A recession might be on a horizon—Here are the 10 best states to find a job according to a new study

December 1, 2022, 7:30 PM UTC
Photo of Seattle, Washington skyline.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranks Washington as the best state for finding a job.
Getty Images

This has been a wild year for the U.S. economy, with inflation hitting 40-year highs, coupled with several Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to try to get prices down, which drubbed the stock market in the process. 

The labor market, however, has been relatively strong all year—but it seems to be cooling off. A jobs report released Wednesday revealed that job openings in the U.S. fell in October to 10.3 million—a decline of 353,000 openings from the previous month. That’s actually part of what the Federal Reserve wants—to slow down an overheated economy.

Fears have been growing for months that the U.S. is headed for a recession—if we’re not in one already. And depending on how quickly the economy slows, jobs will become harder to find as demand for workers dwindles. A wave of layoffs have already hit the tech industry, with Meta announcing it plans to cut 11,000 employees, Twitter (under Elon Musk) laying off half of its workforce, and HP Inc. announcing it plans to lay off up to 6,000 employees

No one knows exactly where the economy is headed, but there are some states with greater opportunity for employment, according to a new report released this week by WalletHub, a personal finance website. 

To rank each state, WalletHub used 35 different metrics (like job opportunities, unemployment rate, median annual incomes) that fell into two separate indexes—job market and economic environment.

The best state to find a job? Washington, with an overall score of 69.65—largely due to its economic environment. Following close behind is Vermont, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Minnesota—all of which make up the top five. Vermont and New Hampshire ranked particularly high for their job opportunities and low unemployment rate. Meanwhile, Minnesota benefited from having one of the highest median annual incomes. 

The list also included states where it’s more challenging to find a job. The bottom 5 included Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Each state scored low in both the job market and economic environment indexes. Mississippi was among those considered to have the fewest job opportunities, and Louisiana and West Virginia had some of the lowest median annual incomes. 

Here are the 10 best and worst states for jobs, according to this year’s report from WalletHub.

The top 10:

  1. Washington
  2. Vermont
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Colorado 
  5. Minnesota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Virginia 
  9. Connecticut 
  10. New Jersey

The bottom 10:

41. Ohio
42. Alabama 
43. South Carolina
44. Pennsylvania
45. Oklahoma 
46. Arkansas 
47. Louisiana 
48. Mississippi
49. Kentucky 
50. West Virginia 

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