The unemployment rate in the nation reached a nearly 30-year record high in late 2009. October 2009 unemployment was at 10.2 percent and dropped, slightly, to 10.0 percent in November 2009. The U.S. Department of Labor will likely be releasing the December 2009 unemployment figures on Friday but one thing is for certain, we won't be seeing a big drop in the percentage of unemployed workers.

Despite the bleak national numbers, certain areas of the country are experiencing extremely low unemployment rates including Cass County, North Dakota. According to a CNN article, 10 best places for jobs, the unemployment rate in Cass County is a mere 3.4 percent.

The editors of Money magazine examined the 100 Best Places to Live and came up with a new list based on unemployment figures. The top 10 best places for jobs, including their unemployment rate as well as their rank in the 100 Best Places to Live list follows:

  1. Cass County, North Dakota – 3.4% unemployment and 81 on the Best Places to Live list
  2. Madison County, Nebraska – 3.9% unemployment and 98th place
  3. Platte County, Nebraska – 4% unemployment and 99th place
  4. Sarpy County, Nebraska – 4.7% unemployment and 3rd place
  5. Dallas County, Iowa – 4.7% unemployment and 42nd place
  6. Grafton County, New Hampshire – 5.1% unemployment and 50th place
  7. Dane County, Wisconsin – 5.2% unemployment and 4th place
  8. Boulder County, Colorado – 5.3% unemployment and 13th place
  9. Roanoke County, Virginia – 5.6% unemployment and 89th place
  10. Saline County, Arizona – 5.7% unemployment and 86th place
The Midwest dominates this list with unemployment rates at less than half the national average in many of these areas. Although the CNN list didn’t specifically look at green jobs, employment in the clean energy industry grew by leaps and bounds in these communities.

The 2009 report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, businesses and Investments Across America (PDF) showed a 9.1 percent clean energy job growth between 1998 and 2007. During the same time period, all other jobs in the nation only realized a 3.7 percent increase. Clean energy jobs in the Midwestern states on the CNN list saw an even bigger jump.

Between 1998 and 2007, clean energy jobs in North Dakota rose by 30.9 percent. In Nebraska, clean energy jobs rose by 108.6 percent compared to a -4.9 percent job growth in other industries.

If you’re one of the millions of unemployed Americans searching for a new job or even a new career, consider moving to one of these communities to find a good green job.

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