Are Business Friendly States Best for Jobs?

Editors Note:  If you are looking for a Best State for Jobs start your search with our latest posts:

 

Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

Best States for Job Openings September 2009

Best States for Job Openings and Where to find a Job

For the August 2009 list of Best States for Employment see Best and Worst States for Employment

Click on the category Best and Worst States for Jobs on the right navigation for our collection of articles on Jobs.

In our Job Openings post you will see the trends by state in job openings and what states are currently experiencing increased job openings.  We also have published the List of Job Openings by State

******Editor’s Note:  The rest of this post was published in April 2009 Go to  Best and Worst States   for our latest  *********************

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March State Unemployment rates this week.   For our August 2009 listing and analysis of Best States for Job Openings click

We now have 8 states with unemployment above 10%.  Michigan is the Worst State for Jobs with an unemployment rate of 12.6%. Oregon is also very bad for jobs with a rate of 12.1%.  California, our most populated state, has an unemployment of 11.2% meaning that 1 out of 9 people are out of work. South Carolina also is a Worst State for Jobs with unemployment of 11.4%.

The  Best State for Jobs in March was North Dakota at 4.2%.  The other Top 5 States for Jobs were Wyoming at 4.5%, Nebraska at 4.6%, South Dakota at 4.9%.  Iowa and Utah were tied for fifth with 5.2% unemployment.

We thought we would take a look this month also at how states that are ranked for small business are doing on the job front.  In theory the better the small business environment the better the job environment.  We used the recently released SBEC report.  See: Best and Worst States for Small Business

The data shows that the Best States for Small Business are not all the Best States for Jobs at this moment.  5 of the top 10 Best States for Small Business, for example, have below average i.e. higher, unemployment. 45th ranked Iowa for example has the 4th best employment in the U.S.

As mentioned in the previous post, the SBEC index is primarily a tax based system and high or lower taxes are not the only reason companies grow and create jobs.  It would appear intuitive over time business friendly states should create more business and jobs. We will continue to watch this during the cycle as the better states may grow first and faster.

           Small
Rank State %Unemp  Biz Rank
1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.2 36
2 WYOMING 4.5 3
3 NEBRASKA 4.6 40
4 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9 1
5 IOWA 5.2 45
5 UTAH 5.2 24
7 LOUISIANA 5.8 26
8 NEW MEXICO 5.9 27
8 OKLAHOMA 5.9 15
10 KANSAS 6.1 33
10 MONTANA 6.1 31
12 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.2 25
13 ARKANSAS 6.5 23
14 TEXAS 6.7 5
15 VIRGINIA 6.8 16
16 MARYLAND 6.9 35
16 WEST VIRGINIA 6.9 39
18 IDAHO 7 41
19 HAWAII 7.1 37
20 VERMONT 7.2 43
21 COLORADO 7.5 8
21 CONNECTICUT 7.5 30
23 DELAWARE 7.7 21
24 ARIZONA 7.8 17
24 MASSACHUSETTS 7.8 42
24 NEW YORK 7.8 46
24 PENNSYLVANIA 7.8 29
28 MAINE 8.1 48
29 MINNESOTA 8.2 49
30 NEW JERSEY 8.3 50
31 ALASKA 8.5 7
31 WISCONSIN 8.5 32
33 MISSOURI 8.7 14
34 ALABAMA 9 9
35 ILLINOIS 9.1 18
36 GEORGIA 9.2 19
36 WASHINGTON 9.2 4
38 MISSISSIPPI 9.4 12
39 TENNESSEE 9.6 13
40 FLORIDA 9.7 6
40 OHIO 9.7 10
42 DC 9.8 51
42 KENTUCKY 9.8 28
44 INDIANA 10 22
45 NEVADA 10.4 2
46 RHODE ISLAND 10.5 44
47 NORTH CAROLINA 10.8 38
48 CALIFORNIA 11.2 47
49 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.4 11
50 OREGON 12.1 34
51 MICHIGAN 12.6 20

2009 Best and Worst States for Small Business

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC)issued this week its 2009 Index of Best and Worst States for Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

According to the report,  the Index pulls together 16 different tax measures, and combines those into one tax score that allows the 50 states and District of Columbia to be compared and ranked.

