The 15 Best States to Find a Good Job Right Now

Landing a great job is a lot easier if you live in one of these places.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Are you looking for a good job right now? So are many other people, but some have it easier than others.

A recent study by WalletHub identified the best states for finding a good job. When calculating each state’s scores, WalletHub weighed several indicators to rank states by their economic environment and job market conditions.

Following are the top 15 states for job seekers. These are the places where you have the best odds of finding a job that can help you stop living paycheck to paycheck.

15. Illinois

Carlos Yudica/Adobe Lincoln Park and the Chicago skyline

Illinois ranks at No. 3 for employment growth. October marked the state’s 17th consecutive month of job growth.

Industries with the most significant monthly gains include trade, transportation, and utilities. Jobs in the leisure and hospitality sectors also have increased sharply.

14. Florida

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Tampa Florida Skyline

Florida ranks at No. 10 for economic environment and No. 5 for employment growth. The state has gained back all the jobs lost during the pandemic — and then some.

Job gains in the leisure and hospitality industries were especially large. Overall, more than 428,000 jobs were added over the last year.

13. Utah

Kevin Ruck/Adobe downtown Park City Utah

Utah earns strong rankings in nearly all areas, making the top five for job satisfaction, median annual income, and lowest unemployment rate.

The state also earned the top spot in terms of residents who work for the shortest amount of time.

12. South Dakota

Susan/Adobe lovely park in Sioux City South Dakota

South Dakota ranks in the top 20 for overall job market and economic environment. It also is No. 1 for the shortest commute time and tied for No. 1 for the lowest unemployment rate.

Despite the high workforce participation rate, the state still has unfilled jobs available.

11. California

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe downtown Los Angeles California cityscape

California ranks No. 1 for the most employment growth and is the No. 10 job market. The state increased payrolls by 4% year over year in November, but employers in some areas still struggle to fill positions.

Housing costs in coastal areas have contributed to the labor shortages in these regions.

10. New Jersey

Brian E Kushner/Adobe Gloucester New Jersey

New Jersey comes in second for overall economic environment. Many major companies keep offices in the state, making job opportunities more plentiful.

New Jersey is known for its advanced-skill industries, including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

9. Connecticut

Laura Stone/Adobe Hartford Connecticut skyline on an autumn day

Connecticut takes the No. 5 spot for economic environment and finishes in second place for employment growth. The state averaged more than 3,500 job gains each month in 2022.

8. Virginia

Kevin Ruck/Adobe Richmond Virginia USA downtown drone skyline aerial

Virginia earns the No. 5 ranking for both the highest monthly average starting salary and overall job market.

Agriculture is a leading industry in the state, but Virginia is also home to some Fortune 500 corporate headquarters.

Pro tip: If you have a job that doesn’t pay quite as much as you would like, try picking up a part-time job or starting a side hustle so you can generate extra income.

7. Massachusetts

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Boston

Massachusetts places No. 6 for both economic environment and job market. It ranks No. 5 for residents who spend the shortest amount of time working.

The state has been lauded for a strong education system that prepares students for quality jobs.

6. Rhode Island

Tupungato/Adobe small bridge in the middle of a river with beautiful green trees and tall buildings in Rhode Island

Rhode Island takes the third spot when it comes to the economic environment, and it is the 9th for the job market.

Health care and social assistance, education services, and retail trade are all leading industries in the state.

5. Minnesota

Präsenzwerk am Werk/Adobe drone flight over the skyline of Minneapolis Minnesota

Minnesota takes second place for the state with the most job opportunities and placed fourth for overall job-market conditions.

The state gained more than 17,000 private sector jobs in October, marking the 13th consecutive month of job growth.

4. Colorado

Kevin Ruck/Adobe Vail Colorado

Colorado places second in the job market category and has seen job gains slightly above the national average.

Leading industries for job gains in the state include the leisure and hospitality sector and professional and business services.

3. New Hampshire

Loud Canvas Media/Adobe downtown Rochester New Hampshire

New Hampshire has the most job opportunities in the nation and is tied for the lowest unemployment rate.

Between a pool of highly skilled workers and the presence of global companies in the state, the job market in New Hampshire remains better than in much of the country.

2. Vermont

Osaze/Adobe churches and historic buildings in Montpellier Vermont

Vermont takes first place for overall job market and ranks No. 4 for economic environment.

The state does well in many individual categories, placing among the top five for job satisfaction, employment growth, and job opportunities. A low unemployment rate makes Vermont a strong choice for job seekers.

1. Washington

SvetlanaSF/Adobe Seattle downtown skyline sunset from Dr Jose Rizal

Washington takes first place for economic environment and ranks as the best state to find a job overall.

It places No. 5 for job opportunities and No. 2 for the highest monthly average starting salaries. Workers in Washington state also enjoy no tax on personal income.

Bottom line

motortion/Adobe male applicant and company boss shaking hands

Location plays a significant role in finding a good job. Some areas even have more jobs than they do workers.

If you are searching for the perfect job and are open to relocation, consider looking for openings in these states first. You might even find a position so lucrative that you will save enough money to retire early.

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Author Details

Katelyn Washington Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.

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