Best Cities To Find A Job In 2012

cities lowest unemploymentWhich cities have the lowest unemployment rates?

There are many factors that make a city a desirable place to live -- close proximity to family or friends, affordable cost of living, strong real estate market and weather are just a few examples.

Another reason why someone might reside in a specific locale is for career opportunity. While certain areas may have better prospects for specific fields or industries, others are stronger employment markets overall.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 345 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16 areas and unchanged in 11. A total of 201 areas recorded January unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.8 percent, 162 areas reported rates above it, and nine areas had rates equal to that of the country.

To get a sense of the cities with job markets that are recovering more quickly than others, here's a list of 13 cities with the lowest unemployment rates as of January 2012.

Caveat: This list is ranked solely on jobless rates; there are a variety of other factors job seekers should consider when determining a good place for employment.


1. Lincoln, Neb.

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
  • Percent unemployment rate change from year prior: -0.8
  • Mean annual earnings: $39,310

2. Bismarck, N.D.

  • Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.6
  • Mean annual earnings: $39,110

3. Midland, Texas

  • Unemployment rate: 4.1 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.8
  • Mean annual earnings: $44,660

4. Fargo, N.D.

  • Unemployment rate: 4.2 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.4
  • Mean annual earnings: $39,180

5. Ames, Iowa

  • Unemployment rate: 4.3 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.7
  • Mean annual earnings: $42,290

6. Iowa City, Iowa

  • Unemployment rate: 4.4 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.4
  • Mean annual earnings: $44,170

7. Sioux Falls, S.D.

  • Unemployment rate: 4.5 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.9
  • Mean annual earnings: $37,880

8. Logan, Utah

  • Unemployment rate: 4.6 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -1.1
  • Mean annual earnings: $34,950

9. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.

  • Unemployment rate: 4.6 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -1.0
  • Mean annual earnings: $47,420

10. Rapid City, S.D.

  • Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -1.2
  • Mean annual earnings: $35,330

11. Columbia, Mo.

  • Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -2.0
  • Mean annual earnings: $37,780

12. Portsmouth, N.H.

  • Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -0.6
  • Mean annual earnings: $49,050

13. Odessa, Texas

  • Unemployment rate: 4.9 percent
  • Percent change from year prior: -1.9
  • Mean annual earnings: $40,540

*Unemployment rate and mean annual earnings from the Bureau of Labor statistics.



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sherryl

there's less than 2 million people living in Nebraska, I guess they have more jobs than population....just saying

April 09 2012 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kiwi2375

There comes a point of saturation. Most buisness like McDonalds. Starbucks and Wal-mart are at a point of saturation where they don't really need to build more stores. Its not to their benefit they reach the maxium amount of customers as it is. The question really is what sort of jobs are there in these towns...hopefully not all retail or minimum wage. Though i think theres a cieling for that as well. Most likely it really has nothing to do with red or blue as to why these towns are doing better...it could be their proximity to natural resources...oil, they might have manufacturing plants. Who knows this article doesn't really paint a detailed picture!

April 07 2012 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mtnman717

The jobs in these places are from the high cost of energy. You're paying for them every time you fill up you car or truck. Idiots.

April 07 2012 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ExAstrisScientia

Would Love N.H.

April 07 2012 at 4:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
huskerinsc2

I am offended. Lincoln is a beautiful, and culturally rich city. Nebraska is rich with history. There are some of the best and most famous places in the USA right there in Lincoln and in Omaha. Not to mention the Native American history. Just saying...

April 07 2012 at 3:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
norrie12

The good news is you have a job, the bad news is, it's in Lincoln Neb. or Bismark N. D.

April 07 2012 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
debi

I moved from southern CA (the OC) to NC. That is about as rural, as I am going to get!!!

April 07 2012 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joe

I must agree with Steven : Live is a place where there there is no pro baseball,basketball,football, entertainment choices
and except for Portsmouth no ocean???

April 07 2012 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steven

I note that most of the cities are out in the Great Plains, which have the most boring geography in the U.S. Great places if you like to live in the middle of nowhere but if you are an urban hipster, forget it.

April 07 2012 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

I would move there if I was looking for a new opportunity. Cost of living likely matches the wages and there are jobs. I happen to like small towns. I would find the warmest of them though.

April 07 2012 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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