Searching for a Job? Nix New York, Look to Lexington (Yes, Kentucky)

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We’ve been waiting for positive news on the job front for a few years. And the answer to all our job prayers could lie in America’s heartland.

Forbes shows the best and worst cities to look for jobs, based on a study that asked employers who’s hiring and firing. Staffing firm Manpower took their, er, manpower, across the country to measure up companies’ future outlooks. Fortunately for all of us, they found optimism across the country, reporting that firms in all 50 states reported positive hiring expectations.

(More on See TIME’s cover story “Where the Jobs Are”)

But where’s the absolute best place to look for a job? The study calculated the cities that are expected to be overflowing with openings by taking the percentage of employers that expect to add workers and subtracting the percentage that are planning layoffs.

They came up with a net employment outlook for each city, with Lexington, Ky. rising to the top. The city thrives on its horse racing and raising economy but is also bolstered by the local presence of large firms like Toyota, Hewlett-Packard and UPS.

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Our nation’s largest city, New York, shockingly reports the lowest employment prospects – and in fact was the only city to report a negative outlook.

Click to Forbes for the full report or see the list below.

Best Cities for Seekers              Worst Cities for Seekers

1. Lexington, Ky. (24%)                         1.  New York, N.Y. (-2%)

2.  Greenville, S.C. (20%)                      2.  Raleigh, N.C. (0%)

3. Tulsa, Okla. (20%)                             3. Fresno, Calif. (1%)

4. Bridgeport, Conn. (17%)                  4. Des Moines, Ia. (1%)

5. El Paso, Tex. (17%)                           5. Los Angeles, Calif. (2%)