While the US job market is not moving upward as quickly as many would like (the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment fell only 0.1 percent to 7.3 percent in August and remains nearly 3 percent above pre-recession levels), there are many job seekers looking for areas with good job opportunities.
As some of these same job seekers are exploring the options available in different areas of the country, as well as different areas within their state, NerdWallet, a consumer finance website, decided to evaluate which counties were the best to work in, based on these four questions:
1. Are there jobs? Unemployment rate to assess the city’s economy and your chance of securing a good job was looked at. This was weighted at 30 percent of the overall score.
2. Do residents earn high salaries? Study included the median income for full-time, year-round workers. This was weighted at 30 percent of the overall score.
3. Is the city growing? The population growth of the city to see if the city is on the rise and is attracting workers was also examined. This was weighted at 30 percent of the overall score.
4. Are commutes short? Long commutes and long hours can affect one’s work-life balance. This was weighted at 10 percent of the overall score.
Data was obtained from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 1,800 counties were compared. See chart for all data.
Economic indicators, prospective growth and quality of life data were all analyzed and San Mateo County ranked among the best.
Here’s what they came up with:
The No. 1 best county to work in is Williams County in North Dakota.
Why? According to NerdWallet, Williams County has maintained a very low unemployment rate—reported at 0.7% for July 2013. It tied Williams County, Ohio, for the strongest population growth (18.3%) and has the shortest average commute time (15.4 minutes). Nearly ¼ of the employed population (24.6%) works in the education services, health care and social assistance industries. The agriculture and energy sectors are major factors in the county’s economic development.
San Mateo County ranks No. 15 with a 6.7% unemployment rate, median income for full-time, year-round workers at $59,693 and 24.9 minutes travel time to work, which may not be the case for most Coastsiders commuting over the hill for employment.
Here are the top 20 counties to work in, according to consumer finance website NerdWallet:
1. Williams County, North Dakota
2. Loudoun County, Virginia
3. Arlington County, Virginia
4. Fairfax County, Virginia
5. Williams County, Ohio
6. Douglas County, Colorado
7. Marin County, California
8. Howard County, Maryland
9. Forsyth County, Georgia
10. Collin County, Texas
11. Santa Clara County, California
12. Sweetwater County, Wyoming
13. New York County, New York
14. Dunn County, Wisconsin
15. San Mateo County, California
16. Prince William County, Virginia
17. Hunterdon County, New Jersey
18. Uintah County, Utah
19. Carver County, Minnesota
20. Boulder County, Colorado