The job markets are down nationwide, with an estimated 15 million people currently unemployed and jobless rates at 17 percent in some states. Other states, however, are faring better than others. Your chances of finding or keeping a job in these states, although not ideal, are better than in others.

To take advantage of these job opportunities, you will need a competitive college degree. ClassesandCareers.com rated these locations as the top 10 states for jobs in 2010:
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10. South Dakota (-1.1 percent; 4,342 jobs lost) – If you can get used to a slower pace of life, frigid temperatures, and heavy snowstorms, this Great Plains state is a fine alternative.

9. Nevada (-1 percent; 12,696 jobs lost) – Surprisingly, despite its strong emphasis on gaming and hotels, this state is holding its own against the economic crisis and has been able to lure tourism, despite tightening pocketbooks, with deals like a $5 steak and egg breakfast or $30 hotel rooms. You can be sure, however, that more people are opting out of the Bellagio to stay at the Golden Nugget.

8. Oregon (-1 percent; 17,737 jobs lost) – With a variety of industries, from shoes to international trade to agriculture, this state has the job market diversity to weather the economic storm.

7. Nebraska (-.9 percent; 8,374 jobs lost) – This home state of legendary investor Warren Buffett has also done a fine job withstanding the economic crisis, perhaps because of its high concentration of agriculture.

6. New Mexico (-.9 percent; 7,164 jobs lost) – With virtually no manufacturing, real estate, tourism, or financial sectors to speak of, this state remains unchanged by the financial meltdown.

5. North Dakota (-.8 percent; 2,809 jobs lost) – Something is going on up in them there Plains states. One guess is agriculture, a few strong companies, and a general lack of manufacturing.

4. Texas (-.7 percent; 71,930 jobs lost) – This state has performed well in creating job growth over the last few years by attracting large companies with tax breaks and jobseekers with a family-friendly atmosphere. Plentiful jobs and an affordable cost of living should keep this state in the top 10 for years to come.

3. Washington (-.2 percent; 6,939 jobs lost) – Like its northwest neighbor, this state enjoys a diverse job market, from computers (Microsoft) to fruit companies (you know, apples). Its metropolitan center boasts a family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and a strong emphasis on health. These factors have made Seattle a magnet for big companies.

2. District of Columbia (-.1 percent; 633 jobs lost) – Okay, you know that big stimulus bill that went through Congress earlier this year to the tune of $800 billion? Well, guess where a huge chunk of that money is going? Why, to hire more government workers in nearly every agency from the CIA to HUD, of course. Where will those jobs mostly be located? In our nation’s capitol, of course.

1. Colorado (.8 percent; 18,708 jobs created) – That’s right. The negative sign is missing on this one. One state in the Union will actually experience positive job growth this year. Like so many of the top 10, this state boasts strong business growth, breathtaking surroundings, and a family-friendly environment. Talk about living the high life.

No matter what state you choose to live in, there are great opportunities in each of them. That’s why ClassesandCareers.com is a great resource to help prospective students understand their educational options.

To seize these job opportunities, visit ClassesandCareers.com and sign up to meet with a live education advisor. They will help you find the right major to get into the best jobs.

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