State SAT Scores 2009

The College Board released today the 2009 SAT Scores by State.  They strongly encourage people to look at the data stand alone yet it seems everyone wants to see the SAT Rankings by State. We picked them up from a variety of news sources and present them to you with caution.  Some states have low participation rates and arguably can tilt the field.  We will follow up with some analysis in a future post.  Also see our post Does Increased Spending on Higher Education lead to Better State University Rankings?

Top SAT State Scores include Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri.  These States primarily have their students take the ACT test so their numbers may not be representative of the entire state.

The Worst States for SAT Scores include Maine, Hawaii, South Carolina, Georgia and New YorkDC is also very low.
Here is the ranking of SAT Scores by State List:

2009 State Sat Scores

Rate Reading Math Writing Total
1 Iowa 3% 610 615 588 1813
2 Wisconsin 5% 594 608 582 1784
3 Minnesota 7% 595 609 578 1782
4 Missouri 5% 595 600 584 1779
5 Illinois 6% 588 604 583 1775
6 Michigan 5% 584 603 575 1762
7 South Dakota 3% 589 600 569 1758
8 Nebraska 4% 587 594 572 1753
9 North Dakota 3% 590 593 566 1749
10 Kansas 7% 581 589 564 1734
11 Kentucky 7% 573 573 561 1707
12 Oklahoma 5% 575 571 557 1703
13 Tennessee 10% 571 565 565 1701
14 Arkansas 5% 572 572 556 1700
15 Colorado 20% 568 575 555 1698
16 Wyoming 5% 567 568 550 1685
17 Mississippi 4% 567 554 559 1680
18 Louisiana 7% 563 558 555 1676
19 Alabama 7% 557 552 549 1658
20 Utah 6% 559 558 540 1657
21 New Mexico 11% 553 546 534 1633
22 Ohio 22% 537 546 523 1606
23 Montana 22% 541 542 519 1602
24 Idaho 18% 541 540 520 1601
25 Washington 53% 524 531 507 1563
26 New Hampshire 75% 523 523 510 1557
27 Massachusetts 84% 514 526 510 1551
28 Oregon 52% 523 525 499 1548
29 Vermont 64% 518 518 506 1543
30 Connecticut 83% 509 513 512 1535
31 Arizona 26% 516 521 497 1534
32 Alaska 46% 520 516 492 1528
33 Virginia 68% 511 512 498 1522
34 California 49% 500 513 498 1511
35 West Virginia 18% 511 501 499 1511
36 New Jersey 76% 496 513 496 1506
37 Maryland 69% 500 502 495 1498
38 Rhode Island 66% 498 496 494 1489
39 North Carolina 63% 495 511 480 1487
40 Nevada 42% 501 505 479 1485
41 Indiana 63% 496 507 480 1484
42 Delaware 71% 495 498 484 1478
43 Pennsylvania 71% 493 501 483 1478
44 Florida 59% 497 498 480 1476
45 Texas 51% 486 506 475 1468
46 New York 85% 485 502 478 1466
47 Georgia 71% 490 491 479 1461
48 South Carolina 67% 486 496 470 1453
49 Hawaii 58% 479 502 469 1451
50 Maine 90% 468 467 455 1391
51 DC 79% 466 451 461 1379
All Students 46% 501 515 493 1509

Source: College Board and various news services Rate: Student Population Rate as reported by www.collegeboard.com

Where to Find a Job? Best States for Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July State unemployment numbers this past week.  More ugly in most states.

The Best States for Jobs are primarily heartland states.  The Best State for Jobs is North Dakota with an unemployment rate of only 4.2%.  Nebraska and South Dakota at 4.9% are the only other states under 5%.  Utah is our fourth Best State for Jobs at 6%.  You will have a decent chance to find a job in Iowa, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana.

If you are looking for a job in a state with very high unemployment, you might want to consider a state where the opportunities are broader and fewer people looking.  In other words, consider changing your state.  Michigan at 15.2% is the Worst State for Jobs. Approximately  1 in every 6 people are unemployed.  Rhode Island, Nevada, Oregon and California are some of the Worst States for Jobs with rates all close to 12%.

