Job Openings Drop Nationwide by 9.3% in last 45 days, California Worst, 44 States show Decreases

Career Builder Job Openings Drop 9.35%Nationwide in Last 45 Days
44 States Decrease, Only 6 States Increase

California Worst State for Declines, North Dakota up 28.08%

Best and Worst States.com, the leading site for facts and lists about States, released analysis today on job opening data using Careerbuilder job openings as a proxy for job activity.  Career Builder is the nations largest job posting site.  Nationwide job openings dropped 9.35% to 213,077 from 235,059 during the 45 day period starting on January 29, 2009 and ending on March 14, 2009.  Job openings are those that have been posted within the last 30 days.

44 States showed decreases in job openings in the last 45 days while only 6 showed increase.  The biggest job opening decline was in California.  Job openings declined to 21,723 on March 14th from 25,855 on January 29, 2009, a decline of 4,132 job openings.  California unemployment was recently announced at 10.1%, the 4th worst in the nation.  California, the nations most populous state, also has the most job openings in the country yet the number is quite low compared to the size of the population. Typically job openings are a leading indicator of future employment.

All large employment states showed job opening declines including New York, Illinois, Texas and FloridaIllinois showed the largest decline in percentage terms at -20.99%.  Illinois unemployment is currently at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.

States that showed increases were typically small states with low unemployment.  The total number of increases was also small.  North Dakota showed the largest percentage increase in job openings at 28.08% yet it only increased by 123 job openings.  North Dakota’s unemployment was only 4.2% in January, the 2nd lowest in the nation. Alaska increased by 20.75% and had the largest state job opening increase at 167.  Alaska unemployment is at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.  Other states showing increases were South Dakota with an increase of 62, Maine with 13, Utah with 29 and Iowa with 27.  Wyoming, the state with the lowest unemployment, also showed a slight increase of job openings with just 10.  It also has the fewest job openings in the nation on career builder.

Edward M. Kopko, Editor of Best and Worst States, said, “ Job Openings have dropped quite quickly since President Obama has taken office.  The unemployment rate is unlikely to improve until job openings start to increase.  The trend clearly indicates increased unemployment.”

BestandWorstStates.com, is the leading site for facts and lists about states.  Ed Kopko, its editor, during his career has written and developed extensive research on business matters and employment.  The site develops and publishes data about a number of issues important to people.  Topics include state tax policy, social issues, jobs, lifestyle and matters that help citizens be more knowledgeable about the states they live.  www.bestandworststates.com.

Job Openings By State

14-Mar-09 29-Jan-09 % Change
1 California 21723 25855 -15.98% -4132
2 Texas 18340 20051 -8.53% -1711
3 Florida 14573 15174 -3.96% -601
4 New York 11792 13057 -9.69% -1265
5 Illinois 10826 13702 -20.99% -2876
6 Pennsylvania 9853 11141 -11.56% -1288
7 New Jersey 7760 8628 -10.06% -868
8 Ohio 7506 8276 -9.30% -770
9 Virginia 6725 7186 -6.42% -461
10 North Carolina 6335 6803 -6.88% -468
11 Maryland 6146 6552 -6.20% -406
12 Georgia 5508 5992 -8.08% -484
13 Arizona 5124 5992 -14.49% -868
14 Massachusetts 5112 6168 -17.12% -1056
15 Michigan 5015 5541 -9.49% -526
16 Washington 4606 4914 -6.27% -308
17 Indiana 4578 4731 -3.23% -153
18 Missouri 4270 4458 -4.22% -188
19 Colorado 4143 4214 -1.68% -71
20 Tennessee 4132 4413 -6.37% -281
21 Connecticut 4008 4531 -11.54% -523
22 Wisconsin 3710 4314 -14.00% -604
23 Minnesota 3535 4193 -15.69% -658
24 South Carolina 3223 3136 2.77% 87
25 Kansas 3115 3236 -3.74% -121
26 Louisiana 2958 3494 -15.34% -536
27 Kentucky 2749 2763 -0.51% -14
28 Iowa 2526 2499 1.08% 27
29 Alabama 2437 2567 -5.06% -130
30 Oklahoma 2170 2269 -4.36% -99
31 Nevada 1735 1865 -6.97% -130
32 Oregon 1722 1832 -6.00% -110
33 Mississippi 1545 1548 -0.19% -3
34 New Mexico 1363 1423 -4.22% -60
35 Utah 1265 1236 2.35% 29
36 Arkansas 1258 1414 -11.03% -156
37 Nebraska 1077 1230 -12.44% -153
38 Delaware 976 1057 -7.66% -81
39 Alaska 972 805 20.75% 167
40 Hawaii 787 865 -9.02% -78
41 West Virginia 784 856 -8.41% -72
42 New Hampshire 694 694 0.00% 0
43 Rhode Island 650 707 -8.06% -57
44 South Dakota 647 585 10.60% 62
45 Idaho 642 665 -3.46% -23
46 Vermont 612 659 -7.13% -47
47 North Dakota 561 438 28.08% 123
48 Maine 462 449 2.90% 13
49 Montana 444 508 -12.60% -64
50 Wyoming 383 373 2.68% 10
Entire U.S. 213077 235059 -9.35% -21982

