Trustworthy States: Best States to Lose Your Wallet

Gallup recently released a poll on Best States to Lose Your Wallet

With unemployment rising and economic stress increasing, the trust we have in our neighbors and community is of increasing concern. We want to live in a Safe States as they are Best States to Live.  The poll asked people if they believed a lost wallet with $200 in would be returned.  Nationwide 70% of people believe that their wallet would be returned with money still in the wallet.  Large States according to Gallup are generally viewed as less trustworthy.  People in the Southern half of the country do not trust their neighbors as much as people in the North. See Gallup’s map below.

The Best States for Neighbor Trust are:

Top 10 States, Trust in Neighbor

The Worst States for Neighbor Trust are:

Bottom 10 States, Trust in Neighbor

People in the South do not trust their neighbors as much as the North according to Gallup. Chart courtesy of Gallup.

U.S. Map: Trust in Neighbor, by State
When picking your place to live consider your neighbors. Safe States are Best States to Retire and are Top States to Live

Best States for Jobs September 2009, 48 States See Opening Decreases

We ran our September 2009 Best and Worst States for Job openings.  Job Openings dropped an alarming 6.2% on September 30 as compared to July 31.  This is particularly discouraging as we had seen our only increase in job openings this year in July.  This reversal ratifies the year long downward trend.  We develop our analysis from data listed by the nation’s largest job posting service CareerBuilder.com.  It is a good proxy for job openings nationwide.

Job Openings nationwide shrank in September to 217,040 from 231,370 in July, a drop of 14,330 job openings.

48 States saw jobs shrink.  Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana saw the biggest percentage job opening lossesKentucky Jobs, with an increase of only 180 job openings. and Utah Jobs, up 30, were the Top States for Jobs and the only 2 states in the nation that showed improvement since July 31.

California Jobs shrank the most numerically with an 1197 loss at September 30. Texas Jobs, Florida Jobs and Pennsylvania Jobs showed large losses in numbers in September.  ( I will post analysis of Job Opening Losses during the Obama Administration after unemployment numbers are released for September)

The list of Best and Worst States for Jobs as of September 2009 follows:

30-Sep 31-Jul +/- % Change
1 California 22253 23450 -1197 -5.10%
2 Texas 18219 19373 -1154 -5.96%
3 Florida 14072 14927 -855 -5.73%
4 New York 12410 12667 -257 -2.03%
5 Illinois 11243 11747 -504 -4.29%
6 Pennsylvania 10407 11193 -786 -7.02%
7 New Jersey 7901 7938 -37 -0.47%
8 Ohio 8171 8286 -115 -1.39%
9 Virginia 7162 7547 -385 -5.10%
10 North Carolina 6486 6860 -374 -5.45%
11 Maryland 5928 6128 -200 -3.26%
12 Georgia 5824 6470 -646 -9.98%
13 Arizona 5357 5701 -344 -6.03%
14 Massachusetts 5261 5269 -8 -0.15%
15 Michigan 5177 5443 -266 -4.89%
16 Washington 4407 4940 -533 -10.79%
17 Indiana 5282 5589 -307 -5.49%
18 Missouri 4518 5109 -591 -11.57%
19 Colorado 3815 3937 -122 -3.10%
20 Tennessee 4627 4862 -235 -4.83%
21 Connecticut 3893 4271 -378 -8.85%
22 Wisconsin 3855 4816 -961 -19.95%
23 Minnesota 3494 3754 -260 -6.93%
24 South Carolina 3239 3470 -231 -6.66%
25 Kansas 2816 3281 -465 -14.17%
26 Louisiana 2898 3067 -169 -5.51%
27 Kentucky 3468 3285 183 5.57%
28 Iowa 2268 2460 -192 -7.80%
29 Alabama 2352 2883 -531 -18.42%
30 Oklahoma 2115 2339 -224 -9.58%
31 Nevada 1718 1864 -146 -7.83%
32 Oregon 1808 1986 -178 -8.96%
33 Mississippi 1475 1684 -209 -12.41%
34 New Mexico 1435 1468 -33 -2.25%
35 Utah 1370 1340 30 2.24%
36 Arkansas 1292 1557 -265 -17.02%
37 Nebraska 1135 1139 -4 -0.35%
38 Delaware 996 1030 -34 -3.30%
39 Alaska 659 1058 -399 -37.71%
40 Hawaii 668 748 -80 -10.70%
41 West Virginia 832 914 -82 -8.97%
42 New Hampshire 671 705 -34 -4.82%
43 Rhode Island 633 722 -89 -12.33%
44 South Dakota 497 664 -167 -25.15%
45 Idaho 741 813 -72 -8.86%
46 Vermont 600 608 -8 -1.32%
47 North Dakota 299 465 -166 -35.70%
48 Maine 509 539 -30 -5.57%
49 Montana 458 585 -127 -21.71%
50 Wyoming 326 419 -93 -22.20%
Entire U.S. 217040 231370 -14330 -6.19%

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

Best and Worst States for Motorists

The National Motorists Association (NMA) has published a Best and Worst States for Motorists list.  Just in time for the holiday weekend.  The NMA is against entrapment, cameras and other measures that enhance a state’s ability to write tickets and fine motorists.

With states facing huge shortfalls in revenue,  ticket writing will be a high priority.  The list highlights the states from Best to Worst.  Be careful driving.  The Worst States for Motorists also are some of the states facing the largest budget shortfalls.  Hold on to your wallet if you are driving in these states.  The 5 Worst States are New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Louisiana and New York.  The Best States, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska and Kentucky seem to be gentler places to live.

Best and Worst States for Motorists
1 Wyoming
2 Idaho
3 Montana
4 Nebraska
5 Kentucky
6 North Dakota
7 Minnesota
8 Indiana
9 South Dakota
10 Utah
11 Wisconsin
12 Mississippi
13 Kansas
14 Alaska
15 Arkansas
16 Hawaii
17 Iowa
18 South Carolina
19 Connecticut
20 Georgia
21 Nevada
22 Oklahoma
23 Texas
24 Missouri
25 New Mexico
26 Arizona
27 New Hampshire
28 West Virginia
29 Rhode Island
30 Alabama
31 North Carolina
32 Pennsylvania
33 Florida
34 Maine
35 Vermont
36 Michigan
37 California
38 Tennessee
39 Oregon
40 Colorado
41 Massachusetts
42 Washington
43 Virginia
44 Delaware
45 Illinois
46 New York
47 Louisiana
48 Maryland
49 Ohio
50 New Jersey

Source:National Motorist Association

 

List of Criteria Used To Generate Rankings (no particular order)

1) Speed Traps Per Capita (# of speed traps listed on www.speedtrap.org indexed to population)
2) Does the state have “driver responsibility” fees?
3) Does the state have mayor’s courts?
4) Does the state authorize the use of roadblocks?
5) What are the freeway speed limits?
6) Does the state have red-light cameras?
7) Does the state have speed cameras?
8) Are there toll roads in the state?
9) Is a jury trial available for traffic violations?
10) Is trial by declaration (asserting a defense in writing without appearing in court) available?
11) Is the state a member of the Non-Resident Violator Compact?
12) Is the state a member of the Driver’s License Compact?
13) Are radar detectors banned in the state?
14) Does the state have a primary seat belt law?
15) Are there adult helmet laws in the state?
16) Are there move-over laws in the state?
17) Is cell phone use banned?

Are Pay Equity Studies Equitable? Are State Rankings Meaningful?

Are Pay Equity Studies Equitable?  Are State Rankings meaningful?

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) http://www.aauw.org recently published a state ranking of pay equity for college educated women as compared to men.

The report found that in the United States, the earnings gap between college educated men and women over 25 years of age and who work full-time year round was 71%, meaning these women make 29 cents less on the dollar nationally. They also reported the differences in pay equity by state.

While we do not dispute the numbers as put forth by the study i.e. women typically are paid less than men, we do question the validity of the issue and the reasons typically put forth for its existance.   We believe it presents a one sided argument in favor of legislation supporting the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”  The AAUW supports legislation that would close the gap with legislation.  The study has received significant publicity without some common sense rebuttal.

Why do we question the fairness and validity of this study?

We think many other factors also influence pay.

Should experience matter?  Would it be fair to require people with more experience to be paid the same as those with less experience?

Should training and knowledge matter?  Would it be fair to require pay to be the same for people with less training than others?

We believe training and experience should matter!!

The AAUW study neglects to point out that there are significant differences between men and women in the work place.

The Social Security Administration http://www.socialsecurity.gov reports that women typically work 13 years less than men during their lifetimes.  13 years of less work experience for any person is meaningful.  You would expect those with less work experience regardless of sex to be paid less on average.

Women typically also leave the workforce to raise children.  One study has measured the average time women leave the workforce for child rearing at 11.5 years.  Women work less work years.  This typically also leads to less training and development of computer and other specific job skills that are part of the pay criteria.  Much of this is learned on the job.  It is common sense to expect people with less training and less experience to be paid less.

While we highly respect the important contributions that women make to our world, we do not believe the AAUW study should be considered as an important fact to support pay fairness.  Many women as matter of choice, happily leave the workforce.   We hope for the benefit of fairness that this study and the “Pay Fairness Act” do not become accepted wisdom and law.

The chart below is from the Urban Institute  The Urban Institute recognizes and charts the differences in male/female work experience. Men work significantly more years than women.
Cumulative Distribution of Work Years
The “Best and Worst States for Pay Equity” are listed below.  Read them with caution.  Interestingly we could not find any obvious conclusions from the listings.

The “Best State for Pay Equity” is Vermont.  Nearby New Hampshire is one of the “Worst States for Pay Equity.”  Does this suggest that employers in Vermont are more “fair” to women than in New Hampshire?  Why?

Are employers in Wisconsin or Montana fundamentally more “fair” than nearby poorly ranked Iowa?  Are there factors other than male/female pay discrimination that are more influential that create lower average pay for women in Iowa?  For example, do families in Wisconsin have a lower value for child rearing resulting in more work time for women and thus more pay?  We think that would be a meaningless conclusion.

There are many factors that influence differences in pay between the sexes.  We think state by state rankings offer limited insight and create numerous questions for understanding why.

Best States for Pay Equity

1) Vermont 87%
2) Hawaii 83%
3) Delaware 80%
4) New York 78%
5) Montana 77%
6) Wyoming 77%
7) New Mexico 77%
8) Wisconsin 76%
9) Oregon 76%
10) Nevada 75%

Worst States for Pay Equity


42) Utah 69%
43) Michigan 68%
44) Arkansas 68%
45) Iowa 68%
46) New Hampshire 68%
47) Oklahoma 67%
48) Virginia 67%
49) Mississippi 67%
50) West Virginia 67%
51) Louisiana 65
%

Finally, the AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE, said “Our analysis is quite disturbing, especially when you consider how more and more families are depending on a woman’s paycheck as the primary source of income in these tough economic times. Consequently, the issue of pay equity takes on an added sense of urgency. This is just one of the reasons why we’re urging the Senate to join the House and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act,”

We disagree.

The “Paycheck Fairness Act” would be unfair if it punishes experience and training. Fairness requires that all people regardless of sex should be paid on the basis of experience and training as well.

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 Jobs, State Job List from Careerbuilder

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.  Everyone is concerned about jobs.  Our economic stimulus program is supposed to help create more jobs.

I thought you would find the list of job openings by state enlightening.  The data was collected from Careerbuilder on 1/29/2009. 

(EDITORS NOTE:  For our updated list of BEST States for Jobs 2010 See Job Openings by State January 2010

For the latest list of Best and Worst States for Employment see Best States for Employment


Also see September 2009
please go to Best and Worst States for Jobs)and our Job Openings November 2009

It is the total number of job openings advertised on its site for the last 30 days by state. We thought this was a reasonable proxy for jobs although many low skilled jobs are not posted on the boards. We chose not to collect more than one site as many companies list their openings on multiple sites.

The Best States for Jobs are California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and New York in order of most job openings.  The Worst States are Wyoming, North Dakota, Maine, Montana and South Dakota.  Some of the Worst States have the lowest unemployment so there are very few unemployed people seeking work.  Wyoming, for example with only 373 jobs posted, has the lowest unemployment in the U.S.   Your odds are better where there are fewer applicants.  California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the U.S. at 9.3% so there is lots of competition for its 25,855 job openings.  See our Best and Worst State Unemployment List

By the way, the most advertised categories on Careerbuilder are for people with sales and healthcare skills.  If you are looking for a job you might want to make sure you are in the right field and the right state.  Total job openings need to increase in order for unemployment to decrease.  We will keep you posted.

     State                     Job Postings

 1    California               25855
2    Texas                     20051
3    Florida                   15174
4    Illinois                   13702
5    New York               13057
6    Pennsylvania          11141
7    New Jersey              8628
8    Ohio                         8276
9    Virginia                    7186
10    North Carolina        6803
11    Maryland                  6552
12    Massachusetts         6168
13    Arizona                    5992
14    Georgia                    5987
15    Michigan                  5541
16    Washington             4914
17    Indiana                    4731
18    Connecticut             4531
19    Missouri                   4458
20    Tennessee               4413
21    Wisconsin                4314
22    Colorado                 4214
23    Minnesota               4193
24    Louisiana                3494
25    Kansas                    3236
26    South Carolina        3136
27    Kentucky                2763
28    Alabama                 2567
29    Iowa                       2499
30    Oklahoma               2269
31    Nevada                   1865
32    Oregon                   1832
33    Mississippi             1548
34    New Mexico           1423
35    Arkansas               1414
36    Utah                       1236
37    Nebraska               1230
38    Delaware               1057
39    Hawaii                     865
40    West Virginia          856
41    Alaska                     805
42    Rhode Island           707
43    New Hampshire      694
44    Idaho                       665
45    Vermont                   659
46    South Dakota          585
47    Montana                  508
48    Maine                      449
49    North Dakota          438
50    Wyoming                373

Source: 

Careerbuilder
Data developed on 1/29/09