With the national unemployment rate stuck at 9% and Congress failing to act on most measures in President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill, job seekers have reason to be discouraged. But the jobs picture in your local area can have a lot to do with your chances of finding work. States hardest hit by the housing crisis are running the most acute unemployment rates, like Nevada, at 13.4%, according to Labor Department numbers released yesterday, and California, at 11.7%. Florida also ranks above the national average, at 10.3%.
Each month, job search aggregator Indeed.com looks at job market competition in the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. Indeed uses the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data on unemployment in the 50 cities, and cross-references the figures with the number of jobs posted on its site. The data can be useful for job seekers who are in a position to think about moving from one city to another in search of work.
According to Indeed, the toughest metro area to find a job is Miami, where there are more than 4 job seekers for every job listed. Los Angeles ranks second, with 3.48 job seekers per listing. Riverside, Calif. comes in third, with 3.25 unemployed people per posting. Las Vegas is in fourth place, with 3.1 potential applicants per job. In fifth place: Detroit, where there are 2.75 possible applicants per listing.
A year ago, Forbes ran a story reporting data from a competing job listing aggregator, Juju.com, which used a similar method to put together its ranking. Las Vegas ranked first on that list, with nearly 9 job seekers per listing. Miami was the second toughest market, with 8.5 potential applicants per posting, and Riverside, Calif. came in third, with 7.3 job seekers per listing. Indeed’s lower numbers make the employment picture in those cities look much rosier. Michael Werch, a spokesman for Indeed points out that the nationwide jobs picture was even bleaker a year ago, with an unemployment rate of 9.6%, and he says employers have been posting more jobs.
For what it’s worth, a third job listing aggregator, SimplyHired.com, also cross-references Bureau of Labor Statistics data with its postings, and comes up with its own most-competitive metro area list. SimplyHired also ranks Miami at the top of its list, but it says there are not 4, but 8 unemployed people per job opening. Las Vegas comes in second on its list, also with 8 potential applicants per posting, and Los Angeles is third, with 6 unemployed people per opening.
According to Indeed, the metro areas with the strongest jobs picture are San Jose, Calif., Washington, D.C., and New York. San Jose has nearly two job postings per potential applicant, according to Indeed, while D.C. has 1.7 listings per job seeker, and New York, 1.2 jobs. Indeed’s ranking has Washington, D.C. as the least competitive metro area, with Oklahoma City and West Palm Beach in second and third place.
One major caveat with these rankings: They include listings of all sorts, including part-time positions and low-wage work. According to SimplyHired, two of the top five companies with the most current job listings are Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
Worst Cities for Finding a Job
Number of unemployed people per job posting: 4.37
Number of unemployed people per job posting: 3.48
Number of unemployed people per job posting: 3.25
Number of unemployed people per job posting: 3.10
Number of unemployed people per job posting: 2.75