Best Counties to Find a Job

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
June 08, 2017


Even though the economy seems to be rebounding, there are still millions unemployed. After searching for work month after month, it only seems natural to look at other destinations as your future home.

But the question remains: Where To?

Our team researched data from every county in America with a labor force greater than 100,000 to uncover the best county to find a job. Various factors were taken into account including unemployment rates, income, cost of living, and more.

The maximum score any county could receive is 100. Scores ranged from 7.56 to 86.65.

See the full results and details on how we came up with our scores and ranked counties in the methodology below.

The 10 Best Counties to Find a Job in America

Coming in as the best county in America to find a job is Hennepin County, MN.

This county, with a population over 1 million, is home to cities like Minneapolis and Bloomington. Highlights in Hennepin County include the Mall of America and Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins. Boasting an unemployment rate of 3.3% and average weekly wage just shy of $1,200, this county edges out a few others.

Top Counties By Unemployment Rates

Lancaster County has lowered their unemployment rate by 1.5% over the past 5 years, yet that was enough to earn them the lowest unemployment rate according to current data. The biggest change over that same five-year period actually comes from Kent County, MI, falling an even 12% from 15.6% unemployment in 2010 to 3.6% unemployment in 2015.

Tulare County currently has the highest unemployment rate of any county in our study but has still lowered unemployment by 5.5% since 2010.

Top Counties By Average Weekly Income


Average weekly income is clearly what boosted Santa Clara County into the number two spot in our overall rankings.

Just south of San Francisco, this county contains cities including San Jose, Sunnyvale, and the city of Santa Clara. Earning over $2,000 per week on average might seem tempting when looking for a job, however, keep in mind that it is also the 11th most expensive county to live in. Unfortunately, that's the price to pay if you want to chase a large salary in the heart of silicon valley.

If savings are what you’re after, consider King County, WA. 


Residents of the most populous county in Washington earn nearly $1500 weekly and fall outside the top quarter of counties in our study when it comes to cost of living. This county can give you a solid salary while allowing you to save if you're willing to commute into a big city like Seattle. And that's not unrealistic, as two-thirds of King County residents live in the suburbs.

Ultimately, it is important to consider many factors when you are looking for a new place to live, and the top counties on our list aren’t going to be perfect for everyone. However, if you are looking for a new city with quality job opportunities, considering one in our top counties is a great place to start. Modest unemployment rates, accompanied by high income and low cost of living make these counties desirable for any job seeker.


All United States Counties with a labor force greater than 100,000 were included in this study. There was a total of 314 counties that met this criterion according to 2015 Local Area Unemployment Data. Data regarding unemployment rates and average wages were also provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics. Learn more about Local Area Unemployment Statistics here. Cost of Living was measured using the Cost of Living Index provided by the Council for Community and Economic Research. States were given a score on a scale of 0 -100 based on their rankings relative to one another in terms of current unemployment rate, change in unemployment rate since 2010, average weekly wage (adjusted for cost of living), number of establishments, and size of the labor force. The score represents the amount of points the county received out of the maximum amount of points a county could receive. See all of the scores as well as data regarding unemployment rates and average weekly wages below.


