Nashville's opportunities for young workers are growing, and recent college grads are noticing.

Music City ranked as the third-most attractive city for college graduates this year, according to an annual study by SmartAsset. The city's ranking rose significantly from the previous year, when it came in at No. 12.

Recent college graduates are flocking to Nashville for its employment levels, affordability and character. Improved job opportunities are most responsible for Nashville's increased rank.

The city's unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders improved from 2.4 percent in 2016 to 1.5 percent in 2017, the sixth-best in the US. Nashville ranks No. 14 for employment overall, with a total unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, up from last year's rate of 4 percent.

Nashville's cost of living improved over the past year as well, although living in the Tennessee capital still costs about 5 percent more than the average American city.

In terms of fun, Nashville boasts the fourth-highest concentration of dining and entertainment establishments nationwide, providing an environment with an upbeat personality and social atmosphere, according to the SmartAsset analysis.

"There are some cities that have a mix of things that make for a great quality of life," said AJ Smith, a vice president of financial education for SmartAsset who led the analysis. "We see cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Nashville ranking highly in that."

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Source: Nashville Business Journal