Source:  Bestandworststates.com, careerbuilder.com
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Best and Worst States for Individual Taxes, Maryland Worst, 6 States Best

The Tax Foundation has recently published its 2009 ranking of the Best and Worst States for Individual Income Taxes.

The Best States for Individual Taxes are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming all rated a 10.0 in their Index.

The Worst State for Individual Taxes is Maryland.  Rounding out the bottom 5 Worst States in order are California, New Jersey, Ohio and Iowa.

If you want to keep more of the money you earn, pick a low tax state.  This list is useful.

Individual Income Tax Index, 2009
State Score (a) Rank
Alaska 10 1
Fla. 10 1
Nev. 10 1
S.D. 10 1
Wash. 10 1
Wyo. 10 1
Tex. 9.44 7
Tenn. 7.64 8
N.H. 7.55 9
Ill. 6.97 10
Ind. 6.72 11
Pa. 6.61 12
Utah 6.59 13
Colo. 6.41 14
Mich. 6.41 15
Mass. 6.41 16
Ala. 5.36 17
Miss. 5.35 18
N.M. 5.29 19
Va. 5.24 20
Kans. 5.2 21
Mont. 5.15 22
Ariz. 5.14 23
La. 5.09 24
Conn. 5.07 25
Okla. 5.01 26
Mo. 4.96 27
Del. 4.95 28
S.C. 4.93 29
Ga. 4.91 30
Ark. 4.87 31
Idaho 4.86 32
Nebr. 4.85 33
Ore. 4.84 34
N.D. 4.78 35
Ky. 4.78 36
N.C. 4.46 37
Hawaii 4.38 38
Minn. 4.34 39
Maine 4.33 40
W.Va. 4.33 41
R.I. 4.32 42
N.Y. 4.22 43
Wis. 4.21 44
Vt. 3.81 45
Iowa 3.7 46
Ohio 3.22 47
N.J. 3.18 48
Calif. 2.51 49
Md. 2.06 50
U.S. 5
D.C. 4.4
(a) The index is a measure of how each state’s tax laws affect economic performance.
The higher the score, the more favorable a state’s tax system is for business. All scores are for fiscal years.
Source: Tax Foundation Background Paper, No. 58, “2009 State Business Tax Climate In

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Cost of Living by State, Tennessee the Best, Hawaii Worst

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) has some valuable information on the the cost of living for each State.

The Best States for Cost of Living are Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas.

The Worst States for Cost of Living are Hawaii, DC, California, New Jersey and Alaska.

Map below for cost of living is courtesy of MERIC.

The Best States for Housing Costs are Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Dakota, Texas and Missouri.

The Worst States for Housing Costs are Hawaii, DC, California, Maryland and New Jersey.

If you are looking for the Best State to Retire, the cost of living is a very important consideration.  If you want to stretch your dollar, look to the Southeast and Midwest and stay away from the North East.  Hope this helps.

Cost of Living Annual Map

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Best and Worst States for Gasoline Prices, Wyoming Best, Alaska Worst

AAA publishes retail gasoline prices everyday.

The Best State for Gas Prices is Wyoming for Feb 21 with a price of $1.72 for regular gasoline. The other Top 5 Best States are Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Alaska is the Worst State with a state price of $2.54.  Rounding out the 5 Worst States for Gas Prices are Hawaii, California, Nevada and Washington.

According to the Tax Foundation, Wyoming’s tax on a gallon of gas is $.14 and Alaska currently has suspended its tax until August of 2009.  California taxes every gallon of gas $.353. Its residents would enjoy much lower prices if they were not being taxed so highly.

There are many factors that influence each states price.  It is not just the price of a barrel of oil.

