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The Best Places In the Country To Find A Job?

January 14th, 2008 · 2 Comments

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Ok, I can explain the odd title and the unusual picture. Stick with me. (Tip for younger readers, that’s Laverne and Shirley)

Once again Cheezhead led me to some interesting job search statistics.

This report by the Conference Board samples and outlines the volume of online help-wanted classified postings nationwide. It shows some interesting data pointing to the fact that online job posting is starting to slow. This is probably due to the maturation of the online job market as a medium, and not necessarily a weakening job market, blah-blah-blah…

But buried in the report are some interesting data points about which parts of the country – and even which cities – might be the best for job searching. The metric they use is job postings (job vacancies) per hundred persons and the number of unemployed per advertised vacancies.

In other words, there are certain places in the country where there are a larger number of advertised open positions in relation to the number of people competing for those positions. Obviously, with more opportunities and less competition, you’d have a better shot of landing a job.

Here are some interesting points from the report:

Alaska posted 4.53 vacancies for every 100 persons in the state labor force, the highest rate in the nation, for the fourth month in a row. Nevada (3.98) and Colorado (3.90) were close behind in the number of advertised vacancies when adjusted for the size of the state labor force. Other states in the top five included Delaware (3.86) and Massachusetts (3.77).


…the states with the most favorable (e.g., lowest) supply/demand rates included Delaware (0.71), North Dakota (0.75), Utah (0.79), and Virginia (0.81).

States where the number of unemployed persons looking for work significantly exceeded the number of online advertised vacancies included Mississippi (4.55) and Michigan (3.99), Arkansas (2.91), Indiana (2.67) and Kentucky (2.67).

In terms of metropolitan areas? This is where Milwaukee comes in:

The top metro areas in December with above five advertised vacancies per 100 persons in the local labor force included Milwaukee (5.31), San Jose (5.30) and Austin (5.07). The number of unemployed persons looking for work was fewer than the number of advertised vacancies in 16 of the 52, or almost one-third, of the metro areas for which data are reported separately. Cities across the nation where the number of advertised vacancies are plentiful in relation to the number of unemployed included Austin; Salt Lake City; Washington, D.C.; Denver; Phoenix and New Orleans.

And what industries are advertising the most openings?

“Many jobs in high demand are also, on average, among the highest paying occupations,” said Levanon. Healthcare practitioners and technical workers (284,400) and management positions (248,000) continue to be the top occupations with a significant number of ads posted online. (…) Also in high demand are computer and quantitative skills related occupations (213,200), business and financial occupations (212,000), and office and administrative support (205,700).

Now, of course I have to give a lawyerly disclaimer. As the report says, “…one cannot infer that the occupation or geographic location of unemployed persons matches the occupation or geographic location of the vacancies…”

Still, if you have a chance to test the waters, all things being equal, you might do worse than to try Milwaukee. Or Alaska.

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Tags: Job Search · Job Sites · Jobs · Where The Jobs Are

  • Willy

    This looks like an interesting data set to run some regressions against. I’d like to see what demographic and economic conditions are predictors of high levels of job postings per person in the workforce.

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