High unemployment also creates a reinforcing negative cycle.  Unemployment creates downward pressure on real estate, commerce and social institutions.   It does not turn around quickly.  While unemployment is one very important metric in your search for employment, job openings i.e. who is hiring now? should also be considered.  For recent info on job openings by state see Best States for Job Openings

 

July U.S. State Unemployment List

 

1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.2
2 NEBRASKA 4.9
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9
4 UTAH 6
5 IOWA 6.5
5 OKLAHOMA 6.5
5 WYOMING 6.5
8 MONTANA 6.7
9 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.8
9 VERMONT 6.8
11 VIRGINIA 6.9
12 HAWAII 7
12 NEW MEXICO 7
14 MARYLAND 7.3
15 ARKANSAS 7.4
15 KANSAS 7.4
15 LOUISIANA 7.4
18 COLORADO 7.8
18 CONNECTICUT 7.8
20 TEXAS 7.9
21 MINNESOTA 8.1
22 DELAWARE 8.2
23 ALASKA 8.3
24 MAINE 8.4
25 PENNSYLVANIA 8.5
26 NEW YORK 8.6
27 IDAHO 8.8
27 MASSACHUSETTS 8.8
29 WEST VIRGINIA 9
29 WISCONSIN 9
31 WASHINGTON 9.1
32 ARIZONA 9.2
33 MISSOURI 9.3
33 NEW JERSEY 9.3
35 MISSISSIPPI 9.7
36 ALABAMA 10.2
37 GEORGIA 10.3
38 ILLINOIS 10.4
39 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 10.6
39 INDIANA 10.6
41 FLORIDA 10.7
41 TENNESSEE 10.7
43 KENTUCKY 11
43 NORTH CAROLINA 11
45 OHIO 11.2
46 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.8
47 CALIFORNIA 11.9
47 OREGON 11.9
49 NEVADA 12.5
50 RHODE ISLAND 12.7
51 MICHIGAN 15

Is Florida Best Place to Retire? Population Shrinking

The Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research reported that Florida for the first time since 1946 population saw it population shrink.

We had reported in January that increasingly people were no longer choosing Florida as the Best State to Retire. The Internal Revenue Service reported that more than 50,000 fewer tax returns were filed in Florida since 2005.  See Florida Losing Population for more on the IRS filings and January report.

The director of the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research Stan Smith said the population dropped by 58,000 people between 2008 and 2009. This is the first decline since large numbers ofmilitary personnel left the state in 1946 after World War II.

Florida has become less attractive to many people on fixed incomes due to its expensive cost of housing particularly in South Florida and high real estate taxes and property insurance.

Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina have become attractive choices as Best States to Retire.  Florida will not turn around quickly as many people on fixed incomes are still looking elsewhere.  Tennessee has the lowest cost of living in the nation.  See List of Cost of Living by State

If you are looking for a Best Place to Live or Retire, Florida has lost some mojo.

Top States for Job Openings

We ran our analysis of Best and Worst States for Job openings again as listed by CareerBuilder.com

Job Openings grew in the last 60 days yet are still 1.57% lower than January. Here are 2 lists:  List of job openings by state since January 29 and Best and Worst States for Jobs since May.

31-Jul Change since1-29 %Change
California 23450 -2405 -9.30%
Texas 19373 -678 -3.38%
Florida 14927 -247 -1.63%
New York 12667 -390 -2.99%
Illinois 11747 -1955 -14.27%
Pennsylvania 11193 52 0.47%
New Jersey 7938 -690 -8.00%
Ohio 8286 10 0.12%
Virginia 7547 361 5.02%
North Carolina 6860 57 0.84%
Maryland 6128 -424 -6.47%
Georgia 6470 478 7.98%
Arizona 5701 -291 -4.86%
Massachusetts 5269 -899 -14.58%
Michigan 5443 -98 -1.77%
Washington 4940 26 0.53%
Indiana 5589 858 18.14%
Missouri 5109 651 14.60%
Colorado 3937 -277 -6.57%
Tennessee 4862 449 10.17%
Connecticut 4271 -260 -5.74%
Wisconsin 4816 502 11.64%
Minnesota 3754 -439 -10.47%
South Carolina 3470 334 10.65%
Kansas 3281 45 1.39%
Louisiana 3067 -427 -12.22%
Kentucky 3285 522 18.89%
Iowa 2460 -39 -1.56%
Alabama 2883 316 12.31%
Oklahoma 2339 70 3.09%
Nevada 1864 -1 -0.05%
Oregon 1986 154 8.41%
Mississippi 1684 136 8.79%
New Mexico 1468 45 3.16%
Utah 1340 104 8.41%
Arkansas 1557 143 10.11%
Nebraska 1139 -91 -7.40%
Delaware 1030 -27 -2.55%
Alaska 1058 253 31.43%
Hawaii 748 -117 -13.53%
West Virginia 914 58 6.78%
New Hampshire 705 11 1.59%
Rhode Island 722 15 2.12%
South Dakota 664 79 13.50%
Idaho 813 148 22.26%
Vermont 608 -51 -7.74%
North Dakota 465 27 6.16%
Maine 539 90 20.04%
Montana 585 77 15.16%
Wyoming 419 46 12.33%
Entire U.S. 231370 -3689 -1.57%