County Name, State Abbreviation
Unemployment Rate (2015)
Average Weekly Wage ($, 2015)
Hennepin County, MN86.653.301198.00
Santa Clara County, CA85.874.202090.00
Franklin County, OH 85.234.10982.00
San Mateo County, CA85.123.401894.00
Collin County, TX84.423.601126.00
King County, WA83.614.401463.00
San Francisco County/city, CA83.213.601712.00
Travis County, TX82.743.301122.00
Dane County, WI82.433.20938.00
Williamson County, TX81.853.50937.00
Kent County, MI80.723.60875.00
Montgomery County, MD80.344.001277.00
Harris County, TX80.254.601240.00
Denver County/city, CO80.143.701194.00
Hamilton County, OH79.594.501055.00
Oklahoma County, OK79.153.80934.00
Washtenaw County, MI79.103.501052.00
Montgomery County, PA78.204.001158.00
Wake County, NC77.854.70983.00
St. Louis County, MO77.744.601004.00
Salt Lake County, UT77.453.30933.00
Arapahoe County, CO 77.133.701117.00
Middlesex County, MA76.434.001419.00
Bexar County, TX75.713.80874.00
Jefferson County, CO75.423.50992.00
Alameda County, CA75.254.701289.00
Dakota County, MN75.253.30944.00
Bergen County, NJ75.194.601135.00
Arlington County, VA75.162.801587.00
Oakland County, MI75.135.001061.00
Davidson County, TN74.724.501030.00
Denton County, TX73.453.60885.00
Cuyahoga County, OH73.425.00985.00
Snohomish County, WA73.104.801050.00
Nassau County, NY72.584.301063.00
Honolulu County/city, HI72.443.40932.00
Dallas County, TX72.354.301157.00
Anoka County, MN72.153.60968.00
Hillsborough County, FL72.095.00914.00
Boulder County, CO71.863.201158.00
Tarrant County, TX 71.694.20967.00
Morris County, NJ 71.544.201380.00
Ramsey County, MN 71.453.501073.00
Jefferson County, KY 70.854.90933.00
Loudoun County, VA 70.673.601126.00
Fayette County, KY 70.643.90879.00
Westchester County, NY 70.584.601222.00
Utah County, UT 70.533.20767.00
Somerset County, NJ 70.504.401447.00
Hamilton County, IN 70.473.40913.00
Suffolk County, MA 70.014.601559.00
Orange County, FL 69.894.90854.00
DuPage County, IL 69.694.701121.00
Marion County, IN 69.665.00966.00
Palm Beach County, FL 69.635.00924.00
Mecklenburg County, NC 69.175.401119.00
Broward County, FL 69.175.00898.00
Gwinnett County, GA 68.655.10962.00
Suffolk County, NY 68.504.801053.00
Johnson County, KS 68.243.40968.00
Adams County, CO 67.894.30952.00
Norfolk County, MA 67.494.301112.00
Chester County, PA67.313.701208.00
Orange County, CA66.914.501077.00
New York County, NY 66.824.801829.00
Douglas County, CO 66.793.101033.00
Anne Arundel County, MD66.624.501048.00
Ottawa County, MI 66.473.50818.00
Washington County, OR 66.424.801288.00
Douglas County, NE66.303.30928.00
Fulton County, GA66.075.801266.00
Polk County, IA65.203.60981.00
St. Charles County, MO 65.003.90774.00
Cobb County, GA 64.795.001006.00
Waukesha County, WI64.743.80953.00
Larimer County, CO 64.533.30892.00
Howard County, MD64.273.901181.00
Ingham County, MI 62.804.40898.00
Williamson County, TN62.774.101101.00
Maricopa County, AZ62.775.20929.00
Pinellas County, FL62.774.90846.00
Ada County, ID62.773.60841.00
Montgomery County, TX62.714.30957.00
Kalamazoo County, MI62.714.10898.00
Contra Costa County, CA 62.685.001168.00
Allegheny County, PA 62.594.801051.00
Delaware County, OH 62.513.50929.00
Tulsa County, OK62.514.00904.00
Butler County, OH 62.484.60850.00
Jackson County, MO 62.285.90989.00
Fort Bend County, TX61.904.30949.00
New Castle County, DE61.464.701066.00
Summit County, OH61.414.90876.00
Knox County, TN61.384.80834.00
Linn County, IA61.203.70929.00
Weld County, CO61.123.80861.00
Milwaukee County, WI60.745.80925.00
Duval County, FL 60.655.70909.00
Albany County, NY60.364.401038.00
San Diego County, CA 60.315.201071.00
Brown County, WI60.284.10856.00
Cumberland County, ME60.023.40857.00
Middlesex County, NJ59.875.001142.00
El Paso County, CO59.844.60876.00
Lancaster County, PA59.644.00815.00
