Index Names Best Places to Find Work

By Paul Tooher

Residents of St. Charles having a hard time finding a job might want to look north to North Dakota, which for the fifth year in a row leads the nation in job creation, according to a national polling organization.

North Dakota had a top score of plus 40 on the Gallup's Job Creation Index which measures net hiring by asking full- and part-time workers whether their employer is hiring new people and expanding the size of its workforce, not changing the size of its workforce or letting people go. The index score is the difference between reported "hiring" and "letting go."

Illinois scored slightly better than the national average of plus 20 with a score of plus 21.

Nationally, net hiring increased slightly in 2013, with the Job Creation Index averaging plus 20 during the year, up from plus 18 in 2012. The index was relatively stable in most states, but rose by significantly more than the average in a handful – most notably Delaware (up 15 points to plus 29), Florida (up seven points to plus 22), and California (up seven points to plus 21).

North Dakota has ranked No. 1 among U.S. states for job creation in each of the last five years, and it has appeared in Gallup's top 10 in all six years since the inception of the Gallup Job Creation Index in 2008.

Those seeking a job may look to find a new home in cities like Washington, D.C., South Dakota, Delaware, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Iowa and Arizona, areas that also made Gallup’s top 10.

The Peace Garden State, and the cities of Fargo and Bismarck, has been booming in recent years, with their economic growth fueled by development of the oil industry.

Rhode Island, with its capital of Providence, scored lowest on the job-creation scale with a plus 12.

Other states at the bottom of the job-creation list include New Mexico, Vermont, West Virginia, New York and Connecticut.