Hardest States to Find A Job

The labor market has seen improvements and signs of growth over the past few years, yet many still struggle while either being unemployed or underemployed in positions for which they are overqualified and under-compensated. While we may not be in those darkest of days at the height of the recession back in 2008 and 2009, many still struggle to find not only a job, but one that pays enough to live decently.

To combat this difficult job market, many are looking into relocation to states other than their current place of residency in an attempt to find new and better sources of employment. While this works for many, others who may not do the necessary due diligence find themselves in areas with even less job options than where they were originally. Don’t become one of them; check out the ten states with the worst job markets in the country below.

*As an FYI, the national average rates are underemployment (8.3%), unemployment (6.7%) and slow labor force growth signals a mass exodus of workers leaving the state to find better opportunities elsewhere, while a faster growth rate in an area with high unemployment shows extremely high levels of competition for very few jobs.

10. New Jersey

  • Underemployment rate: 14.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.4%
  • Labor force growth: 1%

One silver lining with this state is that home prices have yet to return to pre-recession numbers (still down 30%), so if you happen to be an investor or are just interested in the real estate market, now would be a pretty good time to snap up some property so that when prices finally recover, you stand to make a substantial profit on your purchases.

9. Florida

  • Underemployment rate: 14.3%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.2%
  • Labor force growth: 4.2%

The same holds true for the Florida housing market, though you may want to be careful with purchases in both states as it is unknown when their economies will return to that of before the recession. Oh, and the house you buy stands a strong chance of being washed away before you’re able to resell it.

8. Kentucky

  • Underemployment rate: 14.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.4%
  • Labor force growth: 0.1%

Let’s just steer clear of this one. Period.

7. Michigan

  • Underemployment rate: 15.2%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.9%
  • Labor force growth: -6.0%

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a negative labor force growth rate. So run.

6. Rhode Island

  • Underemployment rate: 15.5%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.1%
  • Labor force growth: -3.0%

Keep running…past this one too.

5. Illinois

  • Underemployment rate: 15.6%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.1%
  • Labor force growth: -2.3%

If that’s not bad enough, the winters disrespect your coats and life in Chicago.

4. Oregon

  • Underemployment rate:¬†15.8%
  • Unemployment rate: 6.7%
  • Labor force growth:0.7%

Aside from the fact that all I know about Oregon is the Oregon Trail and Nike, neither of the two is enough incentive to lok for work over there.

3. Arizona

  • Underemployment rate: 16.1%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.5%
  • Labor force growth: 1.4%

And there’s a dry heat climate which causes pre-mature wrinkling which will go nicely with your stress wrinkles from not finding work. Steer clear.

2. California

  • Underemployment rate: 16.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.3%
  • Labor force growth: 2.6%

I will say, this is not true of all of California as start-ups are multiplying like rabbits in Silicon Valley. If you’re not tech obsessed then reconsider.

1. Nevada

  • Underemployment rate: 17.4%
  • Unemployment rate: 7.8%
  • Labor force growth: 4.9%

You may have a chance if you count cards, dance, sing or cook. Or look like one of the guys from The Hangover.

Make sure you share with all your job-hunting friends as a warning…or you could recommend these places to annoying co-workers or people you just really hate.

*Percentages taken from 247 Wall St.