Best States for Income

The U.S.Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its rankings of personal income by state for 2009.

Personal income throughout the U.S. was down 1.7% in 2009.  44 states had declining incomes in 2009.  6 states saw an increase.

The Best State for Income Growth in 2009 was West Virginia with an increase 2.1%.  Despite this growth West Virginia has the 44th lowest income in the U.S. at $32,219. It did improve from a 49th ranking in 2008.

The Worst State For Income Growth was Nevada with a decrease of 4.8%.  Nevada with an income of $38,578 was ranked 20th in the U.S in personal income.

The Best State for Income in 2009 was Connecticut .  It had the highest state income at $54,397.   Additional Top States for Income were  New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York .

The Worst State for Income was Mississippi .  At $30,013, it has the lowest state income.  Utah, Idaho, South Carolina and Kentucky were also Worst States for Income in 2009.

Income is only one factor in determining a Best State to Live.  Cost of Living , quality of education and job openings and availability should also be considered.

State Ranking of Income 2009

The ranking of states by income follows:

Smoking States and Tobacco Producing States

Smoking has been on a long term decline in the U.S.

Total smokers in the U.S. according to Americas Health Rankings Assessment on Smoking have declined from 29.5% in 1990 to 18.3% in 2009.  Smokers as a per cent of the U.S. population have shrunk 38% since 1990.

Americas Health Rankings also does a great job in providing statistics for each of the states.  Smoking trends by State have some interesting aspects not quickly seen by observing the data.

The Best and Worst States 2009 Smokers by State map highlights high smoking and low smoking states.  It is listed below:

State Smoking Population Map

From the map it is readily apparent that the mid west and southern states have the strongest affinity for smoking.

The Best State for Non-Smokers, i.e. lowest smoking population, is Utah.  Only 9.3% of the Utah population smokes.  Additional Top States for Non-Smokers are California, New Jersey, Maryland and Hawaii.

The Best State for Smokers, i.e. the highest smoking population, is West Virginia with 26.5% of its population smokers.  Over one in four people over 18 smoke in West Virginia.  Additional Top States for Smokers are Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma.  Nevada had the highest smoking population in 1990 at 35.7% according to Americas Health.  Nevada’s smoking population has since declined to 22.1%, a dramatic decline.

The entire 2009 list of Smokers by State is published below.

The populations of tobacco producing states are above average smokers.  It seems logical.  If a state produces lots of tobacco,  its population is more likely to smoke.  The chart of Top Producing Tobacco States supports this contention.   North Carolina has the most tobacco acreage by far and ranks as the 14th highest smoking state.  Kentucky, the 2nd largest tobacco producer, ranks 3 in the nation for highest per cent of its population being smokers.  Virginia and Connecticut appear to be outliers.  Virginia is the third largest producer yet its population ranks 40th in the nation for smoking.  Connecticut is the 9th largest producer of tobacco yet its smoking population is 44th or ranked 7th lowest state for smokers.  All the other Top Tobacco Producing States have above average smoking populations.

The Top Ten Tobacco Producing States are listed below along with their Smoker Rank.

Top Ten Tobacco Producing States

List of Smoking Population by State

If you consider smoking or non-smoking an important aspect of lifestyle, this info may help you find a state that fits your needs.  It might help you determine your Best State to Live.

State Unionism Rankings: Do Highly Unionized States have Higher Unemployment?

Union employment in the U.S. continued to shrink this past year.  Nationwide union participation stands at 12.3% which is a slight decline from 2008.

The BLS 2009 Annual Union Affiliation by Statesurvey was recently published.  It has brought increased attention to the union movement. Union policy will further be in the spotlight this week as the Senate wrestles with the nomination of Craig Becker, a clearly pro-union candidate, to the National Labor Review Board.  See GOP’s Senate Gain Clouds Prospect of Obama’s Labor Board Nominee.  In view of this upcoming debate, we thought it would be helpful to take a deeper look at state unionization and employment.


Let’s take a look at state unionization.

New York is the most unionized state in the nation with 27.2% of its population working for a union.  More than 1 in four workers are represented by a union in New York.  Hawaii at 24.3% is the second most unionized state at 24.3%, followed by Alaska at 23.6%.  Washington, Michigan, and New Jersey are heavily unionized states with about 20% union participation rates.

The least unionized state is North Carolina at 4.4%.  Only one in 23 workers in North Carolina are represented by a union, a sharp difference as compared to New York.  Additional states with low union participation rates are Arkansas at 5.0%, Virginia at 5.4%, South Carolina at 5.4% and Georgia at 5.9%

Twenty seven states had decreased union participation in 2009 as compared with 2008.  States with low union participation rates generally became less so in 2009 and those states with union growth were primarily already highly unionized.  There are 22 states with right to work laws in the U.S.  Right to work laws generally do not require employees to pay fees or join a union even if voted in.

