- Job growth is up 1.6% nationally over the past year, but some states are far ahead of others.
- The 10 U.S. states below are creating jobs at the fastest pace in the nation.
- Job creation is a key metric in the Economy category in CNBC's America's Top States for Business study.
Looking for a new job? If you are good at what you do, you probably never have been better positioned than you are now.
A recent New York Federal Reserve consumer expectations survey showed that workers' confidence for finding a new job after losing their current position was at 61.5% in May — an increase from 59.3% in April and the highest since the central bank started keeping track in June 2013.
That's because the U.S. unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low of 3.7%, with average hourly earnings up 3.1% year-over-year, according to the Labor Department.
Skilled workers are in short supply, and employers have positions to fill. There are now more job openings than there are workers -- and the gap is growing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that counts the unemployed.
But your chances are better in some states than in others. That is because while job growth nationally is solid, at about 1.6 percent from May of 2018 to May of this year, it is not evenly distributed among the states, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. It stands to reason that you will do better in states where companies are doing more hiring.
Job creation is an important metric in CNBC's exclusive America's Top States for Business study. It is one of the ways we gauge our Economy category, along with GDP growth, the housing market, state finances, and the number of major corporations headquartered in the state.
Ranked for year-over-year job growth (through May) on a percentage basis, these states offer you the best chances to land the job you are looking for.
The tourism industry in South Carolina is booming. Some 29 million people visit the state each year, and they need people to take care of their needs. Leisure and hospitality employers are hiring in a big way, adding 12,000 jobs in the past year and helping to fuel the state's solid job growth.
Year-over-year job growth: 1.91%
2019 Economy rank: 22 (Top States Grade: B-)
Major employers: Cryovac, Michelin, Sonoco
Despite a trade war that is decimating commodity prices and hurting rural states like South Dakota, the state has made up for those losses with solid growth in manufacturing. In that sector alone, the state has added 2,200 jobs in the past year, a 5 percent increase. ·
Year-over-year job growth: 1.92 percent
2019 Economy rank: 8 (Top States Grade: B+)
Major employers: Highmark, Sanford Health, Daktronics
Looking for a job in construction or health care? Consider Oregon, where employers are clamoring for employees. Despite the severe labor shortages, the state added nearly 6,000 construction jobs in the past year, a 5.5 percent increase. The state's booming economy is fueling a construction and hiring boom.
Year-over-year job growth: 1.97%
2019 Economy rank: 7 (Top States Grade: A-)
Major employers: Nike, Precision Castparts, Daimler Trucks North America
This state of Texas is always a job engine, even in a year when lower oil prices and a trade war have added headwinds to the economy. The sector that includes oil drilling notched impressive job growth of 6 percent last year. But the growth is increasingly choppy, after two years of steady increases.
Year-over-year job growth: 2.3%
2019 Economy rank: 4 (Top States Grade: A+)
Major employers: AT&T, Keller Williams, American Airlines
If you have construction skills and like warm weather, we have the state for you. Florida has added 28,000 construction jobs in the past year as the state bulks up to accommodate its strong economy. But even as employers hire at such a healthy pace, they are having trouble finding skilled workers. That spells opportunity.
Year-over-year job growth: 2.45%
2019 Economy rank: 10 (Top States Grade: B+)
Major employers: Publix, Jabil, Darden Restaurants
After a long history as an agricultural state, Idaho's service economy is surging. Job growth in the professional and business service sector is up 6 percent in the past year. The state is pushing its role as the nation's back office, with more than 100,000 employers providing support services to big companies without the costs associated with big cities.
Year-over-year job growth: 2.5%
2019 Economy rank: 2 (Top States Grade: A+)
Major employers: Albertson's, Micron Technology, Boise Cascade
Arizona is another state that is seeing yet another year of a construction boom, and it needs the workers to keep it going. The state added nearly 20,000 construction jobs last year, more than a ten percent increase. Rising home prices could threaten that boom if prospective homeowners leave the market and builders stop building. But for now, it's full speed ahead.
Year-over-year job growth: 2.68%
2019 Economy rank: 12 (Top States Grade: B+)
Major employers: PetSmart, Circle K, Apollo Education Services
The fastest growing state economy three years running is a jobs magnet. Washington needs housing for all those workers, and medical professionals to care for them, and that creates even more job. Construction and health care lead the state's job growth. And if you shop, travel, or use a computer, chances are you are already connected to the state that is home to Amazon, Boeing, Expedia and Microsoft.
Year-over-year job growth: 2.79%
2019 Economy rank: 5 (Top States Grade: A)
Major employers: Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing
The state's robust tech sector in the region known as Silicon Slopes is still a major employment driver, but manufacturing companies in Utah have been hiring steadily in the last year. The state is pushing its strategic location, low energy costs, and young and talented workforce to lure manufacturers. They are flocking to state, and looking for skilled workers.
Year-over-year job growth: 2.82%
2019 Economy rank: 3 (Top States Grade: A+)
Major employers: Intermountain Healthcare, L3 Communications, Frito-Lay
Nevada's rebound from the housing crisis just keeps on going, and that has led to a 17 percent increase in construction jobs in the past year. The state also saw an 8.5 percent jump in manufacturing jobs. Job growth in Nevada is not universal, however. Employment in the information industry dropped by around 3 percent.
Year-over-year job growth: 4%
2019 Economy rank: 11 (Top States Grade: B+)
Major employers: MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Entertainment