The List of Best States for Jobs since May 31 is below:

31-Jul Change May 31 % change
1 California 23450 1727 7.95%
2 Texas 19373 1033 5.63%
3 Florida 14927 354 2.43%
4 New York 12667 875 7.42%
5 Illinois 11747 921 8.51%
6 Pennsylvania 11193 1340 13.60%
7 New Jersey 7938 178 2.29%
8 Ohio 8286 780 10.39%
9 Virginia 7547 822 12.22%
10 North Carolina 6860 525 8.29%
11 Maryland 6128 -18 -0.29%
12 Georgia 6470 962 17.47%
13 Arizona 5701 577 11.26%
14 Massachusetts 5269 157 3.07%
15 Michigan 5443 428 8.53%
16 Washington 4940 334 7.25%
17 Indiana 5589 1011 22.08%
18 Missouri 5109 839 19.65%
19 Colorado 3937 -206 -4.97%
20 Tennessee 4862 730 17.67%
21 Connecticut 4271 263 6.56%
22 Wisconsin 4816 1106 29.81%
23 Minnesota 3754 219 6.20%
24 South Carolina 3470 247 7.66%
25 Kansas 3281 166 5.33%
26 Louisiana 3067 109 3.68%
27 Kentucky 3285 536 19.50%
28 Iowa 2460 -66 -2.61%
29 Alabama 2883 446 18.30%
30 Oklahoma 2339 169 7.79%
31 Nevada 1864 129 7.44%
32 Oregon 1986 264 15.33%
33 Mississippi 1684 139 9.00%
34 New Mexico 1468 105 7.70%
35 Utah 1340 75 5.93%
36 Arkansas 1557 299 23.77%
37 Nebraska 1139 62 5.76%
38 Delaware 1030 54 5.53%
39 Alaska 1058 86 8.85%
40 Hawaii 748 -39 -4.96%
41 West Virginia 914 130 16.58%
42 New Hampshire 705 11 1.59%
43 Rhode Island 722 72 11.08%
44 South Dakota 664 17 2.63%
45 Idaho 813 171 26.64%
46 Vermont 608 -4 -0.65%
47 North Dakota 465 -96 -17.11%
48 Maine 539 77 16.67%
49 Montana 585 141 31.76%
50 Wyoming 419 36 9.40%
Entire U.S. 231370 18293 8.59%

If interested please read our previous post on Job Openings Shrink in May

Best States for Jobs: Job Openings Up 8.54%, 44 States Up

After dropping like a rock during the first few months of the year and staying there through May, job openings have increased 8.59% nationwide since May 31, according to analysis released by BestandWorstStates.com.  This is encouraging news and reinforces the view that employment dynamics are improving from their lows.  While a significant rebound, it should be viewed with caution as job openings are still 1.57% below late January levels, just prior to the stimulus package being passed.  Total job openings are not high enough to make a significant improvement to the jobless rate which was released this week to be a slightly improved 9.4%.  For a complete list of state job opening activity see previous post List of Job Openings by State

For our lastest post on Best and Worst States for Jobs go to Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

 

Good News Front:

Job openings increased nationwide 8.59% from May 31, 2009 from 210,048 to 231,370 on July 31, 2009.  This increase is quite significant with 44 states showing increases during the past two months.  The Top States for Jobs were mostly small states.  Indiana was a notable large state on the Best State for Jobs list with a 18.14% increase in job openings during the last 60 days.  Most of the Best States for Jobs have below average unemployment rates.  The number of job openings in many of these states are quite small.  Many of these small states would be Best States for Jobs if you are looking for employment however.  For the complete Best States for Jobs List see

