New Study From MoneyRates Shows The Job Markets Best Weathering The Pandemic

10 Best Job Markets In 2020
By Linda Vergon
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Utah's job market has endured the coronavirus better than other states. Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota have also held strong.

Foster City, CA - June 9, 2020 - With the coronavirus battering nearly every business sector and costing about 20 million jobs so far, examined the toll the pandemic has taken on each state's job market. The personal finance resource releases its new study today which aims to assist job seekers by determining which state's job markets are holding up under the historically tough economic conditions.

The report analyzed the conditions of job markets in every state (plus the District of Columbia) based on four factors:

  • Unemployment rate
  • Change in the unemployment rate since the coronavirus lockdowns began
  • Exposure to industry sectors that have been most vulnerable to the lockdowns
  • The number of job seekers per most recently reported number of job openings in each state

Based on the analysis, Utah's job market has held up best to the COVID-19 crisis. While the average overall state unemployment rate has surged to more than 13%, Utah's is less than half that. It also has just 1.3 job seekers for every opening, and its job market is less dependent on highly vulnerable industries than those of most states. Utah was buoyed by ranking among the 10 best states in all four categories in the study. Along with Utah, the following states rounded out the top ten job markets.

1. Utah

2. Kansas

3. Nebraska

4. Wyoming

5. South Dakota

6. Indiana (tie)

6. Virginia (tie)

8. Arizona

9. Colorado

10. North Dakota

While all job markets have suffered due to the crisis, conditions vary greatly from state to state based on the sectors that drive their economies. For context, the five industry sectors hardest hit by job losses (as a percentage) since the end of February are:

  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Construction; trade, transportation and utilities
  • Education and health services
  • Other services (which includes things like hair salons and auto repair shops)

Looking at the District of Columbia for example, 42.28% of its job market is exposed to these sectors, compared to Nevada, where 63.35% of the job market depends on these types of jobs.

The results help point to each state's ability, or lack thereof, to withstand the pandemic. For example, South Dakota has just over one job seeker for every opening while Washington State has over five job seekers for every opening.

Looking at unemployment, while the average state saw unemployment rates increase by more than 12% since February, the numbers spiked by more than 20% in Washington, Michigan and Nevada. For scale, unemployment rates range from a low of 5.6% in South Dakota to a high of 23.52% in Nevada.

"Some types of jobs are much more affected than others," says Richard Barrington, the Senior Financial Analyst for and author of the study. "Jobs that can be done in wide-open spaces or are information-based and can be done remotely have held up relatively well. Those that are travel-based or based around hands-on services have been hardest hit. Some states have much higher concentrations of the hardest hit jobs than others."

To find out how each state stacks up with in-depth insights on the findings and methodology, visit The 10 Job Markets Standing Up Best to Coronavirus.


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