Top 10 States for Job Seekers

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'If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
-- Martin Luther King 

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Few of us aspire to be street sweepers, but when you're having trouble landing a job, even that can start to seem appealing. There are many tips and suggestions for people seeking work, and one of them is to do your searching where the jobs are.

Here, then, are the top states for job seekers, according to a report from the folks at WalletHub.

The top 10 states for job seekers

First, though, a word about how WalletHub arrived at its ranking. It examined all 50 states, assessing 24 indicators of how strong the job market was and how strong the overall economic environment was. These factors included the rate of annual job growth, job satisfaction levels, the proportion of employees with health insurance, the variety of industry, job openings per capita, median annual income, average starting salaries, average commute time, tax levels, and the share of workers living under the poverty line.

These are the states that ended up at the top of the list -- see if your state made the list or if any of the states are ones you might consider moving to.

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Rank

State

Job Market Rank

Economy Rank

1

Washington

11

1

2

Colorado

1

19

3

New Hampshire

6

8

4

South Dakota

10

7

5

New Jersey

19

5

6

Minnesota

4

21

7

Massachusetts

2

29

8

California

12

15

9

Tennessee

23

6

10

Florida

29

4

Top employers in the top states

To give you an idea of some possible employers in each of the states listed, here are some big or well-known companies in each, as well as some major employers:

State

Notable Employers

Washington

Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Costco, Starbucks

Colorado 

Denver International Airport, Lockheed Martin, HealthONE, Kaiser Permanente

New Hampshire 

PC Connection, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Dartmouth College

South Dakota 

Avera Health, Sanford Medical

New Jersey 

Johnson & Johnson, Wakefern Food, Merck

Minnesota 

3M, The Mayo Clinic, Target, General Mills

Massachusetts 

Partners Healthcare, University of Massachusetts, Harvard University, Stop & Shop Supermarkets

California 

University of California, UCLA Health System, Walt Disney, Naval Base San Diego

Tennessee 

FedEx, Vanderbilt University, Nissan North America

Florida 

Walt Disney, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Publix Supermarkets, Florida Hospital

Note, too, that in each of these states, the local and federal government is a significant employer, as are the United States Post Office, local schools and colleges, and sometimes the military. Major national companies are also significant employers, with Wal-Mart, for example, being the top employer in several of the states listed, such as New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Florida.

Landing a good job

There isn't space here for all you might want to know about how to land a job, but here are a few pointers:

  • Aim to have a world-class resume. It should be clear and readable, offering specifics, such as the percentage by which you increased productivity at a plant, or how you were the top salesperson in three of the five years you worked at a company, or how the advertising campaign you designed increased sales by a certain percent.

  • Avoid common resume mistakes. Your resume shouldn't contain spelling errors, salary information, personal information, fancy fonts, or unprofessional elements, such as a "GlamourDiva@email.com" address.

  • Be deliberate in aiming to succeed once you land a job. Work hard, ask questions, make your boss look good, develop a network, find a mentor, and continually work on improving your skills and knowledge.

It's rarely fun looking for a job, but don't give up hope. Whether you're hunting in one of the top states for job seekers or one of the least promising states, there are jobs out there.

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Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Selena Maranjian owns shares of Amazon, Boeing, Costco Wholesale, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Costco Wholesale, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends FedEx. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.