hiring-indexJob-Search Targeting Tools

Finding a job now is more difficult than normal, but much better than it was in 2009 and 2010. 

The Hiring Index shows how easy or difficult it is to find a job. The index is a combination of the employment growth rate and the unemployment rate.

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Hiring Index by state and industry

The maps below show how easy or difficult it will be to find a job ... by state and industry sector. Green denotes very easy, light green denotes relatively easy, red denotes relatively difficult, and black denotes very difficult. White denotes not available.

Hint: To increase your job-finding odds, look for a job where the jobs are easiest to find (green first, then light green). These maps will help you decide if you should switch industries, relocate, or stay where you are. 


Hot Spots for Jobs

Here are the top-10 hot spots for each industry sector, with the Hiring Index in parenthesis:

Mining and Logging: (17) Casper, WY (14) San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (13) Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (10) Pittsburgh, PA (10) Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (8) Tucson, AZ (8) Lafayette, LA (7) Anchorage, AK (7) Birmingham-Hoover, AL (6) Bakersfield-Delano, CA

Construction: (17) Casper, WY (4) Tulsa, OK (0) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (0) Rochester, NY (0) Jackson, MS (-1) Pittsburgh, PA (-1) Tucson, AZ (-2) Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA (-2) Baton Rouge, LA (-2) Bakersfield-Delano, CA

Manufacturing: (12) Casper, WY (10) Tulsa, OK (9) Lawton, OK (9) Akron, OH (9) Laredo, TX (9) Columbus, IN (8) Fairbanks, AK (7) Lafayette, LA (7) Provo-Orem, UT (7) Peoria, IL

Wholesale Trade: (5) Las Cruces, NM (5) Grand Forks, ND-MN (5) Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI (5) Sandusky, OH (5) Corpus Christi, TX (4) Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL (4) Lincoln, NE (4) Elmira, NY (3) Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC (3) Lafayette, LA

Retail Trade: (18) Ocean City, NJ (8) Corpus Christi, TX (8) Victoria, TX (6) Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL (6) Jefferson City, MO (5) Lincoln, NE (4) Kankakee-Bradley, IL (3) Logan, UT-ID (3) Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC (3) Winston-Salem, NC

Utilities: (2) Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (1) Tulsa, OK (0) San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA (0) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (0) Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO (-1) Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (-1) Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (-2) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA (-2) Birmingham-Hoover, AL (-3) Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ

Transportation and Warehousing: (3) Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC (0) Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ (0) Pittsburgh, PA (0) Tulsa, OK (0) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA (0) Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY (0) Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA (0) Syracuse, NY (0) Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN (0) Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY

Information: (13) Napa, CA (13) Logan, UT-ID (8) Lafayette, IN (6) Champaign-Urbana, IL (4) Rockford, IL (4) Madison, WI (4) Auburn-Opelika, AL (4) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (3) Janesville, WI (3) Ogden-Clearfield, UT

Financial Activities: (6) Victoria, TX (6) Morristown, TN (5) Kankakee-Bradley, IL (5) Hanford-Corcoran, CA (5) Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL (5) Elmira, NY (4) Bay City, MI (4) Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MI (3) Lafayette, IN (3) Salt Lake City, UT

Professional and Business Services: (16) Fairbanks, AK (14) Wichita, KS (13) Lincoln, NE (9) Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN (8) Lafayette, IN (8) Victoria, TX (7) Syracuse, NY (7) Provo-Orem, UT (5) Rapid City, SD (5) Peoria, IL

Education (private): (11) Honolulu, HI (9) Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ (7) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (5) New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA (5) Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI (4) Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (3) Baltimore-Towson, MD (3) Pittsburgh, PA (3) Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI (2) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA

Healthcare and Social Assistance: (6) Provo-Orem, UT (5) Lafayette, LA (5) New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA (4) Springfield, MO (3) Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ (3) Napa, CA (3) Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN (3) Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA (3) San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (3) Tulsa, OK

Leisure and Hospitality: (15) Sandusky, OH (15) Ogden-Clearfield, UT (8) Corpus Christi, TX (6) Victoria, TX (4) Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL (4) Flagstaff, AZ (4) State College, PA (4) Grand Forks, ND-MN (3) Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI (3) Eau Claire, WI

Other Services: (13) Hanford-Corcoran, CA (9) Victoria, TX (7) Logan, UT-ID (7) Morristown, TN (4) Baltimore-Towson, MD (4) Grand Forks, ND-MN (3) Salt Lake City, UT (3) Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL (2) Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI (2) Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

Government: (15) Manhattan, KS (13) Lawrence, KS (11) Hot Springs, AR (6) Bismarck, ND (5) Corvallis, OR (5) Bay City, MI (4) Goldsboro, NC (4) Fayetteville, NC (4) Rochester, MN (4) Columbia, MO

Total nonfarm: (30) Williston, ND (13) Wahpeton, ND-MN (10) Dickinson, ND (9) Elk City, OK (7) Durango, CO (5) Woodward, OK (5) Weatherford, OK (4) Hobbs, NM (4) Moscow, ID (4) Hot Springs, AR

Data sources

All data in our graphs, tables, maps and reports use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at www.bls.gov.


This page was changed in January 2012 from showing "employment growth rates" only, to showing a combination of the "employment growth rates" and the "unemployment rates" as the "hiring index." This makes decision-making for job seekers easier and faster, and provides a more accurate measure of how easy or difficult it will be to find a job.