If you find it difficult to get a job, it could be because of where you live.
U.S. unemployment remains low overall, at 3.7 percent, and a blockbuster report earlier this month showed the economy added 353,000 jobs in January, dashing economists’ expectations.
But when it comes to finding work, some places have much more competitive job markets than others.
Job seekers are likely to have better luck in Nevada, according to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the year to December 2023, employment grew 3.7 per cent in the state, the highest in the country.
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This represents a net gain of 57,700 non-farm jobs for the year.
Non-agricultural workers exclude agricultural workers, domestic and nonprofit employees, and active-duty military members.
After Nevada, Idaho and South Dakota recorded a 3 percent employment increase, representing 25,000 and 13,800 new jobs, respectively.
Idaho’s largest industry is the science and technology sector, while South Dakota is primarily driven by the agriculture and energy industries.
U.S. unemployment remains low overall at 3.7 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment in Wyoming grew 2.8 percent, while Texas saw a 2.7 percent year-over-year increase.
The Lone Star State, which is among the most populous states in the country, recorded the highest number of job creation at 369,000.
California added 311,600 jobs, while Florida added 240,600 in the year through December 2023.
Nevada and its most populous city, Las Vegas, have a unique job market, experts say.
David Schmidt, chief economist for the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the state has a “strange paradox” of rapid job growth coupled with a high unemployment rate.
In December last year, the unemployment rate in the state was 5.4 percent, due to the ongoing recovery of the accommodation, catering and entertainment sectors after the pandemic.
But the end of 2023 marked a change, according to Schmidt.
“Nevada ended 2023 continuing to add jobs at a rapid pace while keeping unemployment stable,” he said in a statement.
“For the first time, the accommodation and food services industry employs more people than before the pandemic, and seasonal retail hiring increased above the level seen between 2018 and 2022.”
Nevada and its most populous city, Las Vegas, have a unique job market, experts say
On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi appears to have been the worst state for job seekers last year, as it was the only one where the number of jobs decreased.
The state saw a 0.7 percent decline, representing a net loss of 7,800 jobs.
Rhode Island was also weak, with just a 0.4 percent increase, while Vermont saw a 0.5 percent increase, representing a change of 1,900 and 1,400, respectively.
Iowa followed, with a year-over-year increase of 0.6 percent, while jobs in Tennessee rose 0.7 percent.
The shocking January jobs report comes amid a series of high-profile layoffs across different sectors.
The U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs in January, confounding economists’ expectations.
Billionaire CEO Elon Musk has recently placed an emphasis on cost-cutting at Tesla amid a sharp slowdown in its sales growth.
Technology companies Microsoft and PayPal have announced that they will lay off their workers this year.
Meanwhile, delivery company UPS announced it will cut 12,000 jobs after the company’s revenue fell by $1.87 billion.
In a post-earnings call earlier this year, the package delivery company said the revenue decline is the result of higher union labor costs and weaker demand.
‘2023 was a unique and difficult year. Through it all, we stayed focused on controlling what we could control, staying on strategy and strengthening our foundation for future growth,” said CEO Carol Tomé.
Tesla also stoked fears of layoffs this week after managers were reportedly asked to establish which of their workers’ jobs were critical.
According to the Department of Labor, professional and business services were among the sectors that saw job gains in January, along with health care and retail trade.
But he added that employment fell in areas such as mining, as well as the oil and gas extraction industry.