These Are the Best (and Worst) States for Jobs Right Now

Hunting for a job is a very specific torture. It can easily morph into a full-time job itself littered with dead ends that demands countless hours of your time, and that's if you know where you want to begin...


Hunting for a job is a very specific torture. It can easily morph into a full-time job itself, demanding countless hours of your time, and that's if you know where you want to begin. It sucks a lot less, though, if you're searching for a new gig in a place where the market is flush with opportunity. Luckily, it just got easier to figure out where those are thanks to this new list of the best states for jobs right now.

This fresh ranking of the best (and worst) states for jobs in 2019 comes courtesy of the folks at personal finance site WalletHub, who crunched the numbers on a slew of data to determine the most attractive locales for anyone on the lookout for employment. Specifically, they compared all 50 states across two key factors: job market and economic environment. Going deeper, they measured each state using 33 metrics, which weighed everything from job opportunity and median annual income, to long-term employment rate and industry variety. 

The state with the distinction of being the best place for jobs right now is Massachusetts, with Washington in second place, followed by Colorado rounding out the top three. On the other end of the spectrum, West Virginia has the dubious honor of being the worst place to be job-hunting in 2019, followed by Mississippi and Kentucky, which took the 49 and 48 slot, respectively. Here's a look at the full ranking, from worst to best.

50. West Virginia
49. Mississippi
48. Kentucky
47. Louisiana
46. Alaska
45. Alabama
44. Arkansas
43. Pennsylvania
42. North Carolina
41. Montana
40. Ohio
39. Oregon
38. Indiana
37. Oklahoma
36. Georgia
35. South Carolina
34. Wyoming 
33. Missouri
32. New Mexico
31. Illinois
30. Hawaii
29. Michigan
28. Maine
27. Arizona
26. Maryland
25. Idaho
24. Kansas
23. Wisconsin
22. North Dakota
21. Florida
20. New York
19. Nevada
18. Utah
17. Tennessee
16. South Dakota
15. Iowa
14. Virginia
13. Connecticut
12. Texas
11. Nebraska
10. Rhode Island
9. California
8. New Jersey
7. Delaware
6. Minnesota
5. New Hampshire
4. Vermont
3. Colorado
2. Washington
1. Massachusetts

Overall, both the upper Midwest and New England seem to be the most hospitable for folks on the prowl for new jobs. Of course, some states that didn't rank as highly overall shine when it comes to individual metrics. For instance, even though North Dakota isn't even in the top 20 overall, it's the number two state in the nation when you weigh it in terms of job opportunities. Similarly, number 14 Virginia is at the top of the list in terms of highest median annual income while Idaho -- which landed in 25th place overall -- is the state with the highest job satisfaction.

Then again, if you're looking for something with lifelong job security that requires you to literally do nothing all day, you may want to consider relocating to Sweden.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.