People Leave NY and Illinois for 32 Straight Years!!! People choose Best states with their feet.

Choosing where to live is complicated.  When you choose a state to live, it must be the Best State for your needs.  If a state has inward moves i.e. positive migration,  there must be enough positive factors to create that movement.  United Van Lines recently released its 2008 “migration study.”  It has done so for 32 years.  The “People’s Choice Award for Best and Worst States” are

Best States (Most Inward Moves)

1.  Washington DC
2.  Nevada
3.  North Carolina
4.  Alabama
5.  Wyoming
6.  South Dakota
7.  South Carolina
8.  Oregon

Worst States (Most Exits from State)

51.  Michigan
50.  North Dakota
49.  New Jersey
48.  Pennsylvania
47.  Rhode Island
46.  Illinois
45.  Indiana
44.  Maine
43.  New York

According to United, New York and Illinois have seen more exits for 32 straight years!!!  I wonder if the political folks are wondering why companies and people keep moving away.  Northern States dominate Net Exits.  Nevada has had 23 consecutive years of inward moves and Oregon has had 21 years.  Florida, California and Texas were considered balanced states.

For more info go to United’s website:

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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 , 
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2008 Crime State Rankings: New Hampshire Best, Nevada Worst

New Hampshire was declared  the safest state in the  2008 edition of
Crime State Rankings by CQ Press.

Nevada was declared the most dangerous.

Best States  (Lowest crime)

New Hampshire
North Dakota,
South Dakota

Worst States  (Highest Crime)

New Mexico
South Carolina

New Hampshire was declared for the first time after 10 consecutive years of North Dakota being awarded the most safe.  Nevada has been the most dangerous for the last 5 years.  Safety is an important long term consideration to home values and migration patterns.  Retirees should consider crime stats when picking a best place to retire.

CQ publishes an an extensive analysis.  You can find out more at

Best and Worst States for SAT Scores

Student SAT scores are an important indicator of college preparedness.  Where a child grows up and gets educated can dramatically alter his or her performance and opportunities in life.  Here are the Best and Worst States for SAT Scores for 2008.

Editors Note:  For the latest 2009 State Sat Scores got to State SAT Scores 2009

For the latest in Best States for Jobs 2009 go to Best States for Job Openings September 2009

According to the CollegeBoard SAT 2008 College-Bound Seniors State SAT reports the Best and Worst States for SAT scores are:

Best States for SAT Scores

Rank    State                 R      M       W         Total
1.    Iowa                       608    613    586    1807
2.    Illinois                     594    611    588    1793
3.    Minnesota               596    603    577    1776
4.    Missouri                  594    594    587    1775
5.    South Dakota          598    602    567    1767

Worst States for SAT Scores

Rank    State                  R       M       W       Total
51.    Maine                     466    465    457    1388
50.    Dist of Columbia      478    462    471    1411
49.    South Carolina        488    496    475    1459
48.    Hawaii                    484    506    473    1463
47.    Florida                    497    496    476    1469
46.    Georgia                   494    495    483    1472
R- Critical Reading   M-Mathematics   W-Writing

It is also interesting to see where some of our most populated states are ranked.
California is ranked 35, New York  44 and Texas is 41. Employers may also want to take note of these rankings.

Best and Worst States for Jobs

The Associated Press just put up a story on Best and Worst States for Jobs.  The story highlights our recent list of Best and Worst States for Employment.  It identifies some of the root causes for employment decline.  They are:  The collapse of housing. The implosion of the auto industry. The meltdown of financial services. The exodus of manufacturing.  The link is:

Our entry listing the Labor Department’s December employment numbers lists the Best 5 States, (Wyoming has lowest unemployment at 3.2%) and the Worst 5 States (Michigan has the highest Unemployment at 9.6%).  Our entry link is:

Best and Worst States to Work

Depending on the state you live, you may have more difficulty working in your desired occupation.  Licensing rules make it harder for people to work as in many cases you must spend money for licensing before knowing if you have work.  It limits supply of workers by making it harder for workers to get a job.  Reason Magazine’s study of Occupational licensing highlights states’ occupational licensing requirements.  They even list the “Most Outrageous Licensing Laws.”  Can you imagine that you must have license to be a florist in Louisiana?  No other state does that!  Can you imagine that you must have a license to be a junkyard dealer in Ohio?  No other state has that requirement.  If you travel into Vermont as a photographer you must have a license.  Yet if you live in Vermont you are qualified.  And in Iowa you must have a license to be a munure applicator.  I wonder if there is a special course you can take online to qualify for that!!!!  Licensing requirements hurt workers.  The Best and Worst States follow.  Go to for the full report.

Worst States to Work                         # Job Licenses

1.  California                                                             177
2.  Connecticut                                                         155
3.  Maine                                                                 134
4.  New Hampshire                                                   130
5.  Arkansas                                                             128

Best States to Work

1.  Missouri                                                              41
2.  Washington                                                         43
3.  Kansas                                                               56
4.  South Carolina                                                    60
5.  Idaho                                                                 61

Best and Worst States to Retire

Well it used to be that the 2 best places to retire were Arizona and Florida.  It appears as a result of this latest real estate boom and bust that these 2 states while great for weather have started to drop in retirees eyes as attractive places to be.  Part of it is due to the run up in real estate prices that has literally made it unaffordable for many to buy and live on a fixed income.  Florida for example has seen the first shrinkage in its population in many years.  People are moving to other venues such as Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and other venues as the cost of housing is more affordable and the real estate taxes not as burdensome.  Arizona has also seen its run up in real estate that has made it more difficult to live comfortably there.  What are your thoughts?  What are the best places to retire today?  What are the worst?