The 16 measures are: 1) state’s top personal income tax rate, 2) state’s top individual capital
gains tax rate, 3) state’s top corporate income tax rate, 4) state’s top corporate capital gains tax
rate, 5) any added income tax on S-Corporations, 6) whether or not the state imposes an
alternative minimum tax on individuals, 7) whether or not the state imposes an alternative
minimum tax on corporations, 8) whether or not the state’s personal income tax brackets are
indexed for inflation, 9) property taxes, 10) consumption-based taxes (i.e., sales, gross receipts
and excise taxes), 11) whether or not the state imposes a death tax, 12) unemployment tax, 13)
whether or not the state has a tax limitation mechanism, 14) whether or not the state imposes an
Internet access tax, 15) gas tax, and 16) diesel tax.

The report is full of useful information.  While taxes are not the only factor in determining the Best or Worst State to Grow or Start a Business, they are a very important consideration.

The Best State for Small Business is South Dakota according to the Index.  The next 4 in order are Nevada, Wyoming, Washington and Texas.

The Worst State for Small Business is New Jersey if you do not count D.C.  Rounding out the Worst 5 States in order are Minnesota, Maine, California and New York. 

The States are currently increasing many of their taxes to address deficit issues.  Look for California and New York to rank even worse as they are loading up on all kinds of new taxes.  Texas which ranks high in many studies is the best large state.  Florida also has many attractive features and is ranked 6 in the study.

Go to the full report here for more info:

State

Index

1. South Dakota 11.10
2. Nevada 11.88
3. Wyoming 14.14
4. Washington 15.79
5. Texas 15.81
6. Florida 22.42
7. Alaska 24.91
8. Colorado 26.87
9. Alabama 28.13
10. Ohio 28.50
11. South Carolina 29.42
12. Mississippi 29.70
13. Tennessee 30.52
14. Missouri 31.42
15. Oklahoma 31.67
16. Virginia 32.26
17. Arizona 32.36
18. Illinois 33.66
19. Georgia 33.98
20. Michigan 34.54
21. Delaware 35.00
22. Indiana 35.05
23. Arkansas 35.12
24. Utah 35.39
25. New Hampshire 35.50
26. Louisiana 35.68
27. New Mexico 35.74
28. Kentucky 35.89
29. Pennsylvania 36.26
30. Connecticut 37.75
31. Montana 38.01
32. Wisconsin 38.21
33. Kansas 39.05
34. Oregon 39.23
35. Maryland 39.38
36. North Dakota 39.48
37. Hawaii 39.88
38. North Carolina 41.03
39. West Virginia 41.27
40. Nebraska 42.09
41. Idaho 43.08
42. Massachusetts 44.60
43. Vermont 44.86
44. Rhode Island 45.64
45. Iowa 49.15
46. New York 49.36
47. California 49.69
48. Maine 49.86
49. Minnesota 50.79
50. New Jersey 51.09
51.Dist. Of Columbia 58.32

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Best and Worst States for Happiness?

Mainstreet.com has recently published a ranking of states called the “Happiness index.”

It is a knock off of the famous “misery index” that was so politically influential in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

The Best State for Happiness is NebraskaIowa, Kansas, Hawaii and Louisiana round out the top 5.

The Worst State for Happiness is Oregon Florida, California, Rhode Island and Nevada round out the bottom 5 of the Worst States for Happiness.

While we find the index interesting, it really should be viewed as a simple financial happiness index as it does not factor many other issues that contirbute to the happiness of a population in a state.  For example, for livability Louisiana is rated 46th one of the worst states see our blog Livability Index.   Hawaii is a very high cost of living state and even if you are employed lifestyle may still be challenging.

The index also does not factor in any other factors such as health, weather or rankings of mental happiness so while useful I would suggest you take a much broader look at other factors in a state than this simple “Happiness Index.”  Many of these other factors are discussed in posts on this site.

Happiness Index
www.mainstreet.com

Tax Freedom Day 2009: Pick Your State Carefully

The Tax Foundation recently released their 2009 Tax Freedom Day Study.  It measures how many days the average worker must work to  pay taxes. There is a wide disparity among states. The tax burden you bear can significantly impact your quality of life.

