Where the Jobs Are: Growing States and Booming Industries

where-the-jobs-areIf you're looking for something, anything that might indicate a recovery, the latest US Department of Labor Statistics might give you a little hope. In essence, last month more states showed unemployment decreases than increases. To be exact, eighteen states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate declines, while 14 states registered rate upswings. Eighteen states had no change at all. A full twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while only 20 states posted increases, and 3 states had no change.

But wait...there's more good news: Initial unemployment claims decreased by 31,000 last week, and in July, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 37 states and the District of Columbia and only declined in 13 states. The states that added the most jobs in July will probably surprise you.

Where the Jobs Are
  1. Michigan -- added 27,800 jobs
  2. The District of Columbia -- added 17,800 jobs
  3. Massachusetts -- added 13,200 jobs
  4. New York -- added 10,500 jobs
  5. Minnesota -- added 9,800 jobs

North Dakota continued to register the lowest jobless rate at 3.6 percent, followed by South Dakota and Nebraska, 4.4 and 4.7 percent, respectively.

Where the Jobs Are NOT

The states that lost the most jobs are:

  1. North Carolina -- lost 29,800 jobs
  2. New Jersey -- lost 21,200 jobs
  3. Illinois -- lost 20,200 jobs
  4. California -- lost 9,400 jobs
  5. Kentucky -- lost 8,000 jobs

But the state with the absolute worst unemployment rate is Nevada which reached 14.3 percent in July. That rate also set a new series high. The states with the next highest rates were Michigan at 13.1 percent, and California at 12.3 percent.

Should You Move?

If it looks to you like you're living in the worst possible state to find a job right now, don't go packing your bags just yet. "You can search for a job anywhere online these days," says employment expert Doug Arms, SVP and Chief Talent Officer of Ajilon, a specialty staffing firm owned by Adecco. He notes that at certain levels, companies are still paying for recruiting and interview trips, and they still have budgets to help you relocate.

But even if you're not at that lofty level, Arms advises against permanently moving. "A lot of people moved out the California during the Gold Rush, and to work on the Hoover Dam, when it was being built. When they got there, they found things were not what they expected."

Booming Industries

Rather than basing your job search on geographic indicators, Arms suggests searching within the professional sectors that are flourishing. For example, if you're an accountant, bookkeeper, IT expert or transportation worker, instead of looking at traditional accounting, high tech or public transportation companies, try looking for a job in the private education sector (trade schools and private institutions) and in ambulatory health care (the baby boomers are aging, and increasingly need health care specialists to come to them). Both these industries need accountants, bookkeepers, IT specialists and transportation workers, in addition to educators and health care practitioners.

So, whether you're living in a state like Michigan, which is finally adding jobs again, or North Carolina, which continues to lose them en masse, consider widening your job search to cover the industries that are flourishing everywhere. It's estimated that there are more than three million jobs open right now, and someone's got to get them, so why not you?

Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

Related Stories from Forbes.com

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
troy go gitter coope

I haven't work fastfood since I was 17, now Im 34. But it's a job an I'm getting by til something better comes along.I've been driving trucks for 10 yrs, till they closed down. Maybe some of you think you too good to go back down that road. BUT MY PRIDE IS NEVER TO HIGH WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING ENDS MEET.

October 13 2011 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's amazing how New York is never in the bottom. With a billionaire mayor apparently paying off someone to keep us out of the top jobless state list, it is a joke. The transit is going to hell, for example. They claim to be broke so they've cut a bunch of bus lines out totally, stranding people from getting to work. And bloomburg instead wastes millions of dollars making a new, useless subway stop for the 7 train. They just severly cut library hours, closed senior centers, and all this out of touch mayor can do is close down street lanes that are much needed so truck drivers can make deliveries and keep their jobs and instead puts lawn chairs and big polka dots. This city has become an embarassment to New Yorkers. And here's the big news. New York has tons of jobs. Oh really? I, for one just applied for welfare, food stamps and medicaid. I've been looking for a job for nearly 2 years in New York City. Yeah, we are in great shape.

August 29 2010 at 4:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mrs. Wade, what cave are you living in? You obviously don't live in a border state, making a remark like that. Illegals do not only take field work. They take construction jobs, housekeeping, home care, truck driving, landscape jobs, now they work in retail and fast food. (a lot of them here have fake DL# and SSN#). Get a clue before you open your mouth. Such Stupidity!

August 29 2010 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where is my comment???

August 28 2010 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steven R. Russell

Thankyou Lord that I just have You, Father God.

August 28 2010 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in Massachusetts. Yes, according to stats some jobs where added but to say the overall economy here is booming or even growing is more than a stretch.

August 28 2010 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Theres no jobs in Minnesota!!!

August 28 2010 at 8:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a crock! There's jobs in depressed New York but none in New Jersey?

August 28 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Id like to add: if you add up all the jobs that were added; you would not even fill the number of unemployed from any one state. There are millions of people out of work; and cant find jobs. Its a drop in the bucket if even 100,000 jobs are added across this country when millions are out of work.

August 28 2010 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Id like to add AZ to where the jobs are not. Lots of people are fleeing the state to be employed. Also there is no way MI is the in the best for jobs. They have the highest unemployment rate in the country. Even IL is better than AZ; but why AZ is not listed is beyond me.
The best hi tech job area in the country right now is DC/VA area; and Seattle. Thats about it. Everywhere else is hurting.

August 28 2010 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web