The United States is enjoying the lowest unemployment rate since December 2008.
Still, some industries are doing better than others, and some job markets are doing better than others. If you’re looking to launch a new career in a new industry and the job market where you are is making it tough to do so, it may be time for you to start a new life somewhere else.
And why not? Americans are mobile by nature. Horace Greeley’s famous admonishment to “Go West, young man” resonates even today (though we are just as likely to head East, South or whichever compass point seems to lead to a brighter future). The Employee Relocation Council says that some one million Americans relocate for jobs each year, leaving behind friends and family in search of better pay and opportunity. Some of them even do it without a job lined up before they reach their destination.
If you’re on the hunt for a new career, consider loading up the car and joining the ranks of the relocated. Whether you’re a recent college grad without a lot of roots, a parent with young children or a single professional looking to make a fresh start, it might make sense to pull up stakes and head for a better job market.
So what jobs are available? Nationwide, we’re seeing the best growth in the following fields:
- Healthcare: A recent Brookings Institution report said health care payrolls increased about 20,000 a month between 2009 and 2011. In 2012 they rose nearly 27,000 a month.
- Information Technology: To attract skilled IT professionals, businesses are offering higher starting pay, better benefits and opportunities for professional development. Starting salaries for tech careers (especially software development and data management) are impressive.
- Financial Services and Banking: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 505,100 new jobs in finance and insurance industries will be created by 2020.
- Hospitality: Even as the economy goes up and down, Americans are willing to pay to enjoy their down time. Whether by taking a vacation or by dining out, they turn to the hospitality industry to meet their needs.
- Manufacturing: The employment growth rate will be about 6 percent per year, thanks the demand for electronic products and transportation-related goods.
When you’re investigating the employment in a specific region or city, it’s a good idea to use Indeed.com to search for jobs by region and by industry. But here’s a general overview of some of the “hot” markets at the moment.
Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck’s 2.8 percent unemployment rate is the envy of the nation. Jobs are especially strong in the oil industry.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
South Dakota’s lack of corporate income tax makes it a darling of credit card companies. If you’re looking for a position in financial services, don’t overlook Sioux Falls.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonians enjoy low cost of living and a low unemployment rate. Cyber security and other IT jobs are plentiful, as are roles in financial services, health care and defense.
High-tech employers such as Microsoft and Amazon continue to draw job-seekers. The cost of living is high, but median income is, too. Health care employs some 20 percent of the city’s workforce.
Dallas boasts a low cost of living, and high-tech and telecommunications job are plentiful. Nearby Fort Worth is hot for manufacturing and airlines jobs.
Industries with the best employment outlook include health care research, manufacturing, aerospace and green energy.
In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains you’ll find a low cost of living and a diverse economy that includes aerospace, broadcasting, telecommunications and health care.
San Francisco, California
Life in San Francisco is expensive, but its proximity to nearby Silicon Valley makes it a tech hub. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and many of the other big names in social media are here, and if you want a job with any of them, maybe you should be, too.