  1. Wyoming     $1.72
  2. Missouri     $1.73
  3. Utah     $1.73
  4. Oklahoma     $1.74
  5. South Carolina     $1.77
  6. Arkansas     $1.78
  7. New Jersey     $1.78
  8. Texas     $1.79
  9. Tennessee     $1.79
  10. Mississippi     $1.80
  11. Georgia     $1.80
  12. Alabama     $1.82
  13. Kansas     $1.83
  14. Iowa     $1.83
  15. Louisiana     $1.83
  16. Idaho     $1.83
  17. Indiana     $1.83
  18. Virginia     $1.84
  19. Colorado     $1.84
  20. Kentucky     $1.84
  21. Ohio     $1.85
  22. Delaware     $1.87
  23. Nebraska     $1.88
  24. North Carolina     $1.89
  25. Michigan     $1.89
  26. New Hampshire     $1.89
  27. Maryland     $1.90
  28. Minnesota     $1.90
  29. Massachusetts     $1.90
  30. South Dakota     $1.91
  31. Montana     $1.92
  32. Illinois     $1.95
  33. North Dakota     $1.96
  34. Vermont     $1.96
  35. Wisconsin     $1.97
  36. Florida     $1.98
  37. Rhode Island     $1.98
  38. District of Columbia     $1.99
  39. Pennsylvania     $2.00
  40. New Mexico     $2.00
  41. Maine     $2.01
  42. West Virginia     $2.02
  43. Connecticut     $2.03
  44. Arizona     $2.04
  45. New York     $2.10
  46. Oregon     $2.11
  47. Washington     $2.20
  48. Nevada     $2.21
  49. California     $2.29
  50. Hawaii     $2.43
  51. Alaska     $2.54

Graduation Rates, SAT Scores and Educational Spending. Who is the Best and Worst?

Does increased spending on Education lead to higher performance?

*******Go to 2009 State SAT Scores List  for the latest SAT results.*********

This question was raised in prior posts.

I thought you might find these 2 charts interesting.  Best and Worst States For Education Spending ranks all states by spending and shows the SAT Score Rank of its students. I also have attached a Chart from  Heritage that shows that the best funded cities do not have the highest graduation rates.

The more money spent clearly does not show up in higher SAT scores or graduation rates. 

New Jersey spends the most money.  Its SAT score rank is 33 .  New York, at 2nd on the money spend, ranks 44th on SAT scores.  The “Worst” State for Education Spending is Utah yet its students rank 20th on the SAT score list above NY and New Jersey. Utah spends about 1/3 the dollars of NY and New Jersey.  Its students do better than all of the Top 10 spenders on Education.  Utah may be considered a Best State for Education considering its bang for the dollar.

Arizona
is the next lowest spend state yet ranks 29th on the SAT Scores list.  Arizona students perform better than the top 6 spenders.  Mesa, AZ which is at the bottom of the Heritage list of city spends has a graduation rate of 77.1%.  Mesa spends only 40% of Boston which has a much lower graduation rate of 57%.

Clearly money is not the only factor that impacts educational performance.  You may want to consider carefully your state’s approach to education.  It appears more dollars on education does not lead to better results.  Tell your political leaders you want accountability for results not just money spent.

State Ed Spend SAT Rank
1 New Jersey 15,033 36
2 New York 14,593 44
3 DC 14,214 50
4 Connecticut 13,059 31
5 Vermont 12,749 30
6 Rhode Island 12,425 41
7 Massachusetts 12,398 29
8 Delaware 11,619 43
9 Alaska 11,551 33
10 Maine 11,014 51
11 Pennsylvania 10,900 45
12 Wyoming 10,852 16
13 Maryland 10,682 37
14 New Hampshire 10,405 26
15 Wisconsin 10,388 6
16 Michigan 9,947 13
17 Ohio 9,936 23
18 West Virginia 9,609 32
19 Hawaii 9,581 48
20 Indiana 9,498 38
21 Illinois 9,473 2
22 Virginia 9,463 34
23 Nebraska 9,365 9
24 Minnesota 9,284 3
25 Montana 8,661 22
26 Oregon 8,595 27
27 Georgia 8,589 46
28 Iowa 8,479 1
29 Kansas 8,440 7
30 California 8,418 35
31 Missouri 8,368 4
32 New Mexico 8,342 21
33 North Dakota 8,337 7
34 Colorado 8,334 18
35 Washington 8,218 25
36 Louisiana 8,167 14
37 Arkansas 8,156 11
38 South Carolina 8,039 49
39 South Dakota 7,949 5
40 Texas 7,716 42
41 Florida 7,683 47
42 Kentucky 7,595 15
43 Alabama 7,532 19
44 North Carolina 7,352 41
45 Tennessee 7,295 10
46 Nevada 7,246 41
47 Oklahoma 7,039 12
48 Mississippi 6,973 17
49 Idaho 6,729 24
50 Arizona 6,586 29
51 Utah 5,555 20


