Need a Job? Then You Have To Go To These U.S. States

It’s hard to be happy and healthy without a good job. What you do for a living influences your overall satisfaction, just like a healthy job market contributes to a city’s growth. Want to change careers? Ready to move to a better place? Now you just need to know where to look.

Governing reviewed the Labor Department numbers and now we know: These states had the most job growth in 2017. Those who value warm weather will see that one sunny state added tons of new jobs last year (page 9).

18. Montana

Montana, USA

This state is truly home to “big sky.” | PStieger/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.6%
  • Jobs added (2017): 7,708
  • Industries: Physical therapy, construction, nursing

Montana barely makes it on two lists; one good and one bad. Sadly, Montana is the 17th most dangerous state in the U.S., ranking low in personal and residential safety. The plus side of living in “Big Sky Country”? Its job market is growing steadily, with a surge of hires in industries like physical therapy, construction, nursing, and more.

Next: Things get wild in this New England state.

17. New Hampshire

Winter at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

How’s this for a gorgeous place to live? | coleong/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.6%
  • Jobs added (2017): 10,733
  • Industries: Health care, computer science, manufacturing, construction, hospitality

The job industry is rock solid in the Granite State — or is it? The state’s low unemployment rate represents hundreds of vacancies, making it hard for employers to find qualified workers. The good news: You can take advantage. New Hampshire’s industries in the highest demand for jobs include health care, computer science, advanced manufacturing, construction, and hospitality.

Next: The lakes are pretty and the jobs are plentiful.

16. Michigan

Autumn in Traverse City Michigan

Traverse City is a gem beside Lake Michigan. | garyrennis/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.6%
  • Jobs added (2017): 67,983
  • Industries: Credit counselor, operations analyst, dental technicians

The Great Lakes State is transforming into a tech and health-care hotbed. Its 2018 forecast indicates even more job growth and “an economy that continues to diversify,” according to MLive. Because of the state’s slow and steady job growth in positions like credit counselor, operations analyst, and dental technician, residents can enjoy higher wages than ever before.

Next: The job market is hot in this cold state.

15. Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minnesota added nearly 50,000 jobs in 2017. | Studiodr/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.7%
  • Jobs added (2017): 48,158
  • Industries: Agriculture, banking, healthcare, bioscience

The rust belt and upper Midwest hardly match the job growth in the rest of the country, except for Minnesota. Agriculture and food, banking, biosciences, and healthcare are just of few of the major industries. The state added nearly 9,000 jobs from the previous year.

Next: Move to this state — unless you’re a teacher.

14. Tennessee

Gatlinburg Tennessee

The number of jobs in Tennessee has grown by 280,000 since 2010. | Sean Pavone Photo/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.7%
  • Jobs added (2017): 51,467
  • Industries: Consulting, manufacturing

When is 1.7% job growth a cause for concern? When you’re Tennessee and your rate was nearly 1% higher the last time the numbers came out. Still, the state is a hotbed for jobs, adding 280,000 from 2010 to 2016. Except for teachers, who really have it tough in Tennessee, it’s a great place to start your job search.

Next: Staying steady keeps this state on the list.

13. Massachusetts

Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

The sustained job growth in Massachusetts is impressive. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.7%
  • Jobs added (2017): 59,842
  • Industries: Financial services, technology, life sciences

Massachusetts appears as one of the states with the most job growth for two straight years. According to the Governing data, The Bay State had 1.7% job growth and added 59,800 jobs two years running. The sustained growth is even more impressive when you consider welfare recipients make more than minimum wage workers in Massachusetts.

Next: The job market complements the great craft beer scene.

12. North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

North Carolina’s job growth rate slipped a bit in 2017, but it’s still strong. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.7%
  • Jobs added (2017): 71,917
  • Industries: Agriculture, manufacturing, financial services

North Carolina is just like Tennessee, its neighbor to the west. The Tarheel State added close to 100,000 jobs and had a 2.3% jobs growth rate in 2016. Both figures dropped a bit in 2017, but North Carolina is still one of the states with the most job opportunities (and great craft beer, if you’re into that kind of thing).

Next: The job market is always golden here.

11. California

Catalina Island

Even with job growth slowing, California still added nearly 300,000 jobs in 2017. | Pablo_K/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.8%
  • Jobs added (2017): 295,533
  • Industries: Agriculture, tourism, entertainment, technology

California is always going to be one of the states with the most job growth since it is so big and so many people live there. Seeing job growth slow by about 1% and 125,000 jobs in 2017 wasn’t enough to keep The Golden State off our list.

Next: A range of jobs have hot markets in this state.

10. Colorado

Denver and Lakewood Colorado

Colorado added about 50,000 jobs in 2017. | Sparty1711/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 1.9%
  • Jobs added (2017): 50,092
  • Industries: Marijuana, interpreters, miners, health care, information security

Legal marijuana gives Colorado’s job market a boost, but it doesn’t explain the sustained job growth. The state added 56,000 jobs in 2016 and tacked on another 50,000 in 2017. According to career website Zippia, interpreters, miners, health care, and information security are some of the in-demand jobs in Colorado.