The Best State for Tax Freedom is Alaska where it takes 82 days almost 25% of the year just to pay taxes.  Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota and West Virginia are also rated Best States for Tax Freedom.  If you are not retired, these states would be considered as candidates for Best States to Work.

The Worst State for Tax Freedom is Connecticut where it takes 120 days or until April 30 to pay taxes.  If you live in Connecticut 1/3 of your time every year goes to pay taxes to the Federal, State and Local governments.  That is almost 50% more days than Alaska.  New Jersey, New York, California and Maryland are also rated Worst States for Tax Freedom.

According to the Tax Foundation study, five major categories of tax dominate the tax burden. Individual income taxes, both federal and state, require 38 days’ work. Payroll taxes take another 27 days’ work. Sales and excise taxes, mostly state and local, take 15 days to pay off. Corporate income taxes take 6 days, and property taxes take 12. Americans will log 4 more days to pay other miscellaneous taxes, most notably including motor vehicle license taxes and severance taxes, and about 1 day for estate taxes.

What state you live in is very important in determining your lifestyle as higher cost of living states tend to have higher tax burdens.  Lower disposable income is the result.  Many states are also increasing many taxes due to economic conditions which will increase tax burdens.  Noteworthy examples are the proposed increases in New York and California that will make these heavily burdened states more undesirable to live.  If you are not retired, New York and California would have to be considered as 2 of the Worst States to Work.

Tax
State Days Freedom Day
1 Alaska 82 23-Mar
2 Louisiana 87 28-Mar
3 Mississippi 87 28-Mar
4 South Dakota 88 29-Mar
5 North Dakota 91 1-Apr
6 West Virginia 91 1-Apr
7 Alabama 92 2-Apr
8 New Mexico 92 2-Apr
9 Montana 93 3-Apr
10 Kentucky 93 3-Apr
11 Oklahoma 94 4-Apr
12 Iowa 94 4-Apr
13 South Carolina 94 4-Apr
14 Arkansas 94 4-Apr
15 Tennessee 95 5-Apr
16 Wyoming 95 5-Apr
17 Missouri 96 6-Apr
18 Maine 96 6-Apr
19 Texas 96 6-Apr
20 Nebraska 98 8-Apr
21 Kansas 98 8-Apr
22 Nevada 98 8-Apr
23 Indiana 98 8-Apr
24 Florida 99 9-Apr
25 Oregon 99 9-Apr
26 North Carolina 99 9-Apr
27 Michigan 100 10-Apr
28 Arizona 100 10-Apr
29 New Hampshire 100 10-Apr
30 Ohio 101 11-Apr
31 Delaware 101 11-Apr
32 Vermont 102 12-Apr
33 Idaho 102 12-Apr
34 Georgia 102 12-Apr
35 Colorado 102 12-Apr
36 Illinois 103 13-Apr
37 Hawaii 103 13-Apr
38 Utah 103 13-Apr
39 Wisconsin 103 13-Apr
40 Pennsylvania 104 14-Apr
41 Rhode Island 104 14-Apr
42 Minnesota 105 15-Apr
43 Washington 106 16-Apr
44 Massachusetts 106 16-Apr
45 Virginia 106 16-Apr
46 Maryland 109 19-Apr
47 California 110 20-Apr
48 New York 115 25-Apr
49 New Jersey 119 29-Apr
50 Connecticut 120 30-Apr

Source: Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day

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State Unemployment Up Everywhere in Feb, Michigan tops 12% Unemployed

The February 2009 State Unemployment numbers were released this past week and they were not pretty. Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate increase.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  also released March Unemployment, along with Feb state data, and the nationwide unemployment rate increased again to 8.5% nationwide.  It was 8.1% in February.

Seven States had unemployment above 10% in February.  Michigan was the Worst State for Jobs with a whopping 12% unemployment number.  South Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina, California Rhode Island and Nevada also qualify as Worst States for Employment as the 6 other states with unemployment above 10% .

The Best State for Jobs based on a low 3.9% unemployment is Wyoming. 4 other states qualify as Best States for Employment with rates still below 5%.  They are:  Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Some of the state year on year changes are quite large.  Unemployment increased by over 100% from last year in Hawaii and Oregon for example.  Of the large states, Texas is holding up the best with unemployment of only 6.2% in February which was below the U.S. Feb average of 8.1%.

