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Cities where women can work and thrive

Working parents in New Orleans have access to affordable childcare.

Working parents in New Orleans have access to affordable childcare.

Ambitious women may want to hop into a moving truck and head to a new city after ForbesWoman released its list of best U.S. cities for working moms. The third annual list was determined by a number of factors, from jobless rates to safety and how much time employers must give when mothering or fathering a child.

Topping the list is Buffalo, New York, which moved from No. 10 on the list to knock down last year's No. 1 city, New York City. Buffalo is home to what Working Mother said is one of the best companies for women, State University of New York at Buffalo. Employees there are guaranteed 28 weeks of leave when they give birth to, father or adopt a child.

The city's unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in August was less than 70 percent of the biggest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other cities on the list include Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Boston and San Jose, California. Many southern cities are budget-friendly, ForbesWoman said, with low child-care costs. For instance, in New Orleans, which was on the list at No. 13, mothers may spend just $5,900 on childcare each year, compared with $13,000 in New York City.

Home prices in New Orleans from June to August 2011 decreased 2.1 percent from the same period the previous year, when the median sales price was $143,000, according to Trulia. Popular Big Easy neighborhoods include the Garden District, Audubon and Uptown.