Best and Worst States for Jobs

The Associated Press just put up a story on Best and Worst States for Jobs.  The story highlights our recent list of Best and Worst States for Employment.  It identifies some of the root causes for employment decline.  They are:  The collapse of housing. The implosion of the auto industry. The meltdown of financial services. The exodus of manufacturing.  The link is:
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090109/unemployment_worst_states.html

Our entry listing the Labor Department’s December employment numbers lists the Best 5 States, (Wyoming has lowest unemployment at 3.2%) and the Worst 5 States (Michigan has the highest Unemployment at 9.6%).  Our entry link is:
http://blog.bestandworststates.com/2009/01/03/wyoming-best-and-michigan-worst-state-for-employment-december-2008.aspx

Best and Worst States to Work

Depending on the state you live, you may have more difficulty working in your desired occupation.  Licensing rules make it harder for people to work as in many cases you must spend money for licensing before knowing if you have work.  It limits supply of workers by making it harder for workers to get a job.  Reason Magazine’s study of Occupational licensing highlights states’ occupational licensing requirements.  They even list the “Most Outrageous Licensing Laws.”  Can you imagine that you must have license to be a florist in Louisiana?  No other state does that!  Can you imagine that you must have a license to be a junkyard dealer in Ohio?  No other state has that requirement.  If you travel into Vermont as a photographer you must have a license.  Yet if you live in Vermont you are qualified.  And in Iowa you must have a license to be a munure applicator.  I wonder if there is a special course you can take online to qualify for that!!!!  Licensing requirements hurt workers.  The Best and Worst States follow.  Go to www.reason.org/news/occupational_licensing_rankings_082407.shtml for the full report.

Worst States to Work                         # Job Licenses

1.  California                                                             177
2.  Connecticut                                                         155
3.  Maine                                                                 134
4.  New Hampshire                                                   130
5.  Arkansas                                                             128

Best States to Work

1.  Missouri                                                              41
2.  Washington                                                         43
3.  Kansas                                                               56
4.  South Carolina                                                    60
5.  Idaho                                                                 61

Best and Worst States for Political Corruption. Is Illinois the Worst?

With Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich in the news concerning corruption charges, what states are the worst states for political corruption?  There are some pretty good candidates.  Is it Illinois, Louisiana, California, New York, Florida or Ohio?
According to the Report to Congress on the Activities and Operations of the Public Integrity Section (www.usdoj.gov/criminal/pin/docs/arpt-2006.pdf ) the Best and Worst States for Corruption convictions during the 10 year period of 1997-2006 were:

The Most Political Convictions:

1.    Florida                  809
2.    New York             762
3.    California             753
4.    Pennsylvania       566
5.    Ohio                     538
6.    Illinois                  524

The Least Political Convictions:

1.    Vermont                   12
2.    Nebraska                 13
3.    New Hampshire      14
4.    Wyoming                 16
5.    Maine                      25

Some high profile scandals and corruptions have to put New York, New Jersey and Connecticut up for consideration with each having a Governor step down in disgrace.

Louisiana has the highest per capita political corruption rate with 7.67 convictions per 100,000 of population.  Yet it would be hard not to still consider Illinois as the Worst State for Political Corruption with its history of scandal.

Northern New England appears to be a good place for integrity in the politics.

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Best and Worst States for Entrepreneurs

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council in December released its 13th annual “Small Business Survival Index for 2008:  Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship across the Nation.”

The Best and Worst Sates for Entrepreneurs are:

  Best                                                   Worst

1.  South Dakota                                51.  Washington DC
2.  Nevada                                         50.  New Jersey
3.  Wyoming                                      49.  California
4.  Florida                                          48.  Maine
5.  Washington                                  47.  Rhode Island

The study covers a broad area of policy matters from tax to regulation and is full of great info.  It can be found on the home page of the Council at:

www.sbecouncil.org/home/index.cfm 

If you are thinking of starting a business or want to work in a state that fosters small business check it out.

Connecticut Worst State for Tax Burden, Oklahoma the Best

MSN has a great list of state tax burdens.  The worst states are Connecticut (38.3%), followed by New York (37.1%), New Jersey (35.6%) and Nevada (35.2%). Oklahoma residents pay the least (27.8%), followed by those in Alabama (28.0%) and Alaska (28.1%).
Here is the link:  articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Taxes/Advice/TheBestAndWorstStatesForTaxes.aspx


No income tax states are great for people who are working.  Seven states have no state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Two others, New Hampshire and Tennessee, tax only dividend and interest income. To see how other states compare, check out the Federation of Tax Administrators’ listing of individual income tax rates for 2008. Wyoming and South Dakota are also two of the best states for employment so you can find probably find a job and keep more of what you earn.  See our blog note:  blog.bestandworststates.com/2009/01/03/wyoming-best-and-michigan-worst-state-for-employment-december-2008.aspx

South Florida Losing Population. Georgia and North Carolina are favorite destinations.

Florida”s Sun-Sentinel today reports that South Florida is shrinking.

The paper reports that Internal Revenue Service filings show 43,371 fewer people in Broward and 11,028 fewer people in Palm Beach County since 2005.  Birth rates are shrinking and school enrollment is down.  It appears that the population is shrinking on all fronts.  Working age people are finding wages low as compared to the cost of living. Retirees are finding real estate prices, property taxes and homeowners insurance.  Is the state losing its designation as a Best Place to retire.  For full Sun-Sentinel story go to:  www.sun-sentinel.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sunday/nationworld/sfl-flbpopulation0104sbjan04,0,735270.story.

The paper also reports the favorite out of state destinations that Broward and Palm Beach county residents relocate to.

Top destinations are 1. Georgia, 2. North Carolina and 3. Texas.  For all the details go to:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-flbpopulationbox0104sbjan04,0,6920758.story

Best and Worst States to Retire

Well it used to be that the 2 best places to retire were Arizona and Florida.  It appears as a result of this latest real estate boom and bust that these 2 states while great for weather have started to drop in retirees eyes as attractive places to be.  Part of it is due to the run up in real estate prices that has literally made it unaffordable for many to buy and live on a fixed income.  Florida for example has seen the first shrinkage in its population in many years.  People are moving to other venues such as Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and other venues as the cost of housing is more affordable and the real estate taxes not as burdensome.  Arizona has also seen its run up in real estate that has made it more difficult to live comfortably there.  What are your thoughts?  What are the best places to retire today?  What are the worst?