Fairfield County, CT58.775.301406.00
Multnomah County, OR58.715.001006.00
Greenville County, SC58.575.00859.00
Chesterfield County, VA58.434.30833.00
Warren County, OH58.284.10854.00
Sonoma County, CA58.144.50935.00
Charleston County, SC58.084.80873.00
Macomb County, MI57.966.10950.00
Rockland County, NY57.764.601168.00
Montgomery County, OH57.565.00837.00
Lake County, IL57.415.501298.00
Marin County, CA57.383.501185.00
Clay County, MO56.544.50856.00
Miami-Dade County, FL56.316.10924.00
Hudson County, NJ56.145.301280.00
Hillsborough County, NH55.793.601031.00
Cook County, IL55.506.101108.00
Seminole County, FL55.504.80803.00
Lee County, FL55.475.00766.00
Lancaster County, NE55.102.60797.00
Henrico County, VA55.074.30945.00
DeKalb County, GA54.785.90977.00
Davis County, UT54.603.30785.00
Allen County, IN54.204.50796.00
Buncombe County, NC54.204.30760.00
Brazoria County, TX53.824.60992.00
Washington County, MN 53.793.20810.00
Benton County, AR 53.623.90949.00
Frederick County, MD 53.624.50911.00
Bucks County, PA53.534.50909.00
Mercer County, NJ 53.394.801234.00
Sacramento County, CA 53.166.001068.00
St. Johns County, FL53.043.90731.00
Brazos County, TX 52.923.40734.00
Delaware County, PA 52.814.701010.00
Cumberland County, PA 52.813.90883.00
Minnehaha County, SD 52.782.70850.00
Forsyth County, GA 52.554.40886.00
Jefferson County, AL 52.325.80962.00
Forsyth County, NC 52.325.50886.00
Prince George’s County, MD 52.035.301058.00
Lubbock County, TX 52.003.40779.00
Outagamie County, WI 51.944.00835.00
Kane County, IL 51.715.80867.00
Durham County, NC 51.515.001231.00
Essex County, MA 51.105.201009.00
Rutherford County, TN 51.014.60843.00
Pierce County, WA 50.816.30898.00
Essex County, NJ 50.786.701177.00
Berks County, PA 49.774.80866.00
Saratoga County, NY 49.774.20864.00
York County, PA 49.574.60849.00
Virginia Beach city, VA 49.544.30767.00
Monmouth County, NJ 49.455.00932.00
Pulaski County, AR 49.424.70869.00
Hartford County, CT 48.735.90 1142.00
York County, ME 48.553.90771.00
Los Angeles County, CA 48.476.701074.00
East Baton Rouge Parish, LA 48.445.30914.00
Greene County, MO48.384.10753.00
Rockingham County, NH 48.353.60938.00
Clark County, NV 48.126.80843.00
Shelby County, AL 48.064.20914.00
Lake County, OH 48.064.40795.00
Washington County, AR 48.003.60786.00
Alachua County, FL 47.894.50805.00
Queens County, NY 47.685.00930.00
Monroe County, NY 47.605.20929.00
Lexington County, SC 47.454.80741.00
Leon County, FL 47.255.00795.00
Placer County, CA 46.935.00 989.00
Baltimore County, MD 46.555.40980.00
Shelby County, TN 46.536.60979.00
Hamilton County, TN 46.505.50865.00
Washoe County, NV 46.416.20877.00
Dutchess County, NY 46.214.60926.00
Clermont County, OH 46.154.50788.00
Genesee County, MI 45.985.80816.00
McLennan County, TX 45.774.10792.00
Union County, NC 45.544.80772.00
Elkhart County, IN 45.453.80790.00
St. Louis city, MO 45.316.10 1045.00
Ventura County, CA 45.315.70961.00
Union County, NJ 45.285.901188.00
Dauphin County, PA 45.254.50962.00
San Bernardino County, CA 45.256.50815.00
Pima County, AZ 45.145.60816.00
Riverside County, CA 45.146.70781.00
Nueces County, TX 44.904.90861.00
Stark County, OH 44.905.30740.00
Baltimore city, MD 44.857.701152.00
Weber County, UT 44.674.00744.00
Will County, IL 44.616.00858.00
Sedgwick County, KS 44.504.80831.00
Burlington County, NJ 44.275.20994.00
Worcester County, MA 44.185.30969.00
San Luis Obispo County, CA 43.864.60814.00
Cherokee County, GA 43.754.60727.00
Wayne County, MI 43.577.301059.00
Bell County, TX 43.404.70823.00
Madison County, AL 43.345.501053.00
Lucas County, OH 43.205.30839.00
Cleveland County, OK 43.203.40719.00
Richmond city, VA 42.965.201089.00
Onondaga County, NY 42.965.00913.00
Brevard County, FL 42.855.90873.00
El Paso County, TX 42.135.20698.00
