Nebraska’s winters may be nippy, but there’s nothing chilly about the state’s job creation climate, a new report says.

The Cornhusker State ranked third last year among the nation’s top 10 state job markets, and Iowa ranked sixth, according to Gallup’s 2014 ranking of state hiring climates.

Ratings are based on workers’ responses as to whether their employers hired or reduced workforce numbers last year.

In a survey of 1,730 Nebraska workers, 40 percent said their employer was hiring; 45 percent said employee levels at their workplace were unchanged; and 9 percent said there were layoffs.

In Iowa, 39 percent of 2,480 workers surveyed said their employer was hiring; 46 percent said levels remained unchanged during the year; and 9 percent said the payroll had been trimmed.

Workers in states that rely on either the energy sector, farming commodities or both, including Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Texas, were especially likely to report positive net hiring.

North Dakota had the most robust state job market last year, earning a first-place ranking.

At the other end, Connecticut was last and just behind Alaska for having the worst hiring climates last year.

Gallup’s 2014 findings were gathered from more than 200,000 interviews with working adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey margin of error is plus or minus one percentage point.

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