There have been a lot of lessons for all of us over the span of the pandemic, but when it comes to our post-pandemic work lives, one may be more significant than the rest: we can work from anywhere. Companies that were once hesitant to establish work-from-home (WFH) protocols now have hybrid or remote work plans, and the tools in place so that their employees can log in from virtually anywhere.
For the job seeker, this opens up all sorts of opportunities that weren’t there before, if you were thinking about making a big move across state lines, but weren’t quite ready to book the moving vans just yet. If you can live here and work there while you figure out where you want to be, then there’s a lot of potential out there right now. Let’s look at some of the hotspots for potential jobs all around the country—and they may not be the ones you expect.
In a recent analysis by finance data company Balancing Everything, Massachusetts had the leading indicators to drive it to the top of the list: low unemployment rate, growing numbers of open jobs, and a shorter average workweek. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts saw its job openings grow by 11% in September 2021. About 5% of Massachusetts’s current job openings are remote work-friendly, according to an estimate by FlexJobs. The biggest areas of growth for Massachusetts continue to be jobs in healthcare, educations, and technology, with about 149,000 job openings overall.
If the summer weather is something you need more of in your life, then Florida is one to consider for your soft relocation. Right now, it’s one of the fastest growing states for new jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida saw a 1% increase in hiring for September 2021. Florida is also remote-work-friendly, with more than 6% of new job postings that include remote flexibility. While tourism, one of Florida’s biggest industries traditionally, has taken a hit in the pandemic era, it continues to see growth in areas like agriculture, technology, and sales. Florida currently has about 422,000 job openings.
Minnesota is a very promising spot for job seekers right now. They have an unemployment rate that puts them in the top ten lowest in the country, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, their hiring has continued to grow over the summer and into the fall. About 6% of Minnesota’s job current openings are explicitly remote work-friendly as well.
It’s also rated highly in U.S. News and World Report rankings due to the low unemployment rates, high economic opportunity, and solid state economy. Already a leading state in healthcare due to the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota is continuing to see Fortune 500 companies set up shop in the state, and bring jobs with them. Minnesota currently has about 121,000 job openings.
If you ask a Texan, everything’s bigger in Texas, and that may include job opportunities as well as the state starts to rebound from a pandemic-based dip. On a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Texas’s hiring growth in September 2021 was second only to Florida’s. Texas is also a state where many companies are moving their headquarters due to other economic growth opportunities.
With many large companies taking up residence in the state, including technology and communications, it’s also one of the more remote-friendly states, with about 5% of job openings specifically designated as remote. And with more than 496,000 job openings, it’s looking to get people through the door.
With a low unemployment rate (2.8%) and more than 209,000 job openings, Virginia is a growing opportunity spot for people who work in a number of fields. The Washington D.C. area offers government job prospects, but overall Virginia is becoming known as a major IT hotspot. It’s also increasingly enticing to remote workers, with more than 5% of job openings as explicitly remote or hybrid work.
Right now, people are trying to feel out what the next phase of their careers will be. For many of us, that means considering changes to how (and where!) we work. Finding the next opportunity is crucial, it might just be time to look beyond that state border to find it.