The Best and Worst States for Jobs | Careers

The Best and Worst States for Jobs | Careers

Published May 20, 2008

Posted May 20, 2008 -- Location is everything, according to the real estate adage. Many people learn the wisdom of these words after they move into their first apartment on a tight budget and have a view of a landfill and the smells that come from it.


The same holds true for job hunting. Your chances of finding the right job – or any job, really – depend on where you live. The unemployment rate is the ratio of job seekers to the working population. Therefore, a low percentage means few people are having any difficulty finding work.

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If you’re looking for a job, you want to be in a state that has an unemployment rate lower than the national average, which is 5 percent according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
 
Here are the 15 best states to find work ranked by their unemployment rates.

The best...


1. South Dakota
Unemployment rate: 3 percent*
Population: 796,214**
Mean annual wage: $30,460
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.9 percent)***


2. Idaho
Unemployment rate: 3 percent
Population: 1,499,402
Mean annual wage: $34,810
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.2 percent)


3. Wyoming
Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent
Population: 522,830
Mean annual wage: $34,290
Top industry: Government (23 percent)


4. Nebraska
Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent
Population: 1,774,571
Mean annual wage: $34,300
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (21.1 percent)


5. Utah
Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent
Population: 2,645,330
Mean annual wage: $35,540
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.7 percent)


6. Hawaii
Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent
Population: 1,283,388
Mean annual wage: $38,630
Top industry: Government (19.6 percent)


7. North Dakota
Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent
Population: 639,715
Mean annual wage: $32,440
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (21.4 percent)


8. Virginia
Unemployment rate: 3.5 percent
Population: 7,712,091
Mean annual wage: $41,450
Top industry: Government (18 percent)


9. Montana
Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent
Population: 957,861
Mean annual wage: $31,290
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.5 percent)


10. New Hampshire
Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent
Population: 1,315,828
Mean annual wage: $39,250
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (23.3 percent)


11. New Mexico
Unemployment rate: 3.7 percent
Population: 1,969,915
Mean annual wage: $33,980
Top industry: Government (23.2 percent)


12. Delaware
Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
Population: 864,764
Mean annual wage: $41,680
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (18.7 percent)


13. Maryland
Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
Population: 5,618,344
Mean annual wage: $44,030
Top industry: Government (18.2 percent)


14. Iowa
Unemployment rate: 4 percent
Population: 2,988,046
Mean annual wage: $33,250
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.4 percent)


15. Vermont
Unemployment rate: 4 percent
Population: 621,254
Mean annual wage: $36,350
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.4 percent)

 

PAGE 2 >> The worst states for jobs ...

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The worst...

If you’ve rewritten that résumé several times and sent out dozens of applications but your job search still shows no promise, you might not be the problem.

If you’re looking for a job, you should see how your state compares to the rest of the country. Here are the 10 worst states to find work ranked by their unemployment rates.


1. Michigan
Unemployment rate: 7.6 percent
Population: 10,071,822
Mean annual wage: $41,230
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (18.4 percent)***

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2. Mississippi
Unemployment rate: 6.8 percent
Population: 2,918,785
Mean annual wage: $30,460
Top industry: Government (21.2 percent)


3. South Carolina
Unemployment rate: 6.6 percent
Population: 4,407,709
Mean annual wage: $33,400
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.4 percent)


4. Alaska
Unemployment rate: 6.5 percent
Population: 683,478
Mean annual wage: $43,920
Top industry: Government (25.9 percent)


5. California
Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent
Population: 36,553,215
Mean annual wage: $44,180
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (18.9 percent)


6. District of Columbia
Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent
Population: 588,292
Mean annual wage: $61,500
Top industry: Government (33.3 percent)


7. Ohio
Unemployment rate: 6 percent
Population: 11,466,917
Mean annual wage: $37,360
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (19.3 percent)


8. Arkansas
Unemployment rate: 5.9 percent
Population: 2,834,797
Mean annual wage: $30,870
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.6 percent)


9. Nevada
Unemployment rate: 5.8 percent
Population: 2,565,382
Mean annual wage: $36,000
Top industry: Leisure and hospitality (26.5 percent)


10. Kentucky
Unemployment rate: 5.7 percent
Population: 4,241,474
Mean annual wage: $33,490
Top industry: Trade, transportation and utilities (20.4 percent)

 

Written by BET-Staff

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