State data is released with a one month lag so expect March state unemployment to get even worse as unemployment increased nationwide in March by .4%.

State Feb-08 Feb-09 Change
1 Michigan 7.4 12 4.6
2 South Carolina 5.7 11 5.3
3 Oregon 5.4 10.8 5.4
4 North Carolina 5.2 10.7 5.5
5 California 6.2 10.5 4.3
6 Rhode Island 6.5 10.5 4
7 Nevada 5.5 10.1 4.6
8 District of Columbia 6.1 9.9 3.8
9 Florida 5.2 9.4 4.2
10 Indiana 5 9.4 4.4
11 Ohio 5.9 9.4 3.5
12 Georgia 5.4 9.3 3.9
13 Kentucky 5.6 9.2 3.6
14 Mississippi 5.9 9.1 3.2
15 Tennessee 5.5 9.1 3.6
16 Illinois . 5.9 8.6 2.7
17 Alabama 4.1 8.4 4.3
18 Washington 4.7 8.4 3.7
19 Missouri 5.5 8.3 2.8
20 New Jersey 4.7 8.2 3.5
21 Minnesota 5 8.1 3.1
22 Alaska 6.5 8 1.5
23 Maine 4.9 8 3.1
24 Massachusetts 4.6 7.8 3.2
25 New York 4.6 7.8 3.2
26 Wisconsin 4.5 7.7 3.2
27 Pennsylvania 4.8 7.5 2.7
28 Arizona 4.5 7.4 2.9
29 Connecticut 5.2 7.4 2.2
30 Delaware 4 7.4 3.4
31 Colorado 4.5 7.2 2.7
32 Vermont 4.4 7 2.6
33 Idaho 3.9 6.8 2.9
34 Maryland 3.7 6.7 3
35 Arkansas 4.8 6.6 1.8
36 Virginia 3.5 6.6 3.1
37 Hawaii 3.1 6.5 3.4
38 Texas 4.5 6.5 2
39 Montana 4 6 2
40 West Virginia 4.2 6 1.8
41 Kansas 4 5.9 1.9
42 Louisiana 3.8 5.7 1.9
43 Oklahoma 3.2 5.5 2.3
44 New Mexico 3.8 5.4 1.6
45 New Hampshire 3.7 5.3 1.6
46 Utah 3.3 5.1 1.8
47 Iowa 3.9 4.9 1
48 South Dakota 2.7 4.6 1.9
49 North Dakota 3 4.3 1.3
50 Nebraska 3 4.2 1.2
51 Wyoming 2.8 3.9 1.1
p = preliminary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Best and Worst States for Child Homelessness: Is the data believable?

A “study” from the National Center of Family Homelessness was released this week and garnered national press.  It reported that 1 out of every 50 children were homeless during the “study” period of 2005-2006.  In addition it was reported over 1,500,000 children were homeless during the “study” period. The “study” also ranked the Best and Worst States.

We view the “data” as suspect and exaggerative. 

The “study” defines homelessness in such a way that many quality families and successful parents’ children were determined to be homeless in 2005-2006.  Let’s start with a few key parts of the definition of homelessness from the “study.”

Your children would be determined to be homeless if for just one day during the “study” period they were:

“• Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations;”
Source: The National Center of Family Homelessness

Let’s look at the example of an executive who gets a new job and sells his home in the state he used to work.  If the family lives in an extended stay hotel in their new state while waiting to close on their new home, the children are determined to be homeless.   Suspect data to me.

In addition, if a young couple lives with in-laws, which is highly common, the children can be determined to be homeless.

If your family lives in a trailer park, the children can be considered homeless according to the definition.

Of the 1,500,000 children that were determined “homeless” by the “study” here is the breakdown:

Doubled-Up (56%)
Shelters (24%)
Unknown/Other (10%)
Hotels/Motels (7%)
Unsheltered (3%)

Source: The National Center of Family Homelessness

63% of “homeless” children are either staying with other families or living in hotels! Only 37% are in the other classifications.   I would like to thank Tom Palmer for breaking this story.  He makes some additional great points on his blog.  www.tomgpalmer.com

The Worst State for Child Homelessness from the “study” is Texas.  The Best State is Connecticut.

The state rankings follow.  Read them with caution.

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

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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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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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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