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The Job Market Fares Differently Across States

With the monthly BLS jobs report set to be released this Friday, the question of where the market stands is a prevalent one in the news, naturally. Furthermore, much of the country is curious to know if the job market’s health has improved or if it has remained stagnant like it has for the last month or two. While some other reports have already shown that the private sector didn’t fare quite as well as experts had expected, we will just have to sit back and wait. In the meantime, though, Spark News took a look at how certain states are coping with this stagnant market. Naturally, some states are doing much better than others and some states are falling deeper into the job market hole.

As the Huffington Post states, the BLS released a report that showed 30 states in the country experienced a decline in their unemployment rates in March. On the flip side, eight states experienced a deeper rise in unemployment. The other 12 states remained stagnant and unchanged. It’s great to see that the majority of states have loosened the death grip of unemployment, but at the same time there were a few states that showed great improvement and actually have pretty strong job markets.

Spark News has discussed at length what the unemployment rate really means. If you are an avid reader of our blog here, then you definitely know that we cannot base our market’s health off of the unemployment rate alone. Although the unemployment rate has lowered considerably over the past six months, it does not mean we are on the straight and arrow road to recovery. You have to take into account the people that have stopped looking for a job altogether. When the unemployed stop searching for jobs, or exit the market, they are no longer factored into the unemployment rate, thus lowering the number. You see how this can be deceptive? That is why it is so important for us to take a look at both the unemployment rate and the jobs growth at the same time. If more jobs are being created and the unemployment rate improves, then that is a sign that people are getting hired more often and real growth is alive there.

The Post took a look at both of these factors and came up with the five states in the country that are faring the best in this current job market. They are states that have good jobs growth and below-average unemployment rates. In other words, their job markets are thriving and they would be a great place to move if you were considering relocation for a job.

In the number one spot you will find North Dakota. This shouldn’t be much of a secret seeing as though they have a booming oil patch that created many jobs for the area. In fact, Spark News reported on that back in November and you can see how well the state is doing because of it. Over the past year, the state saw a 6.55 percent increase in the number of jobs and has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.0 percent.

Trailing right behind North Dakota is Oklahoma. Though the state’s overall job growth at 2.44 percent is small when compared to North Dakota’s, it’s still the second largest in the country. At the same time, their unemployment rate is only at 5.4 percent. It seems that Oklahoma has been doing pretty well over the past year seeing as it was one of the nine states that increased their employment base back in December of last year.

Utah is the next best state with an unemployment rate at 5.8 percent and a job creation increase of 2.42 percent. It’s clearly not that far behind Oklahoma. Next is Texas, which increased their job creation percentage by 2.34 percent over the past year. Although it’s unemployment rate is bigger than the first three, it’s still low at 7.0 percent. Louisiana closes out the list with an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent and a job creation of 2.31 percent over the past year.

Even if you are not living in these states and reaping the benefits of their strong job markets directly, it is great to see that things are starting to look up at least in some areas of the country. For these states, things aren’t just looking better, but they are in fact growing at a great and strong rate. Any kind of  improvements, no matter where they are in the country, benefit the overall growth of our country’s market.

: Huffington Post
IMAGE: Courtesy of Info Please

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter

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