A look at union participation and unemployment shows states with high union participation rates are closely associated with higher unemployment.

The five Worst States for Employment in 2009 were Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, California and South Carolina.  All but South Carolina are highly unionized states.  The Worst States for Employment in 2009 generally were highly unionized states.

Worst States for Employment and Union Participation

 

 

The Best States for Employment in 2009 were North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas. All but Iowa have unionparticipation rates below the U.S. average and would be classified asstates with low unionization.  If you are looking for a job, look at states with low unionization.  They tend to have less unemployment. See  Best and Worst States for Jobs: Will Jobs Improve in 2010 for the rankings of all states by employment.  The list of Best States for Employment and Union Participation follows:

Best States for Employment and Union Participation



The list of Unionism by State follows:

Unionism by State


Union membership has been in a long term decline since 1983 when BLS first started measuring it in a consistent way.  Union participation was 20.1% of the working population in 1983.  It is now approximately 40% lower at 12.3%.  For the first time in 2009, the majority of union members now work for the government and not for private, for profit entities.  These state workers are on average paid significantly more than private industry.  Making it easier for government workers to unionize will only push labor costs higher and cost the taxpayers more.  Political leaders should be trying to keep these costs in check. (The average federal worker’s pay is $71,206 as compared to $40,331 in the private sector and is growing above inflation rates) The Obama administration’s labor policy approach creates a conflict with its responsibilities to protect the taxpayer. Increased unionization will increase our cost of government.  If the Obama administration is serious about job creation and deficit control, it may want to reconsider this approach.  Unions and job creation generally do not have a positive correlation.  Watch the news this week as it relates to Craig Becker.  It will have implications for jobs and deficits.

States running out of Jobless Money, Taxing Employers More

23 States are now borrowing from the U.S. Government to pay for unemployment benefits. (California has borrowed  $4.5 billion as of mid October 2009, the most in the nation.)

This is only the beginning of the bad news for states and employers.  States will be borrowing more and taxing employers more in 2010. This will impact the willingness of companies to hire in the future.  This is not good news for the job market.

For example, Florida, which has borrowed $465 million as of mid October, this past week increased its unemployment insurance tax on employers for next year quite substantially.  The minimum tax will jump from $8.40 per employee to $100.30 – analmost 12-fold increase – while the maximum will go up from $378 peremployee to $459.  Florida is facing a multitude of issues as it tries to dig itself out of the faltering economy.  The Sun-Sentinel did a great piece this week highlighting how Florida is losing residents, jobs and borrowing $300 million per month to make unemployment payments.  See Shrinking Florida faces tough choices as residents flee, jobs vanish

Arizona is among 33 states that will increase unemployment compensationtaxes next year, according the National Association of State WorkforceAgencies.  See  State tax push makes U.S. firms wary of adding jobs

Arizona recently asked to borrow $600 million in federal funds to keep its jobless payments going.  With its October 2009 unemployment rate of 9.3% Arizona will be needing to raise taxes on employers as well.  It is currently estimated that Arizona will increase its tax 41.8% on employers in January 2010.  See Arizona jobless funds running out

Most states will announce their unemployment tax rates for 2010 before year end and taxes will be increasing.  This is bad news for employers and the outlook for jobs. The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog recently posted a good explanation on how these increases will further hurt the job market.  See How Unemployment Taxes and Obama’s Stimulus Are Killing Jobs

The List of States Borrowing To Pay Unemployment Benefits follows.  We added Arizona to the BLS list that was compiled as of October 19, 2009.

Rank State Fed Loan
1 California $4.5 billion
2 Michigan $2.8 billion
3 New York $1.6 billion
4 Ohio $1.4 billion
5 North Carolina $1.3 billion
6 Pennsylvania $1.3 billion
7 Indiana $1.3 billion
8 New Jersey $700 million
9 Texas $697 million
10 Wisconsin $684 million
11 Arizona $600 million
12 Illinois $590 million
13 South Carolina $570 million
14 Kentucky $469 million
15 Florida $465 million
16 Missouri $326 million
17 South Dakota $308 million
18 Minnesota $143 million
19 Arkansas $135 million
20 Rhode Island $104 million
21 Idaho $73 million
22 Alabama $47 million
23 Connecticut $31 million

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

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

Career Builder Openings Continue to Alarmingly Shrink, No Improvement in Big States

With the U.S. unemployment rate now at the 25 year high of 9.4%, some in the media have suggested it is good news that the rate of job loss is slowing.  While there may be a glitter of hope in the lower number of job loss filings, the fact is job openings must improve in order to start absorbing the unemployed.  The question is when will corporations start hiring more and where.  The U.S. unemployment rate will not improve until job openings increase.

We have reported that job openings fell dramatically from January 2009 to March 14, 2009(See:  Job Openings Drop Nationwide in first 45 Days of Obama).  Job openings continued to drop but at a slower rate.

