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25 Best Places to Find a Job

Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer

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Job seekers with no ties to any particular location often seek jobs in big cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco. But are these the places where they're most likely to find a job?

Not according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job seekers are better off looking in such cities as Sioux Falls, S.D., Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Rapid City, S.D.. All of these cities registered the lowest unemployment rates in July 2008.

Low unemployment rates seem harder to come by in today's economy. Jobless rates were higher in 338 of the 369 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed this July, which means 92 percent of cities have seen an increase in their unemployment rates. Only 25 areas reported lower rates, while six areas had no change. The national unemployment rate in July, 6 percent, was up 1.1 percent from 4.9 percent last year.

Only nine areas registered rates below 3 percent this July and just 40 cities had unemployment rates below 4 percent, down from 91 areas at the same time last year. In total, 153 cities had an unemployment rate higher than the average, 205 areas had rates below it and 11 areas had the same rate.

Despite these startling figures, there are several cities with low unemployment rates and sizeable job growth. Here are 25 cities with the lowest unemployment rates and the job growth they're experiencing, according to the BLS.

1.      Sioux Falls, S.D.

Unemployment rate: 2.4 percent

Last year: 2.3 percent

Job growth: 2.1 percent

2.      Rapid City, S.D.

Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent

Last year: 2.6 percent

Job growth: 1 percent

3.      Idaho Falls, Idaho

Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent

Last year: 1.6 percent

Job growth: N/A

4.      Bismarck, N.D.

Unemployment rate: 2.6 percent

Last year: 2.5 percent

Job growth: 2.2 percent

5.      Houma, La.

Unemployment rate: 2.7 percent

Last year: 2.9 percent

Job growth: 1.1 percent

6.      Morgantown, W.Va.

Unemployment rate: 2.8 percent

Last year: 3.4 percent

Job growth: 1.8 percent

7.      Logan, Utah

Unemployment rate: 2.8 percent

Last year: 2.3 percent

Job growth: N/A

8.      Fargo, N.D.

Unemployment rate: 2.9 percent

Last year: 2.6 percent

Job growth: 1.6 percent

9.      Casper, Wyo.

Unemployment rate: 2.9 percent

Last year: 2.7 percent

Job growth: N/A

10.  Billings, Mont.

Unemployment rate: 3.0 percent

Last year: 2.3 percent

Job growth: 2.9 percent

11.  Ames, Iowa

Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent

Last year: 2.8 percent

Job growth: N/A

12.  Lafayette, La.

Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent

Last year: 3.1 percent

Job growth: 2.8 percent

13.  Midland, Texas

Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent

Last year: 3.2 percent

Job growth: 2.4 percent

14.  Iowa City, Iowa

Unemployment rate: 3.2 percent

Last year: 2.8 percent

Job growth: 0.7 percent

15.  Lincoln, Neb.

Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent

Last year: 3.2 percent

Job growth: 1.4 percent

16.  Portsmouth, N.H.

Unemployment rate: 3.3 percent

Last year: 3.1 percent

Job growth: 2.8 percent

17.  Great Falls, Mont.

Unemployment rate: 3.4 percent

Last year: 2.7 percent

Job growth: N/A

18.  Charlestown, W.Va.

Unemployment rate: 3.4 percent

Last year: 4.1 percent

Job growth: 1 percent

19.  Des Moines, Iowa

Unemployment rate: 3.5 percent

Last year: 3.1 percent

Job growth: 1.2 percent

20.  Missoula, Mont.

Unemployment rate: 3.5 percent

Last year: 2.6 percent

Job growth: -0.3 percent

21.  Salt Lake City, Utah

Unemployment rate: 3.5 percent

Last year: 2.7 percent

Job growth: 2.2 percent

22.  Provo, Utah

Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent

Last year: 2.8 percent

Job growth: 1.2 percent

23.  Odessa, Texas

Unemployment rate: 3.7 percent

Last year: 3.8 percent

Job growth: 4.4 percent

24.  Pocatello, Idaho

Unemployment rate: 3.7 percent

Last year: 2.4 percent

Job growth: N/A

25.  Sioux City, Iowa

Unemployment rate: 3.7 percent

Last year: 3.6 percent

Job growth: -1.9 percent

*Preliminary unemployment rate for July 2008, according to the BLS.

** Unemployment rate for July 2007, according to the BLS.

*** Job growth based on numbers from April 2008.

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.



Last Updated: 29/09/2008 - 11:13 AM


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