With unemployment among 18-to-29-year-olds stuck at a whopping 15.9% for months now, young people looking to get their careers started face a tough challenge -- but not, it seems, everywhere.
"North Dakota is not exactly a glamour spot, but it does have jobs," notes Richard Barrington, a senior analyst at finance website MoneyRates.com. In 2012, the state's economy grew five times faster than the national average, thanks in large part to its booming oil and gas industry, which has fueled demand for workers in other fields like health care, retail, and transportation. No wonder, then, that North Dakota's 5.1% youth unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation.
But that's not all. Barrington compared all 50 states using a list of eight youth-friendly criteria, including proportion of young people in each state's population, low cost of living, and "number of bars, pubs, and nightclubs per capita." North Dakota has more of those than any other state except Wisconsin. Here are four other promising states for young job seekers.