These Are the Best and Worst States to Find a Job

iStock
iStock

Applying for gigs, but not scoring any interviews? Keep in mind that job markets are often like real estate—all about location. If sterling qualifications and a polished resume aren’t helping you land your dream position, consider moving somewhere with more robust career opportunities.

To determine which U.S. states are the best for employment, personal finance website WalletHub compared and ranked them, using metrics like job opportunities (defined as number of job openings per total population in the labor force), the rate of annual job growth, the median annual income, and employment outlook, as based on Gallup's Job Creation Index. And since personal happiness is equally important as a steady paycheck, other criteria included factors like average commute time and overall job satisfaction.

In order, the top five overall best states for jobs are Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and New Jersey. The bottom five are West Virginia (No. 50), preceded by Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Looking to narrow down your employment search? Those seeking a high salary should look in Washington or across the Northeast U.S. That said, money isn’t everything: Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, and Utah top the list for job satisfaction, while Delaware comes in last, preceded by Connecticut (a high-salary state), Florida, Louisiana, and Maryland.

And since surveys show that a long commute can affect job satisfaction, WalletHub also considered how long employees spend traveling to and from work. Employees out West have the shortest commutes, with South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming topping the list. Meanwhile, both Maryland (a bottom-five state for job satisfaction) and New York tie for longest commute, followed by New Jersey, Massachusetts (a high-salary state), and Illinois.

Sounds like as good an excuse as any to pack up and move to Hawaii (No. 4 in most job opportunities!).

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]