Which States Would Job Seekers Relocate To?

Texas has the highest number of job searches from outside the state.

What motivates people to look for jobs in a new place and where are they looking to go? These questions are at the heart of the latest research from the Indeed Hiring Lab — a global research institute committed to advancing the knowledge of human resource and talent management professionals worldwide.

In examining aggregated, anonymized data on where job seekers are currently located and where they’re directing their job search, we discovered that 27.8% of people are currently looking for jobs across state borders.

But which states receive the most searches from job seekers located somewhere else? Our location desirability index ranks each state and the District of Columbia by the number of job seekers searching there from the outside. Here’s the full list:

States ranked by number of job seekers searching there from another state

The overarching trend from our data is that the places with the greatest number of job postings attract the most people from outside. 9% of the nation’s job postings are in Texas, causing the state to rank second for number of job openings and first for number of people searching for those jobs. Florida and California also rank highly for number of job postings, at 5.5% and 11.5% of job postings in the US, respectively. While these are also among the nation’s most populous states, when we control for population, the number of job postings still explains the level of job search.  And this makes sense — places with a lot of job openings are growing places, not just places with a lot of employed people.

These results reveal that job seekers have an understanding of what’s going on in the labor market — they look for jobs in the places where they know jobs are available. For this reason, investigating job seeker behavior is an increasingly important barometer of where the economy may be headed.

For an expanded look at the talent supply across the US and worldwide, download the first two reports from the Indeed Hiring Lab: What Job Seekers Want and Where People Search for Jobs.

Download the latest report