9 States With Booming Job Markets

Katie Simon
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states-with-fastest-job-growthTips on crafting a resume and asking stellar interview questions are helpful—but when you’re looking for a job, your geographic location might be just as important.

Kiplinger rounded up a list of the nine U.S. states with the most promising job markets. Read on and find out if yours made the cut.

At the top of the list is North Dakota, with 3.3% job growth in 2014 (the national average is 1.9%) and only a 2.6% unemployment rate. The state’s increasing number of shale oil and gas development positions are likely to attract more job seekers. This might up the unemployment rate a bit, but the economy is still healthy.

Texas and Arizona are both slated to have 2.6% job growth in 2014, partly due to their quickly expanding high-tech, energy and bioscience industries. The housing market in Texas is improving, and Arizona is recovering from its collapse as well.

Utah will add nearly 35,000 jobs this year, a 2.5% increase from 2013. If its 3.8% unemployment looks a bit high for America’s fourth-fastest growing job market, it’s likely because the state’s booming industries, from information technology to construction to hospitality, are attracting a significant number of job hunters.

Similarly, Colorado, with a 2.4% job growth rate and over 63,000 new jobs this year, has a slightly high unemployment rate at 6% (though it’s still below the national 6.3%) because so many Americans are looking into the state’s higher-paid sectors, such as mining, manufacturing, health and education.

Idaho and Florida are experiencing 2.3% job growth, with a 5% and 6.2% unemployment rate, respectively. Similar to other mountain states, Idaho’s job growth is largely due to the energy and high-tech industries; and the pace of hiring in construction, information-technology, manufacturing, education, and health is quickly picking up steam. Large corporations like Hertz are relocating their headquarters to Florida, boosting employment rates and increasing housing sales in the Sunshine State.

Though Oregon experienced an especially bad recession on many fronts, its bounce-back is impressive. As its housing market improves, more jobs in construction are becoming available. Portland-based manufacturers of hardware and software are also expanding.

Georgia’s 2% job growth is good news for those in manufacturing, with big businesses like Caterpillar and Baxter, a prescription drug company, setting up shop. Meanwhile, aviation and auto companies are also thriving.

And some good news for job seekers everywhere: all 50 states can predict some job growth this year—and the national rate is the highest it’s been since before the Great Recession.

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