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Which State Has the Lowest Unemployment Rate in America?

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If you live in North Dakota, congratulations! You are likely employed. Everyone else, from us at the Internet, Hi! According to figures from the Department of Labor, North and South Dakota have the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6% and 4.5% respectively. In fact -- and this is remarkable -- over the past one-month, six month, one year and three year periods, North Dakota has actually added jobs, one of only two states in the country to do so over all four measured periods, the other being Alaska even though that state has a relatively high unemployment rate of 7.9%.

I've never been to North Dakota, which I imagine is a very boring state to visit because everyone is apparently working! Still, it's possible, through the miracle of Craigslist, to get a sense of what a people are like (industrious I bet!) and what it might cost to move to where the jobs are (North Dakota), so here's what a brief online investigation reveals about the roaring Dakota Tiger (buffalo?) economy.

Where you will work in North Dakota:
Field Interviewer (Minot, ND)
Date: 2010-07-19, 2:14PM CDT
Reply to:

On behalf of Research Triangle Institute, Headway Corporate Resources is currently seeking Field Interviewers for a study in the Minot area.

Job Summary:
This is a part time position offering an average of 20-25 hours per week at a pay rate of $12.50 per hour. Field Interviewers will be responsible for traveling to participant’s homes in an assigned area and conducting research interviews with randomly selected participants using a laptop computer provided by RTI. Because the hours are flexible this position is a great fit for someone that is looking for a part time flexible position as there will be periods of down time throughout the study.

Candidates must be able to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends and must be willing to travel!
Training for this position will be from September 17-24 in Cincinnati, OH (travel expenses, meals, and lodging, will be covered by RTI).

Crap, never mind. That's a part-time job listing in Minot, ND that's not even in North Dakota because they're trying to send you to Cincinnati, OH (hey, 10.5% unemployment!). Let's try again.

Where you will work in North Dakota:
English Teacher (Miles City, Montana)
Date: 2010-07-14, 10:37AM CDT
Reply to:

And that's actually Montana, not North Dakota. Never mind.

Where you will work in North Dakota:
Truck Driver (Mott, North Dakota)
Date: 2010-07-17, 3:36PM CDT
Reply to:

KLJ Harvesting is in need of two truck drivers for the wheat harvest season in and around the Mott area. We provide room & board. Job description includes maintaining the truck, helping your fellow worker, driving to and from the elevator and possibly unloading at the grain bins. For more information call 806-676-4795. Wages start at $2000.00 per month.

Nice, room and board and $2,000 a month. That's a start. Probably gives us $1400 a month net of taxes.

What you will see in Mott, North Dakota:

This is your new town, population 850. Motto: "Mott's the Spot to Live and Shop!"

Google Maps shows us the Mott, ND City Hall and library.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do in your free time, but if you're looking for a theatre and maybe a place to get a beer, there's the Playhouse Theatre and Scorpions (824-2532) right next door.

You'll probably want to open an account here at the Commercial Bank of Mott.

And there you have it. Look, you're not going to get rich driving a truck in Mott, ND. But you can probably make a living without being bothered much and the air is nice. And it's not like many of these other states are offering much work.

The full list of states ranked by unemployment rate, from worst to first:

Nevada 14.2%
Michigan 13.2%
California 12.3%
Rhode Island 12.0%
Florida 11.4%
Mississippi 11.0%
South Carolina 10.7%
Ohio 10.5%
Oregon 10.5%
Illinois 10.4%
Alabama 10.3%
Indiana 10.1%
Tennessee 10.1%
Georgia 10.0%
Kentucky 10.0%
North Carolina 10.0%
Arizona 9.6%
New Jersey 9.6%
Pennsylvania 9.2%
Missouri 9.1%
Massachusetts 9.0%
Washington 8.9%
Connecticut 8.8%
Idaho 8.8%
Delaware 8.5%
West Virginia 8.5%
New Mexico 8.2%
New York 8.2% Texas 8.2%
Colorado 8.0%
Maine 8.0%
Alaska 7.9%
Wisconsin 7.9%
Arkansas 7.5%
Montana 7.3%
Utah 7.2%
Maryland 7.1%
Louisiana 7.0%
Virginia 7.0%
Iowa 6.8%
Minnesota 6.8%
Oklahoma 6.8%
Wyoming 6.8%
Kansas 6.5%
Hawaii 6.3%
Vermont 6.0%
New Hampshire 5.9%
Nebraska 4.8%
South Dakota 4.5%
North Dakota 3.6%
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