If you’re looking for a teaching job, maybe you should move to Vermont. If you’re a bartender, you definitely want to be in Nevada. For any unemployed people considering a move for better job opportunities, this map offers some ideas about where to look.
The website, “Is My Job In Another State?,” gives each state an “opportunity score”–the number of listings in a particular job category for every 100,000 unemployed people. The better the score, the darker the color on the map.
It’s a rough guide–the map uses only one set of listings, from the job site Indeed.com, and only includes some of the more common categories of work. If your job is highly specialized, or you work at the type of place that’s more likely to advertise on Craigslist, you’re not going to find it here. Still, most of what’s on the map seems to match up with current trends.
“I’d heard business was booming in North Dakota, but I was surprised at how much it was,” says developer Chris Said, who works at Facebook and threw the map together as a side project in his free time. “I also started to appreciate the fact that when there’s something like an oil boom and oil workers are hired, that creates a need for teachers for their kids, and restaurant workers at the places they eat.”
Some of the patterns are a little more surprising. Massachusetts and Washington both have better scores for software engineers than California. Utah has more listings for designers than New York. Even if these might be quirks of the way the map was set up and not quite represent reality, they still might suggest new ideas for people willing to broaden their job search. And the map makes it clear that despite high unemployment nationally, there is work out there.
Said is quick to point out that he doesn’t necessarily expect people to pack their bags for another state. “It’s really hard to move, and people want to stay in their communities,” he says. Few Americans want to move in general; the rate of people moving to different states each year is about 1.7%, close to half of what it was in the 1960s. But it’s possible, he says, that one of the reasons people aren’t moving is that they aren’t as aware of the opportunities elsewhere, and that’s where this map steps in.