Gallup: Heartland states least hit by underemployment

Gallup breaks underemployment down into six distinct ranges, with only North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and New Hampshire scoring in the lower two levels (9 percent to 11.9 percent and 12 percent to 14.9 percent.)

The report came on the same day that the Labor Department released a positive jobs report for February and the same week that Gallup said North Dakota had 2010’s best job market. 

The polling company defines underemployment as those without a job and those who work under 30 hours a week but would like full-time employment. 

The other six states who had underemployment at Gallup’s highest range – 21 percent to 24.9 percent – are California, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada and North Carolina. 

Still, there was little overlap between Gallup’s findings on underemployment and job markets. 

Iowa was the only other of the six states with the lowest underemployment to have a top-10 job market, according to Gallup. (For its part, New Hampshire actually had one of the bottom-10 job markets.)

Three of the nine states with the highest underemployment – California, Nevada and Oregon – also ranked near the bottom in job markets.