Best States for Jobs (Per Cent Increase in Openings)

Rank State Job Growth% Jobless% #Job Open
1 Alaska 31.43% 8.4 1058
2 Idaho 22.26% 8.4 813
3 Maine 20.04% 8.5 539
4 Kentucky 18.89% 10.9 3285
5 Indiana 18.14% 10.7 5589
6 Montana 15.16% 6.4 585
7 Missouri 14.60% 9.5 5109
8 South Dakota 13.50% 5.1 664
9 Wyoming 12.33% 5.9 419
10 Alabama 12.31% 10.6 2883

Source:  Best and Worst States.com and  CareerBuilder.com

Not so Good News:

Job openings have decreased 1.57% since the end of January nationwide even though 30 states have more job openings than in January. The Top Ten US States according to population have shown a 4.1% decrease in job openings.  California, the US largest state, has 9.3% lower jobs available than in January.  With a 11.6% jobless rate, California appears to be a poor state for job seekers.  Illinois is also a Worst State for Jobs with a 14.2% drop in openings along with a 10.5% unemployment rate.  The US unemployment rate will not improve significantly without the Top Ten States also improving as these states have about 50% of the US population.

#Jobs Open 7-31 Change Job Growth% Jobless Rate Population
1 California 23450 -2405 -9.30% 11.6% 36.8
2 Texas 19373 -678 -3.38% 7.5% 24.3
3 New York 12667 -390 -2.99% 8.7% 19.5
4 Florida 14927 -247 -1.63% 10.6% 18.3
5 Illinois 11747 -1955 -14.27% 10.5% 12.9
6 Pennsylvania 11193 52 0.47% 8.3% 12.4
7 Ohio 8286 10 0.12% 11.1% 11.5
8 Michigan 5443 -98 -1.77% 15.2% 10
9 Georgia 7547 478 5.02% 10.5% 9.7
10 North Carolina 6860 57 0.84% 11.0% 9.2
121493 -5176 -4.09% 164.6

Unemployment Up in Every State

The US States continued to see rising unemployment in June. 16 States, if you count DC, now have unemployment rates greater than 10.0%. 38 states and DC saw increases from May. All 50 states and DC have higher unemployment than a year ago.  Our national unemployment rate was 9.5% in June.  The July national jobless numbers will be released on August 7.

Michigan continues to be the Worst State for Jobs with a 15.2% jobless rate. North Dakota is the Best State for Jobs with only a 4.2% unemployment rate.

3 of the 5 largest states by population have rates greater than 10.%  They are California, Florida and Illinois. California has more than twice as many jobless as any other state with 2.146 million jobless in June.  California has  the most unemployed people in the nation.  The next largest amount of unemployed are in Florida with 970,000 jobless in June according to BLS statistics.

We will be releasing shortly our updated analysis of job openings. Unemployment will continue to rise until more job openings start to appear.  List of Best and Worst States for Jobs is below.

1 Michigan 15.2
2 Rhode Island 12.4
3 Oregon 12.2
4 South Carolina 12.1
5 Nevada 12
6 California 11.6
7 Ohio 11.1
8 North Carolina 11
9 District of Columbia 10.9
10 Kentucky 10.9
11 Tennessee 10.8
12 Indiana 10.7
13 Alabama 10.6
14 Florida 10.6
15 Georgia 10.5
16 Illinois 10.5
17 Mississippi 9.8
18 Missouri 9.5
19 West Virginia 9.4
20 New Jersey 9.2
21 Washington 9.2
22 Wisconsin 9.2
23 Arizona 8.9
24 Massachusetts 8.7
25 New York 8.7
26 Maine 8.5
27 Alaska 8.4
28 Delaware 8.4
29 Idaho 8.4
30 Minnesota 8.4
31 Pennsylvania 8.3
32 Connecticut 8
33 Colorado 7.6
34 Texas 7.5
35 Hawaii 7.4
36 Maryland 7.3
37 Arkansas 7.2
38 Virginia 7.2
39 Vermont 7.1
40 Kansas 7
41 Louisiana 6.8
42 New Hampshire 6.8
43 New Mexico 6.8
44 Montana 6.4
45 Oklahoma 6.3
46 Iowa 6.2
47 Wyoming 5.9
48 Utah 5.7
49 South Dakota 5.1
50 Nebraska 5
51 North Dakota 4.2

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics