The 10 best states to find a job

To identify the best states to find a job, researchers compared all 50 states across 35 metrics.


The U.S. economy continues to grow: There were 559,000 new jobs created in May 2021, according to the Labor Department. The sector with the highest gains was leisure and hospitality, which added 292,000 positions, followed by public and private education, which added 144,000.

If you're currently looking for work, location may be a factor in your consideration. Depending on industry concentration and the rate at which local economies are opening up, some states may be seeing more job creation than others.

To identify the best states to find a job, researchers at WalletHub compared all 50 states across 35 metrics, including job opportunities, employment growth, and industry variety. Here are the top 10 states on their list, along with each state's median household income, according to the Census Bureau.


10. Colorado

Colorado is projected to gain 40,500 jobs in 2021 altogether, according to the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. The two industries expected to grow the most in the state this year are also those that were hit hardest by the pandemic: leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation, and utilities.

Median household income: $72,331

9. Delaware

Delaware came in fourth in WalletHub's ranking for overall employment growth. Its biggest industries are chemical manufacturing and finance and insurance, according to U.S. News.

Median household income: $68,287


8. Vermont

Vermont was near the top of the list for many of WalletHub's criteria. It came in fourth in the country for job satisfaction, fourth for shortest time spent working, second for the most job opportunities in the country, and tied for third place (with New Hampshire) for the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

Median household income: $61,973

7. Kansas

Kansas came in second in the country for employment growth on WalletHub's list. Among its biggest industries are agriculture and manufacturing.

Median household income: $59,597

6. North Dakota

North Dakota came in second for shortest time spent commuting to work and third for highest job satisfaction in WalletHub's list.

Median household income: $64,894


5. Utah

Utah also ranked highly on many of WalletHub's criteria. It came in first for shortest amount of time spent working and tied for first for lowest unemployment rate with Nebraska. Of all the states studied, it had the fourth-highest number of job opportunities and the third-highest median annual income.

Median household income: $71,621

4. New Hampshire

New Hampshire came in first for the most job opportunities. Among the state's biggest industries are tech manufacturing, tourism, and health care, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.

Median household income: $76,768

3. Washington

Of all the states studied, Washington state had the highest average starting salary (calculated at a monthly rate). Among the state's biggest industries are aerospace, agriculture and food manufacturing, and technology.

Median household income: $73,775

Nebraska state fair.

2. Nebraska

Nebraska was tied with Utah for the lowest unemployment rate, and came in fifth for the shortest commute time. Its biggest industries are transportation, tech, and tourism.

Median household income: $61,439

1. South Dakota

South Dakota topped WalletHub's list for the highest employment growth and shortest commute time to work. The state also boasts the fifth-lowest unemployment rate and fifth-highest number of job opportunities.

Median household income: $58,275

Before moving, 'consider what the job market looks like'

"Whether you're looking for work in your current location or elsewhere, consider what the job market looks like for your chosen industry and line of work in that area," suggests Amanda Augustine, career expert at TopResume. "Check out various job boards, set up Google News alerts for the major companies in your space, and talk to people in your network to get a feel for how much movement is taking place in your field and how plentiful, or scarce, openings are at your level in various parts of the country."

Keep in mind, too, that some employers may be open to hiring you to work remotely. "Candidates may want to consider employers out of their current state for potential remote work, with the option to move later on if the job works out," says Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster. "Considering it's the early days of hybrid work, this can be a viable way for both parties to test the waters before making a commitment to move."

Gabriel Cortés contributed additional reporting to this story.

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