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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Best and Worst States for Jobs: Should you consider North Carolina?

Jobs are on everyone’s mind.

North Carolina is a state to consider when looking for work despite its high unemployment rate of 8.7%. It is currently rated 44th,(one of the Worst) on our  Best and Worst State Unemployment List

Yet Wayne Gretzky once said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is.  A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

Same thing with jobs.  A great job seeker goes where the jobs are going to be!!!!

North Carolina is long term an attractive place for job seekers.

Here are a few reasons:

Chief Executive Magazine  does an annual Best And Worst States to Grow Your Business. CEO’s ranked North Carolina 3rd in 2008.  It has been in the top 5 the last 4 years.

Its cost of living is favorable compared to many high cost states in the U.S.  Businesses like lower costs.

It is attractive to new hot industries and companies.

For example, North Carolina  has emerged as a global biotech leader. This is reflected in a multitude of facts:
• North Carolina is the third Best Biotech State in the nation with 482 companies in the field.
• At least 45 biotech firms in the state are based on North Carolina university technologies.
• Nearly 55,000 North Carolina residents work in biotech, representing an annual payroll of $3 billion.
• Major biotech companies with operations in North Carolina include GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Catalent Pharma, Novartis, Syngenta, BASF, Biogen Idec, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Wyeth and others.

What does being attractive to business mean?

Look at this recent announcement from Spirit AeroSystems.

N.C. Gov. Mike Easley, third from left, was among those participating in September
groundbreaking ceremonies for Spirit AeroSystems’ facility in Kinston, N.C.
Groundbreaking for Spirit AeroSystems' Kinston facility

Photo:  Site Selection Online

Spirit will build a 500,000-sq.-ft. (46,450-sq.-m.) complex at the North Carolina Global TransPark (GTP) near Kinston to design and manufacture the center fuselage frame section for the Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) commercial aircraft. The company also will produce the front spars for the aircraft’s wings at the Kinston plant, which is scheduled to be operational in 2010.
Spirit expects to hire 500 people upon completion and the number could go to 1000 depending on business circumstances.

While projects, like Spirits, can go slower and be smaller than expected due to changing market circumstances, one important point should not be forgotten.  Spirit selected North Carolina over many other locations.  Other businesses will likely do the same.  This is where the puck is going to be.

Monster Board currently shows 3905 jobs posted in the past 30 days.  The jobs are primarily in sales and health care fields.  This is not a high number now.  When businesses start to grow, they will pick attractive states like North Carolina to expand.   Remember there is a positive multiplier effect for jobs in other industries such as housing, retail and services from this kind of business expansion.

I hope you become a “great” job seeker and go where the jobs are going to be!

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Are State Health Mandates reducing Jobs? Best and Worst States for Driving Up Healthcare Costs

Health Care Costs are Rising.  Jobs are scarce. 

Should states be putting more burdens on employers that decrease their ability to hire? What states are making employees more expensive to hire?

The  Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council  publishes an annual  “State Health Care Policy Cost Index.”

If you are an employer you should pay close attention to this study as it identifies the Best and Worst States for Health mandates that drive up health insurance costs.

Idaho is the Best State for Health Care Cost PolicyMassachusetts is the Worst State for Health Care Cost Policy.  Rounding out the Top 5 Best States are Utah, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio.  The bottom 5 includes Washington, Maine, Connecticut and Vermont.

Employers are finding it harder to afford health care costs for employees.  Employers looking for the Best State to hire employees will consider the costs of health insurance.  If you are looking for the Best States for Job Growth this list may matter.
.
State                   HSA      GI          CR             M     P/P       Score

1 Idaho 0 0 0.33 0.75 0 1.08
2 Utah 0 0 0.33 1.15 0 1.48
3 Iowa 0 0 0.33 1.25 0 1.58
4 Michigan 0 0 0.33 1.3 0 1.63
4 Ohio 0 0 0.33 1.3 0 1.63
6 Alaska 0 0 0.33 1.4 0 1.73
7 South Carolina 0 0 0.33 1.45 0 1.78
8 South Dakota 0 0 0.33 1.55 0 1.88
9 Pennsylvania 0 0 0 1.9 0 1.9
10 Nebraska 0 0 0.33 1.6 0 1.93
10 Wyoming 0 0 0.33 1.6 0 1.93
12 Dist. Of Columbia 1 0 0 0.95 0 1.95
13 Kentucky 0 0 0.33 1.65 0 1.98
14 North Dakota 0 0 0.33 1.7 0 2.03
15 Oklahoma 0 0 0.33 1.8 0 2.13
16 Kansas 0 0 0.33 1.85 0 2.18
17 West Virginia 0 0 0.33 1.9 0 2.23
18 Missouri 0 0 0.33 1.95 0 2.28
18 Alabama 1 0 0.33 0.95 0 2.28
20 Illinois 0 0 0.33 2 0 2.33
20 Montana 0 0 0.33 2 0 2.33
20 Tennessee 0 0 0.33 2 0 2.33
23 Arkansas 0 0 0.33 2.05 0 2.38
23 Georgia 0 0 0.33 2.05 0 2.38
25 Oregon 0 0 0.66 1.8 0 2.46
26 Louisiana 0 1 0.33 2.15 0 2.48
27 Delaware 0 0 0.33 1.25 0 2.58
28 Virginia 0 1 0 2.75 0 2.75
29 Arizona 0 1 0.33 1.45 0 2.78
29 Mississippi 0 0 0.33 1.45 0 2.78
31 New Mexico 0 0 0.33 2.55 0 2.88
32 Nevada 0 0 0.33 2.6 0 2.93
33 Texas 0 0 0.33 2.7 0 3.03
33 Wisconsin 1 1 0.33 1.7 0 3.03
35 Hawaii 0 0 0 1.15 1 3.15
36 Indiana 1 0 0.33 1.85 0 3.18
37 Minnesota 0 1 0.33 3.2 0 3.53
38 New Hampshire 0 1 0.66 1.95 0 3.61
39 North Carolina 0 1 0.33 2.35 0 3.68
39 Rhode Island 0 1 0.33 2.35 0 3.68
41 Florida 0 0 0.33 2.4 0 3.73
42 New York 0 0 1 2.75 0 3.75
43 New Jersey 1 1 0.66 2.1 0 3.76
44 Colorado 0 0 0.33 2.45 0 3.78
45 Maryland 0 0 0.66 3.15 0 3.81
46 California 1 1 0.33 2.5 0 3.83
47 Vermont 0 1 0.66 1.35 1 4.01
48 Connecticut 0 1 0.66 2.55 0 4.21
49 Maine 0 1 0.66 2.65 0 4.31
49 Washington 0 1 0.66 2.65 0 4.31
51 Massachusetts 0 0.66 2.15 1 4.81

Source:  The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s Small Business Policy Series Analysis #33 February 2009
HSA-Health Saving Account Deductions, GI- Guaranteed Issue for Self Employed, CR-Community Rating Mandate, M- Number of Mandates
P/P- Play to Pay Mandate

States will be looking to attract businesses to grow and relocate in the current economic climate in order to drive job opportunities and tax revenue.  They are reviewing how to increase incentives. Reducing State health care mandates will make it more attractive for employers to hire.

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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

Do Unions Contribute to Unemployment? Best and Worst States For Jobs

Highly unionized states have higher unemployment.

Editors Note:  For our February 2010 post that includes the updated State List of Unionization and Employment please go to State Unionism Rankings: Do Higher Unionized States have Higher Unemployment?

For the latest in Job Openings go to Job Openings by State January 2010


I thought you might find this list interesting.  It has been long debated whether unions help or hurt workers,companies and economies.  It appears that unionized states have high unemployment.  Pick where you want to live and work carefully.  Look for states with union participation below 10%.  You may have a higher chance of being employed.

Highest Unemployment States (Worst States) and Unionization

State                              Unemp%                        Rank                Union%        Union Rank
Michigan                9.6%                  50               19.5%           5
Rhode Island         9.3%                  49               15.0%          11
California               8.4%                  48               16.7%           7
South Carolina       8.4%                  47                 4.1%          48
Oregon                   8.1%                  46                14.3%         14

The most unionized state in the U.S. is New York at a 25.3%.  Its unemployment rate in November 2008 was 6.1%.

The lowest unemployment states typically have low union rates.  For example, Wyoming with the lowest unemployment at 3.3% has only 7.9% of its workforce unionized and ranks 32nd in U.S. in unionization.  Texas considered a Best State by CEO’s to grow their businesses has only a 4.7% unionization rate, 5th lowest in the country at a 45 rank. Its unemployment is 5.7%, below the country average.

The old adage “unions increase unemployment” may just be true.

Note to readers
:  State unemployment rates for December were recently released.  We will update you on some of the rankings.  Michigan’s unemployment jumped to 10.6%, California jumped to 9.3%, Rhode Island to 9.3%, Oregon to 9% and New York to 7%.  Wyoming has not reported. Texas unemployment is now 6%.  BLS will be releasing all state rankings shortly.

Sources: The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), Inc., Arlington, VA,
Union Membership and Earnings Data Book: Compilations from the
Current Population Survey (2008 edition), (copyright by BNA PLUS);
authored by Barry Hirsch of Georgia State University and David Macpherson of Florida
State University. Internet sites bnaplus.bna.com/LaborReports.aspx , www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm 
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