261)
20. Austin (256)