Erie County, NY 41.755.40856.00
New Haven County, CT 41.406.101021.00
Sarasota County, FL 41.405.00777.00
Manatee County, FL 40.885.00740.00
Kings County, NY 40.655.90835.00
Bernalillo County, NM 40.595.90842.00
St. Joseph County, IN 40.595.00795.00
Guilford County, NC 40.535.90857.00
Lorain County, OH 40.395.40775.00
Sangamon County, IL 40.335.301001.00
Richland County, SC 39.985.70833.00
Orange County, NY 39.954.70807.00
Collier County, FL 39.555.20815.00
Philadelphia County/city, PA 39.296.901160.00
Santa Barbara County, CA 39.145.30934.00
Thurston County, WA 37.935.90919.00
Harford County, MD 37.785.00923.00
Clark County, WA 37.726.40915.00
Lane County, OR 37.525.90775.00
Fresno County, CA 37.2910.20772.00
Clackamas County, OR 37.265.20926.00
New Hanover County, NC 37.235.30769.00
Plymouth County, MA 37.155.20909.00
York County, SC 37.065.50763.00
Lehigh County, PA 37.035.20938.00
Lake County, IN 37.036.80841.00
Solano County, CA 36.746.10981.00
San Joaquin County, CA 36.258.90834.00
Escambia County, FL 36.165.60760.00
McHenry County, IL 36.075.30808.00
Jefferson Parish, LA 36.025.70876.00
Galveston County, TX 35.735.00853.00
Polk County, FL 35.616.20740.00
Smith County, TX 35.504.50810.00
Smith County, TX 35.504.50810.00
Pasco County, FL 35.265.80676.00
Mobile County, AL 34.687.00835.00
Chesapeake city, VA 34.664.50766.00
Spokane County, WA 34.226.40842.00
Champaign County, IL 33.765.20877.00
Anchorage Borough/municipality, AK 33.705.001084.00
St. Tammany Parish, LA 33.675.30833.00
Providence County, RI 33.446.40961.00
Stanislaus County, CA 33.359.50840.00
Kern County, CA32.9510.20828.00
Westmoreland County, PA32.465.20785.00
Volusia County, FL 32.435.70697.00
Norfolk city, VA 32.405.601002.00
Lafayette Parish, LA 32.055.60919.00
Webb County, TX 32.054.70658.00
Chatham County, GA 31.705.70821.00
Osceola County, FL 31.355.70671.00
Orleans Parish, LA 31.336.50922.00
Spartanburg County, SC 31.125.70814.00
Camden County, NJ 31.076.30943.00
Erie County, PA 31.075.30775.00
Passaic County, NJ 30.206.90944.00
Jefferson County, MO 29.974.80644.00
Northampton County, PA 29.915.10849.00
Kitsap County, WA 29.565.50921.00
Gloucester County, NJ 28.605.90835.00
Washington County, PA 28.585.40948.00
Bristol County, MA 27.976.30882.00
St. Louis County, MN 27.825.00836.00
Madison County, IL 26.556.10794.00
Richmond County, NY 26.385.80877.00
Ocean County, NJ 25.916.00766.00
Clayton County, GA 25.567.50912.00
Litchfield County, CT 25.545.00833.00
Bronx County, NY 25.107.70938.00
Pinal County, AZ 24.996.30752.00
Monterey County, CA 24.418.10825.00
New London County, CT 24.235.80943.00
Tulare County, CA 24.2011.70685.00
Marion County, OR 23.576.10788.00
Santa Cruz County, CA 23.347.50888.00
Hinds County, MS 23.346.10832.00
Lake County, FL 23.315.40680.00
Yolo County, CA 23.226.401006.00
Montgomery County, AL 22.736.20819.00
Marion County, FL 22.556.40658.00
Henry County, GA 22.506.00682.00
Oneida County, NY 22.355.40740.00
Jefferson County, TX 22.327.001003.00
Horry County, SC 22.327.00598.00
Hampden County, MA 21.866.80884.00
Gaston County, NC 21.606.00737.00
Winnebago County, IL 21.317.10811.00
Luzerne County, PA 19.896.30779.00
Butte County, CA 19.757.20731.00
Barnstable County, MA 19.636.30808.00
St. Clair County, IL 18.966.60787.00
Merced County, CA 18.6511.40743.00
St. Lucie County, FL 18.016.20724.00
Whatcom County, WA 16.715.90801.00
Mahoning County, OH 16.216.10707.00
Lackawanna County, PA 16.045.70749.00
Cumberland County, NC 14.857.40767.00
Cameron County, TX 13.727.10615.00
Caddo Parish, LA 13.437.10799.00
Niagara County, NY 10.136.20726.00
Atlantic County, NJ 9.419.40814.00
Yakima County, WA 7.568.00 679.00
Eligibility Team
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Eligibility Team
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