Having the skills or a diploma may be great tools for you to land a job, but they’re useless if no one is hiring. But in the US, job openings are happening all around the country at a rather nice pace. This year so far, more than 200,000 new jobs are created every month. The projections are, that by the end of 2014 about 230,000 new jobs will be available per month. That means a total of 2.6 million new workers will be gainfully employed for the year.
Of course, these new jobs are not spread evenly. Some states have higher job growth rates than others. Let’s take a look at the best US states for job openings right now:
1. North Dakota. It seems strange that the best US state right now has a population of just over 723,000 in 2013. But in the last few years, North Dakota has seen some rather impressive job growth rates. For 2013 the rate was 3.6%, and for 2014 it’s still the highest in the country at 3.3%. That’s about 13,000 new jobs. The average job growth rate in the US is 1.9%. The unemployment rate in the state is only 2.6%, which is way below the 6.3% national average. A lot of the new job openings will be in the shale oil and gas development sector.
2. Texas. For 2014, the state will see almost 320,000 new job openings. That’s a job growth rate of 2.6%, which somewhat continues the trend set by the state’s 2013 job growth rate of 2.9%. But the population in Texas has reached 26.4 million people, and the unemployment rate is still high, at 5.2%.
The high-tech industry in Austin is fueling much of the growth, as well as the boom in oil and natural gas.
3. Arizona. The 71,539 new jobs to be added in AZ represent a job growth rate of 2.6% for 2014, which is an improvement over the 2013 rate of 2.1%. The unemployment rate is high at 6.9% mainly due to the cuts in the defense sector and the housing market collapse. The new jobs will mostly be in the bioscience and solar power industries.
4. Utah. The job growth rate in UT is at 2.5%, and there will be a total of 34,441 new jobs for 2014. That’s good news for the 2.9 million people who live here. Just about all the major sectors are hiring.
5. Colorado. There are 63,073 new jobs available for the year, mostly in the higher-paid industries such as construction, mining, and manufacturing. The education and health services are hiring as well.
Keep in mind, though, that this is a list of the states with the fastest job growth. These are the states which added the most number of job openings relative to the number of jobs they had the year before. So for North Dakota, the 3.3% job growth of 2014 means that for every 1,000 jobs in the state for 2013, there are now 1,033 jobs.
However, if you are looking for the states with the most number of job openings, then your best bets will always be the states with the most number of people who live within its borders. These are Texas, California, and New York.
Whichever way you look at it, it’s always the same rule: you go to where the jobs are. Waiting for a job opening near you may not be such an effective strategy.