Sources:  Dept of Education.  Spending not regionally adjusted.  College Board.

http://www.heritage.org/research/Education/images/b2179_chart5.gif
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Best and Worst States for Beer Drinkers, Beer Taxes on the Rise

New York State Governor Paterson recently issued the NY State Executive Briefing Book 2009-2010

Among the myriad of over 100 state tax increases, the Governor proposes a more than doubling of the states’ tax on beer from  $.11 per gallon to $.24 per gallon.  California Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed an increase of $.05 on all alcohol related drinks.  Jerry Hirsch of the LA Times last week wrote Is his the end of Two Buck Chuck?

The Best and Worst States for Beer Drinkers 2008 is listed below.  The work is done by the  The Tax Foundation.

Best States for Beer Drinkers  (Lowest Tax)

1.  Wyoming           $.02
2.  Missouri             $.06
2.  Wisconsin          $.06
4.  Colorado            $.08
4.  Oregon               $.08
4.  Pennsylvania     $.08

Worst State for Beer Drinkers  (Highest Tax)

50.  Alaska              $1.07
49.  Georgia            $1.01
48.  Hawaii               $.93
47.  South Carolina  $.84
46.  Alabama            $.71

Dollars per gallon of beer

For a listing of all states go to:  Tax Foundation Beer Excise Tax Map 2008

With so many states having financial problems and looking to increase taxes, it is certain many states will follow California and New York with higher taxes on beer and other alcohol related products.  If beer drinking is a passion, watch the trends in your state and stock up before the new taxes go into effect.  The Best and Worst States map will clearly change in 2009.  We will keep you posted.
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State Unemployment Up in Every State in the Union, Wyoming Best, Michigan Worst State

State Unemployment Up in Every State in the Union, Wyoming Best, Michigan Worst State

State Unemployment Up in Every State of the Union

Michigan Surges to 10.6%.  Wyoming has lowest unemployment in nation at 3.4%.  Rhode Island  is the only other state with over 10.0%. California at 9.3% leaves millions of Californians unemployed. 

Texas was the only state that recorded a statistically significant year on year increase in the number of people working.  Employment increased by 153,000.   The largest statistically significant month over month decreases in employment were experienced in California (-78,000), Michigan (-59,000), New York (-54,000) and Illinois (-36,000).  Losing states show up in a number of areas for being unattractive to business.  See some of our other posts for info on state tax burdens, unionionization rates and attractiveness for business.

If you are looking for a job, the low unemployment states may provide work but you must be careful to understand the kind of industries and work that is available for your skill sets.  Most states have differing industries and worker needs.  Unemployment for December 2008  is listed below for all 50 states and District of Columbia.  The national unemployment rate is now at 7.2%

     Rank       State                                                                                                                                                                  

1 WYOMING 3.4
2 NORTH DAKOTA 3.5
3 SOUTH DAKOTA 3.9
4 NEBRASKA 4.0
5 UTAH 4.3
6 IOWA 4.6
6 NEW HAMPSHIRE 4.6
8 NEW MEXICO 4.9
8 OKLAHOMA 4.9
8 WEST VIRGINIA 4.9
11 KANSAS 5.2
12 MONTANA 5.4
12 VIRGINIA 5.4
14 HAWAII 5.5
15 MARYLAND 5.8
16 LOUISIANA 5.9
17 TEXAS 6.0
18 COLORADO 6.1
19 ARKANSAS 6.2
19 DELAWARE 6.2
19 WISCONSIN 6.2
22 IDAHO 6.4
22 VERMONT 6.4
24 ALABAMA 6.7
24 PENNSYLVANIA 6.7
26 ARIZONA 6.9
26 MASSACHUSETTS 6.9
26 MINNESOTA 6.9
29 MAINE 7.0
29 NEW YORK 7.0
31 CONNECTICUT 7.1
31 NEW JERSEY 7.1
31 WASHINGTON 7.1
34 MISSOURI 7.3
35 ALASKA 7.5
36 ILLINOIS 7.6
37 KENTUCKY 7.8
37 OHIO 7.8
39 TENNESSEE 7.9
40 MISSISSIPPI 8.0
41 FLORIDA 8.1
41 GEORGIA 8.1
43 INDIANA 8.2
44 NORTH CAROLINA 8.7
45 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 8.8
46 OREGON 9.0
47 NEVADA 9.1
48 CALIFORNIA 9.3
49 SOUTH CAROLINA 9.5
50 RHODE ISLAND 10.0
51 MICHIGAN 10.6

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

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