Looking For A Job? Head For The Heartland

Job seekers head inland

If you are looking for a job, you may want to consider a move to the Heartland. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released numbers today showing that the unemployment rate in the center of the US is significantly lower than that of the coastal states. While America’s cities may be booming, the heartland is growing strong.

The streak of states from North Dakota down the middle of the country to Texas and Louisiana all sport lower jobless rates than the national average. Which state has the lowest jobless rate? North Dakota. The northern state has a rate of just 3.3 percent, significantly less than half of the national average. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is likely due to energy development in recent years. Nebraska has the second lowest rate with only 3.8 percent. South Dakota sits comfortably between them, at least physically, at a comfortable 4.4 percent.

Overall, the West Coast fairs worst than the East Coast and significantly worse than the Heartland. California is tied for the nation’s highest unemployment rate, with just shy of 1 in 10 workers out of work. Oregon, 8.4 percent. Washington? 7.5.

On the other side of the country, Rhode Island ties California with 9.8 percent unemployment. North Carolina and New Jersey are tied with 9.5 percent. New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Georgia all have rates above 8 percent.

On the East Coast, there are a few exceptions. The neighboring states of Vermont and New Hampshire have low unemployment rates of 4.7 percent and 5.8 percent respectfully. Further south, Virginia has a comfortable rate of 5.6 percent, likely due to the state’s heavy military presence and a prevalence of federal jobs. It is worth noting that these numbers do not include the effects of the sequester budget cuts that are anticipated to disproportionately affect states such as Virginia.

Almost half of the nation’s states have unemployment rates lower than the national average. Nine states have higher rates, and 17 states along with Washington, D.C. straddle the national average. The unemployment rate dropped in 40 states and the nation’s capital. Only seven saw their rates increase. Three stayed the same.

The Midwest and the South both provide lower jobless rates than the coasts. If you are a job seeker living elsewhere with the means of relocating and have nothing holding you back, you may want to consider looking for a job in America’s heartland.

[Image via ShutterStock]