Best and Worst States analysis shows that job openings on careerbuilder.com have dropped 10.6% from Jan 29 to May 31 2009. Job openings less than 30 days old decreased to 210,048 as of May 31, 2009 from 235,059 as of January 29, 2009.  More importantly, job openings dropped further since March 14, 2009 when we last reported.  Job losses dropped 1.4% from 213,077 to 210,048.  One might cheer at only a 1.4% loss in 45 days but if your portfolio declined about 1% per month you should consider this alarming.  We are still losing job openings at the alarming rate of 1%  per month.  This is not what recoveries are built upon.

More importantly, all 10 of the biggest states have seen job opening drops since January.  These 10 states represented 54% of all the open jobs on Career Builder in May.  These states have seen a drop in openings of 12.25% since January, larger than the country average.  Illinois was the Worst State for Job Openings with a decline of 20.4%.  California at 16.6% decline was the second Worst State for Job Openings. New York at minus 14.3%, New Jersey at minus 13.2% and Pennsylvania at minus 10.6% job opening loss round out the 5 Worst States for Job Openings.

8 States showed improvement in job openings since January.  These states showed small job increases.  The Best State for Job Opening Improvement was South Carolina.  Its job openings increased by only 237 or 7.6%.  Kentucky at 134 and Indiana at 133 were the only other states that saw job openings improve by greater than 100.

Here is the listing of Job Openings by State for May 31,2009 as compared to Jan 31, 2009.

May-31-09 29-Jan-09 %Since 1-29
1 California 21565 25855 -4290 -16.6%
2 Texas 17988 20051 -2063 -10.3%
3 Florida 14119 15174 -1055 -7.0%
4 New York 11189 13057 -1868 -14.3%
5 Illinois 10912 13702 -2790 -20.4%
6 Pennsylvania 9964 11141 -1177 -10.6%
7 New Jersey 7492 8628 -1136 -13.2%
8 Ohio 7554 8276 -722 -8.7%
9 Virginia 6822 7186 -364 -5.1%
10 North Carolina 6359 6803 -444 -6.5%
11 Maryland 5872 6552 -680 -10.4%
12 Georgia 5500 5992 -492 -8.2%
13 Arizona 5237 5992 -755 -12.6%
14 Massachusetts 4810 6168 -1358 -22.0%
15 Michigan 4906 5541 -635 -11.5%
16 Washington 4354 4914 -560 -11.4%
17 Indiana 4864 4731 133 2.8%
18 Missouri 4451 4458 -7 -0.2%
19 Colorado 3735 4214 -479 -11.4%
20 Tennessee 4321 4413 -92 -2.1%
21 Connecticut 3633 4531 -898 -19.8%
22 Wisconsin 3760 4314 -554 -12.8%
23 Minnesota 3257 4193 -936 -22.3%
24 South Carolina 3373 3136 237 7.6%
25 Kansas 3232 3236 -4 -0.1%
26 Louisiana 3082 3494 -412 -11.8%
27 Kentucky 2897 2763 134 4.8%
28 Iowa 2322 2499 -177 -7.1%
29 Alabama 2551 2567 -16 -0.6%
30 Oklahoma 2083 2269 -186 -8.2%
31 Nevada 1732 1865 -133 -7.1%
32 Oregon 1667 1832 -165 -9.0%
33 Mississippi 1535 1548 -13 -0.8%
34 New Mexico 1369 1423 -54 -3.8%
35 Utah 1123 1236 -113 -9.1%
36 Arkansas 1347 1414 -67 -4.7%
37 Nebraska 1016 1230 -214 -17.4%
38 Delaware 855 1057 -202 -19.1%
39 Alaska 826 805 21 2.6%
40 Hawaii 761 865 -104 -12.0%
41 West Virginia 757 856 -99 -11.6%
42 New Hampshir 592 694 -102 -14.7%
43 Rhode Island 591 707 -116 -16.4%
44 South Dakota 673 585 88 15.0%
45 Idaho 703 665 38 5.7%
46 Vermont 562 659 -97 -14.7%
47 North Dakota 466 438 28 6.4%
48 Maine 459 449 10 2.2%
49 Montana 455 508 -53 -10.4%
50 Wyoming 355 373 -18 -4.8%
Entire U.S. 210048 235059 -25011 -10.6%

Source:  Best and Worst States and CareerBuilder.com

Finally, the recent drop is all the more alarming as there has been a headwindof positive stimulus.  The U.S. American Recovery and Reinvestment Actwas signed into law on February 14, 2009 about one month prior to ourlast measurement.  March was also the bottom of the stock market dropwith a strong rally of 25.6% in the Dow from March to May.  Onewould expect improvement in view of the great wealth effect of thestock market and the government stimulus.  We will update more fully job changes since March when the stock market began to recover in an upcoming post.  Signs of encouragement for job openings are not yet strong.

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

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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