If you're having trouble finding a job, it may be because of where you live.
The U.S. unemployment rate remains low overall at 3.7%, and a blockbuster report earlier this month showed the economy added 353,000 jobs in January, blowing away economists' expectations.
However, when it comes to finding work, some places have a much more competitive job market than others.
Job seekers may be in luck in Nevada, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the year to December 2023, employment in the state increased by 3.7%, the highest in the nation.
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This represents an increase of 57,700 non-farm jobs over the year.
Nonfarm workers do not include farm workers, private household and nonprofit employees, and active military personnel.
Following Nevada, Idaho and South Dakota both posted 3% job growth, with 25,000 and 13,800 new jobs, respectively.
Idaho's largest industry is the science and technology sector, while South Dakota's is primarily supported by agriculture and the energy industry.
The overall U.S. unemployment rate remains low at 3.7%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wyoming's employment increased by 2.8%, and Texas' employment increased by 2.7% from the previous year.
The Lone Star State, one of the most populous states in the country, had the largest increase in jobs at 369,000.
California added 311,600 jobs in the year ending December 2023, and Florida added 240,600 jobs.
Experts say Nevada and its most populous city, Las Vegas, have a unique job market.
David Schmidt, chief economist for the state's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the state has a “strange paradox” of high unemployment and rapid job growth.
As of December, the state's unemployment rate was 5.4%, as the lodging, food service and entertainment industries continue to recover after the pandemic.
But Schmidt said a change occurred at the end of 2023.
“Nevada ended 2023 with a stable unemployment rate and continued job growth at a fast pace,” he said in a statement.
“For the first time, the lodging and food service industry employed more people than before the pandemic, and seasonal retail employment increased above 2018-2022 levels.”
Experts say Nevada and its most populous city, Las Vegas, have a unique job market
At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi appears to have been the worst state for job seekers, as it was the only state with a decline in job openings last year.
The state saw a 0.7% decline, resulting in a net loss of 7,800 jobs.
Rhode Island also slumped, increasing just 0.4%, while Vermont saw a 0.5% increase, a change of 1,900 and 1,400 people, respectively.
Iowa followed with a 0.6% year-on-year increase in employment, followed by Tennessee with a 0.7% increase in employment.
January's shocking jobs report comes amid a spate of high-profile layoffs in a variety of sectors.
U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs in January, defying economists' expectations
Billionaire CEO Elon Musk has recently focused on cutting costs as Tesla's sales growth slows significantly.
Tech companies Microsoft and PayPal have both announced that they will lay off employees this year.
Meanwhile, delivery company UPS announced 12,000 job cuts after its revenue fell by $1.87 billion.
In a conference call after announcing its earnings earlier this year, the courier company said the drop in revenue was the result of higher union labor costs and weaker demand.
“2023 was a unique and challenging year. Through it all, we remained focused on controlling what we could control, staying true to our strategy and strengthening our foundation for future growth,” CEO said Carol Tome.
Fears of layoffs were also heightened at Tesla this week after executives were reportedly asked to clarify which of their employees' jobs are essential.
Professional and business services were among the sectors that saw job gains in January, along with health care and retail, according to the Department of Labor.
However, it added that employment had declined not only in the oil and gas extraction industry, but also in sectors such as mining.