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Minnesota only Midwest state ranked in top 5 for job seekers

(The Center Square) – Rankings of the Midwest states spanned from fifth to 41st in a national employment report WalletHub released Wednesday.

2022’s Best & Worst States for Jobs compares the 50 states across 35 key indicators of job market strength, opportunities and state-specific economic health to judge which are most attractive for job seekers. Indicators included employment growth, median annual income, average commute time and more across two dimensions: Job Market and Economic Environment. Job Market factors accounted for 60% of the ranking since the category’s factors, which include employment outlook and job security, and most heavily influence a job seeker’s decision in terms of relocation for employment, the report said.

Minnesota ranked fifth in the nation, followed by Iowa at 22, Michigan at 24, Wisconsin at 29, Indiana at 37, and Ohio at 41. 

Minnesota ranked fourth for Job Market and 11th for Economic Environment. It has the second highest job opportunities. The metric was calculated as the number of job openings per total population in labor force, minus the unemployment rate. It tied with New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont and South Dakota for the lowest unemployment rate. The North Star State also had the third highest median annual income.

On the other end of the Midwest region’s spectrum, Ohio placed 38th for Job Market and 36th for Economic Environment.

Illinois, at 15th, was also 15th in Job Market. Its Economic Environment is the 23rd best in the nation, according to the report. It has the third highest employment growth, despite having the 48th best unemployment rate.

Iowa was 13th for Job Market and 32nd for Economic Environment, and Michigan was 24th for Job Market and 30th for Economic Environment.

Although Wisconsin had the lowest employment growth, it had the 33rd best Job Market and the 28th best Economic Environment.

Indiana was 28th for Job Market and 38th for Economic Environment, despite having the highest monthly average starting salary.

Wayne State University business professor Marick Masters said in the report that local policymakers can strengthen their community’s economy by following a three-prong strategy, which consists of possessing strong physical and human infrastructure; attracting capital; and reducing business costs.

Successful communities require robust transportation systems, as well as public safety and educational centers that can assist in research and development. Localities need to streamline government regulations and promote microfunding of startups that are likely to be successful.

“Local communities need to attract capital, by (a) signaling to financiers that they can be force multipliers, (b) ensuring access to distribution networks, product innovation and development, and communications systems that connect customers to producers and suppliers,” he said.

He added the Federal Reserve’s efforts to decrease inflation will dampen the job markets, so the country should anticipate increased unemployment and continual lower labor force participation in 2023.

Over the next 10 years, automation will impact millions of jobs, especially those that have routine tasks while jobs that require intellectual discretion, creativity, information processing and analysis, professional guidance and advising, and interactive verbal and written communications are at lower risk of automation, Masters said. He said jobs expecting growth include nurse practitioners, statisticians, health services managers, data analysts and technicians working in alternative energy.

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