Top States for Best and Worst Jobs

Hired, Happy Girl

The best…

Location is everything.

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.

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). (MSN Careers)

Here are the 15 best states to find work ranked by their unemployment rates.

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)

unemployment line

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.

One frequently overlooked but critical factor in finding a new job is your state’s unemployment rate. You can have the experience and skills of an employer’s dream, but they won’t do you any good if there just aren’t enough jobs available.

The unemployment rate is the percentage of job seekers in the work force who are still looking for work. The higher the percentage, the more difficult it is to find a job.

If you’re looking for a job, you should see how your state compares to the rest of the country. (MSN Careers)

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)***

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)

*Unemployment rates, mean annual wages and industry percentages obtained from BLS in January 2008. Percentages based on nonfarm payrolls, seasonally adjusted.

**Population figures based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

***Top industries are those that employ the largest percentage of a state’s labor force.

*For more information visit: MSN Careers

*Money Mondays*

New York was not on the list, and some people wondered where NY fall on the list, after checking with BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics):

New York’s Unemployment as of July 2008 rate is 5.2% which means is over 5.0% and if you are looking for a job you want to be at a state where the unemployment rate is lower than 5.0%.