Cities with the Best Employment Rates

Laura Joszt

The unemployment rate remains a concern for investors and the Federal Reserve, which just announced interest rates will stay near zero until unemployment falls to 6.5%. If you're concerned as well, here are the 10 metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates.

The unemployment rate in the United States is still a topic of interest since it has remained so high even years after the Great Recession.

The latest numbers from October put the unemployment rate at 7.9%. A recent Gallup poll revealed that the unemployment rate was one of the factors leading to pessimism among investors.

And the Federal Reserve isn’t happy with the current unemployment rate: Fed Chair Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that the Fed would keep interest rates near zero until the unemployment rate reaches 6.5%. Previously, the Fed had only announced that these low rates would stay through mid-2015, at least, without setting a target for the unemployment rate.

However, there are some areas of the country where employment isn’t such a worry. In fact, in some metro areas, unemployment is almost nonexistent. The site 24/7 Wall Street attributed this to the fact partially the fact that these areas have higher education to support them —college towns tend to have lower unemployment rates.

If you’re really looking for a job, a location isn’t an issue, then you should consider a move to North Dakota, which grabbed the top three spots. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that some of the metro areas on this list have a median income below the national median ($50,502) — although cost of living is below the national average as well.

Here are the 10 metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates.

10. Logan, Utah-Idaho

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for ninth)

Median household income: $46,356

View over Logan, Utah from the Utah State University campus

9. Burlington, Vt.

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.8% (tied for ninth)

Median household income: $60,771

Church Street Marketplace

8. Sioux Falls, S.D.

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.7%

Median household income: $55,609

Downtown

7. Iowa City, Iowa

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for sixth)

Median household income: $52,602

6. Ames, Iowa

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.4% (tied for sixth)

Median household income: $45,866

Downtown

5. Midland, Texas

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.3%

Median household income: $54,330

4. Lincoln, Neb.

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.2%

Median household income: $49,315

3. Grand Forks, N.D.-Minn.

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 3.1%

Median household income: $46,718

The Grand Cities Art Fest

2. Fargo, N.D.

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 2.8%

Median household income: $52,393

Downtown

1. Bismarck, N.D.

Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 2.2%

Median household income: $58,781

Read more:

Cities Where Everyone Has a Job