Employees looking for new jobs may want to consider heading west in the new year, research shows.
A new study by the EmploymentCrossing revealed that six of the seven cities considered the best for job seekers during the first quarter of 2013 are in the western part of the U.S., including Phoenix, Ariz.; Tucson, Ariz.; San Francisco; Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas; and El Paso, Texas. Fort Myers, Fla., was the only eastern city in the list's top seven.
Based on new job postings, Phoenix has added 21,936 jobs over the past 30 days, while Tucson added 8,220, which the research said shows consistent job growth that is ready to spill over into 2013.
The study discovered Salt Lake City is also demonstrating healthy job growth, with 14,353 current jobs posted, including 12,137 that were added within the last month.
"2013 is going to be a slightly better year than the one that just ended, and while the jobs might be returning slowly, region-wise, as rightly marked by [the study], there is great disparity in economic recovery, and some states are clearly outstripping others, and positioning themselves as the best targets for skilled labor," said Harrison Barnes, CEO of EmploymentCrossing.
When examined on a larger scale, the study shows that North Dakota, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Delaware, Nebraska and Texas will be the best states for job seekers in the first quarter of the new year, with Maine, Kansas, West Virginia and Missouri being the worst.
The survey found that the wholesale and retail trade, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and information technology industries will boast the most in-demand positions. Those looking for work in construction, transportation and manufacturing are forecasted to have the most trouble finding an open position.
Overall, the research revealed that just 17 percent of employers are expected to add new staff members in 2013.
The study was based on surveys of 18,000 U.S. employers.