Oklahoma’s employment outlook is a far cry from that of the Dust Bowl era. Known for producing and distributing wheat, corn and cotton, the state reaped some nice profits from its agricultural roots last year, says Bland. It was also helped by its exposure to the oil and natural gas industries. Not only that but the state’s capital, Oklahoma City, currently boasts a 4.6% unemployment rate, the lowest of all the larger metropolitan areas. Some of the state’s big employers include Devon Energy, Chesapeake Energy and utility company Oklahoma Gas & Electric, a unit of energy-services provider OGE Energy. The stimulus bill could add an extra jolt to the state’s energy sector, which could help create posts for engineers and technicians positions, says DeVol.