Gallup: North Dakota boasted best 2010 job market

The polling company released a state-by-state overview of the 2010 job market on Monday, with North Dakota coming out on top. Alaska, West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma were the other energy-producing states to crack Gallup’s top 10 job markets.

On the flip side, the states with the worst job markets last year were generally found near the Atlantic or Pacific coasts. Nevada topped the list, followed by New Jersey, California, Oregon and Connecticut.

“Generally speaking, relative state job market conditions in 2010 were similar to those of the recession years of 2008 and 2009: energy and commodity states continued to see their job markets do comparatively well throughout,” wrote Dennis Jacobe, Gallup’s chief economist. “Areas dominated by federal government employment continued to do well as federal spending surged.”

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With that in mind, Maryland and Washington, D.C., also cracked the Top 10 best markets. Gallup said states with agricultural ties, such as South Dakota, Arkansas, Iowa and Pennsylvania, rounded out the Top 10. 

Comparing last year to 2009, the polling outfit also found Pennsylvania and other states known for manufacturing, like Michigan and Ohio, had among the greatest improvements in their job markets. 

Five of the states on the most-improved list were also in the bottom 10 job markets in 2009 — Oregon, Delaware, Arizona, Minnesota and Michigan.