Loads of news websites have reported that we’ve experienced a small upswing in jobs, with unemployment falling a bit, and more than 190,000 new jobs being created in February. This is obviously very exciting , and since we are all about helping people find jobs, we thought we’d see what cities and states in the US are the best places to get a job. We looked at personal income per capita, unemployment rates, and crime rates to determine which states have the most buoyant economies in this still very difficult economic climate. We then determined the largest occupations, and the fastest growing occupations, for each state so we can see where the most jobs are found.
Check out the infographic for our results, and if you want to check out our research, see below the infographic for details on what we looked at and where we got the data.
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Our research and results
We looked at several figures to determine the economic status of each state. It is important to note that we did not include Washington, D.C. in the infographic because certain figures were not available for the city, and we wanted to make sure the comparisons were as even as possible.
Per Capita Personal Income
We looked at the seasonally adjusted personal income for each state, as reported in the State Personal Income: Third Quarter 2010 report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That report detailed the personal income for each state, but to determine the PER CAPITA personal income, we divided that number by the estimated population in 2010, which we got from the US Census Bureau report.
We used Google’s public data explorer to find the latest unemployment figures for each state (we used the seasonally adjusted unemployment rates to parallel the personal income stats). They draw their figures directly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, then put those figures into graphs and charts, so anyone can easily find and visualize the information.
We didn’t determine the crime rates ourselves; instead, we used CQ Press’s rankings of states based on crime rates (links to a PDF). We took them at their word because: 1. they have a great reputation for this kind of ranking, and 2. they looked at the crime rates (links to another PDF) for six different serious crimes to determine the safest and least safe states.
Industries with Largest Employment and Fastest Growing Occupations by State
To see the top occupations and the fastest growing occupations in each state, we looked to America’s Career InfoNet’s CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the US Department of Labor. You can find more information on this site about what sort of industries are hot, and where.
Average Median Salary
We looked to PayScale to find the city with the highest average median salary in each state. Originally, we were just going to look at the median salary for the largest cities, but we soon found that the highest paying jobs were often found outside of both the capital cities and the largest cities.
Finally, we pulled all the data into a Google Doc spreadsheet, which you can see here.
Let us know what you think!