If 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
- Michigan -- added 27,800 jobs
- The District of Columbia -- added 17,800 jobs
- Massachusetts -- added 13,200 jobs
- New York -- added 10,500 jobs
- 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:
- North Carolina -- lost 29,800 jobs
- New Jersey -- lost 21,200 jobs
- Illinois -- lost 20,200 jobs
- California -- lost 9,400 jobs
- 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."
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?
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