Next: A service industry surge makes this one of the best places to look for a job.

9. Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Maryland’s job growth rate in 2017 was 2%. | SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.0%
  • Jobs added (2017): 53,075
  • Industries: Lodging manager, concierge, housekeeping

Maryland is one of the worst states for retirement, but the job market is another story. The state had an additional 20,000 jobs in 2017 with strong growth in the service industry. Lodging manager, concierge, and housekeeper are some of the jobs with the highest growth rates in the state.

Next: Everything’s biggest, including job growth, in this state.

8. Texas

Waco, Texas

Job growth is strong in Texas.  | Hundley_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.3%
  • Jobs added (2017): 278,875
  • Industries: Wind turbine technicians, statisticians, health care

You have to take the bad with the good in Texas. It’s one of the worst states for property taxes and you’ll pay a ton for car insurance. But it’s also one of the states with the most job growth in 2017.

The Lone Star State enjoyed 1% stronger job growth and added 120,000 jobs from 2016. Wind turbine technician, statistician, and various health care fields are some of the fastest-growing sectors. Oh, and did we mention Texas has no state income tax and residents get huge tax refunds?

Next: The West Coast makes another appearance.

7. Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Strong job growth is just one perk of living in Oregon. | Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.4%
  • Jobs added (2017): 44,117
  • Industries: Advanced manufacturing, business services, forestry

Scenic views, great year-round weather, and its status as one of the states that had the most job growth make Oregon an ideal place to look for a job. The rate and the number of jobs added in 2017 slipped slightly from 2016, but it’s still a hotbed. About the only downside to living and working in Oregon is the state income taxes.

Next: Slower growth in 2017 doesn’t hurt this state’s standing.

6. Washington

Washington DC, USA skyline

Washington is one of the best states for job seekers. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.4%
  • Jobs added (2017): 78,167
  • Industries: Aerospace, agriculture, information technology

Even though there were 20,000 fewer new jobs in Washington in 2017, it remains one of the best states for jobs in the U.S. Seattle-based Amazon is always hiring, but the entire state is one of the best for job-seekers.

Next: This state is in select company when discussing job growth.

5. Georgia

Riverwalk in Augusta Georgia

Georgia added more than 100,000 jobs in 2017. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.4%
  • Jobs added (2017): 106,683
  • Industries: Accountants, elementary school teachers, managers, nurses

Only five states added 100,000 or more jobs to their totals in 2017, and Georgia was one of them. We’ve visited two already — California and Texas — and we’ll get to another one in a minute. Accountants, elementary school teachers, managers, and nurses are some of the hottest jobs with thousands of new openings every year.

Next: Construction and food companies put this state on our list.

4. Idaho

Rexburg Idaho Temple Harvest Sunset

The numbers may be small, but the job growth rate is impressive. | Bret-Barton/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.5%
  • Jobs added (2017): 17,542
  • Industries: Construction, advanced manufacturing, food production

Boise’s low unemployment and sustained job growth help put Idaho on this list, but the entire state is thriving. It’s one of the best states for construction jobs. Chobani and McCain Foods are adding jobs, too, and it all combines to make Idaho one of the states with the hottest job market in the country.

Next: A lot of things to hate, but the job market is not one of them.

3. Florida

St. Petersburg, Florida,

Florida’s job growth rate in 2017 was a bit lower than in 2016, but it was still strong. | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 2.6%
  • Jobs added (2017): 219,067
  • Industries: Tourism, agriculture, trade, aerospace

There are several reasons why Florida is the most-hated state in America, but the job market isn’t one of them. Thanks in part to $35 million of state-funded grants, sustained job growth is the norm, even though numbers were down in 2017. The state added 275,000 jobs and enjoyed 3.4% growth in 2016.

Next: Construction and hospitality jobs are hot.

2. Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

Utah had an impressive 3% job growth rate in 2017. | TobinAkehurst/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 3.0%
  • Jobs added (2017): 43,092
  • Industries: Construction and hospitality

People leave Utah when they reach retirement age because of a flat tax and the state taking a cut of Social Security benefits. But its 3.0% growth rate in 2017 makes it one of the states with the best job market. Southwest Utah leads the way, while construction and hospitality are two industries adding the most jobs.

Next: This state’s reputation as a bad place to earn a living is outdated.

1. Nevada

Reno, Nevada downtown

Nevada had the best job growth rate in the country in 2017. | ddub3429/iStock/Getty Images

  • Job growth rate (2017): 3.1%
  • Jobs added (2017): 40,875
  • Industries: Hospitality, engineering, machinist jobs

Nevada as one of the worst states to make a living? Not if you look at the Governing figures. With 3.1% growth and 40,875 jobs added in 2017, the state nearly repeated its 2016 figures and cemented its status as No. 1 on the list of states that had the most job growth.

All the hotels and casinos mean hospitality is a popular job, but engineer and machinist are two other big jobs in Nevada, according to Zippia.

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