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30 best cities to find a job

  • Story Highlights
  • Bismarck, North Dakota, registers lowest unemployment rate in Sept. 2008
  • Most of the lowest unemployment rates were found in west, midwest
  • Jobless rates were higher in 92 percent of U.S. cities surveyed this Sept.
  • Only 25 areas reported lower rates while six areas had no change
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By Rachel Zupek writer
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The Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the signature building of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Salt Lake City, Utah, ranks 21st with an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.

Job seekers with no ties to any particular location often seek jobs in big cities like New York, Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, or San Francisco, California.

But are these the places where they're most likely to find a job?

Not according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job seekers are better off looking in such cities as Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Rapid City, South Dakota. All of these cities registered some of the lowest unemployment rates in September 2008.

Low unemployment rates seem harder to come by in today's economy. Unemployment rates were higher in 349 of the 369 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed, which means 92 percent of cities have seen an increase in their unemployment rates

Only 25 areas reported lower rates, while six areas had no change. The national unemployment rate in September, 6 percent, was up 1.5 percent from 4.5 in September 2007

Ten cities recorded jobless rates of at least 10 percent and nine areas registered rates below 3 percent. Eighty-four metropolitan areas posted unemployment rates of at least 7 percent, up from only 17 areas the year before.

Only 46 cities had jobless rates below 4 percent, down from 133 areas at the same time last year. In total, Among the 310 metropolitan areas for which nonfarm payroll data were available in September 2008, 140 areas reported over-the-year employment gains, 164 reported losses, and 6 had no Looking for a job? Share your story

Despite these startling figures, several cities have low unemployment rates. Here are 30 cities (and their Metropolitan Statistical Areas) with the lowest unemployment rates, according to the September 2008 numbers released by the BLS.*

1. Bismarck, North Dakota
Unemployment rate 2.5

2. Casper, Wyoming
Unemployment rate 2.5

3. Logan, Utah
Unemployment rate 2.5

4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Unemployment rate 2.5

5. Morgantown, West Virginia
Unemployment rate 2.6

6. Ames, Iowa
Unemployment rate 2.7

7. Fargo, North Dakota
Unemployment rate 2.8

8. Iowa City, Iowa
Unemployment rate 2.8

9. Rapid City, South Dakota
Unemployment rate 2.9

10. Lincoln, Nebraska
Unemployment rate 3.0

11. Provo-Orem, Utah
Unemployment rate 3.0

12. Billings, Montana
Unemployment rate 3.1

13. Charleston, West Virginia
Unemployment rate

14. Midland, Texas
Unemployment rate 3.2

15. Salt Lake City, Utah
Unemployment rate 3.2

16. Idaho Falls, Idaho
Unemployment rate 3.3

17. Lafayette, Louisiana
Unemployment rate 3.3

18. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Unemployment rate 3.3

19. Charlottesville, Virginia
Unemployment rate 3.4

20. Farmington, New Mexico
Unemployment rate 3.4

21. Grand Forks, North Dakota
Unemployment rate 3.4

22. Lawton, Oklahoma
Unemployment rate 3.4

23. Madison, Wisconsin
Unemployment rate 3.4

24. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri
Unemployment rate 3.5

25. Harrisonburg, Virginia
Unemployment rate 3.5

26. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
Unemployment rate 3.5

27. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Unemployment rate 3.5

28. Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa
Unemployment rate 3.5

29. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Unemployment rate 3.5

30. Sioux City, Iowa
Unemployment rate 3.5

*Based on preliminary September numbers accessed October 31, 2008.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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