15 Best States to Find a Job in 2016

Looking for a job?

(Image credit: Thinkstock)

Looking for a job? A vibrant economy in which to launch your new business? A new market for your firm's next expansion? The Kiplinger Letter's annual state economic outlooks help job-seekers, entrepreneurs and business executives to get ahead of shifts in job creation and GDP in different markets across the country.

The following 15 states are likely to see the fastest employment gains next year, from 2.1% to 4.0%, all topping the 1.8% national average. Not all will see the highest numbers of new jobs, an honor that almost always goes to the most populous states, even if their rate of growth is slower. That's the case this year with Texas and New York. But three large states — California, Florida and North Carolina — will be among the 15 fastest-growing and the five with the biggest gains. Northeastern states will see the least growth.

Meanwhile, look for unemployment rates to continue to decline in almost all the states. The U.S. unemployment rate, as of September, was 5.1%.

States are ranked by projected job growth in 2016, beginning with the fastest-growing. Population figures are from 2014.

David Payne
Staff Economist, The Kiplinger Letter
David is both staff economist and reporter for The Kiplinger Letter, overseeing Kiplinger forecasts for the U.S. and world economies. Previously, he was senior principal economist in the Center for Forecasting and Modeling at IHS/GlobalInsight, and an economist in the Chief Economist's Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce. David has co-written weekly reports on economic conditions since 1992, and has forecasted GDP and its components since 1995, beating the Blue Chip Indicators forecasts two-thirds of the time. David is a Certified Business Economist as recognized by the National Association for Business Economics. He has two master's degrees and is ABD in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.