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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Job Openings Drop Nationwide by 9.3% in last 45 days, California Worst, 44 States show Decreases

Career Builder Job Openings Drop 9.35%Nationwide in Last 45 Days
44 States Decrease, Only 6 States Increase

California Worst State for Declines, North Dakota up 28.08%

Best and Worst States.com, the leading site for facts and lists about States, released analysis today on job opening data using Careerbuilder job openings as a proxy for job activity.  Career Builder is the nations largest job posting site.  Nationwide job openings dropped 9.35% to 213,077 from 235,059 during the 45 day period starting on January 29, 2009 and ending on March 14, 2009.  Job openings are those that have been posted within the last 30 days.

44 States showed decreases in job openings in the last 45 days while only 6 showed increase.  The biggest job opening decline was in California.  Job openings declined to 21,723 on March 14th from 25,855 on January 29, 2009, a decline of 4,132 job openings.  California unemployment was recently announced at 10.1%, the 4th worst in the nation.  California, the nations most populous state, also has the most job openings in the country yet the number is quite low compared to the size of the population. Typically job openings are a leading indicator of future employment.

All large employment states showed job opening declines including New York, Illinois, Texas and FloridaIllinois showed the largest decline in percentage terms at -20.99%.  Illinois unemployment is currently at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.

States that showed increases were typically small states with low unemployment.  The total number of increases was also small.  North Dakota showed the largest percentage increase in job openings at 28.08% yet it only increased by 123 job openings.  North Dakota’s unemployment was only 4.2% in January, the 2nd lowest in the nation. Alaska increased by 20.75% and had the largest state job opening increase at 167.  Alaska unemployment is at 7.9%, tied for 34th in the nation.  Other states showing increases were South Dakota with an increase of 62, Maine with 13, Utah with 29 and Iowa with 27.  Wyoming, the state with the lowest unemployment, also showed a slight increase of job openings with just 10.  It also has the fewest job openings in the nation on career builder.

Edward M. Kopko, Editor of Best and Worst States, said, “ Job Openings have dropped quite quickly since President Obama has taken office.  The unemployment rate is unlikely to improve until job openings start to increase.  The trend clearly indicates increased unemployment.”

BestandWorstStates.com, is the leading site for facts and lists about states.  Ed Kopko, its editor, during his career has written and developed extensive research on business matters and employment.  The site develops and publishes data about a number of issues important to people.  Topics include state tax policy, social issues, jobs, lifestyle and matters that help citizens be more knowledgeable about the states they live.  www.bestandworststates.com.

Job Openings By State

14-Mar-09 29-Jan-09 % Change
1 California 21723 25855 -15.98% -4132
2 Texas 18340 20051 -8.53% -1711
3 Florida 14573 15174 -3.96% -601
4 New York 11792 13057 -9.69% -1265
5 Illinois 10826 13702 -20.99% -2876
6 Pennsylvania 9853 11141 -11.56% -1288
7 New Jersey 7760 8628 -10.06% -868
8 Ohio 7506 8276 -9.30% -770
9 Virginia 6725 7186 -6.42% -461
10 North Carolina 6335 6803 -6.88% -468
11 Maryland 6146 6552 -6.20% -406
12 Georgia 5508 5992 -8.08% -484
13 Arizona 5124 5992 -14.49% -868
14 Massachusetts 5112 6168 -17.12% -1056
15 Michigan 5015 5541 -9.49% -526
16 Washington 4606 4914 -6.27% -308
17 Indiana 4578 4731 -3.23% -153
18 Missouri 4270 4458 -4.22% -188
19 Colorado 4143 4214 -1.68% -71
20 Tennessee 4132 4413 -6.37% -281
21 Connecticut 4008 4531 -11.54% -523
22 Wisconsin 3710 4314 -14.00% -604
23 Minnesota 3535 4193 -15.69% -658
24 South Carolina 3223 3136 2.77% 87
25 Kansas 3115 3236 -3.74% -121
26 Louisiana 2958 3494 -15.34% -536
27 Kentucky 2749 2763 -0.51% -14
28 Iowa 2526 2499 1.08% 27
29 Alabama 2437 2567 -5.06% -130
30 Oklahoma 2170 2269 -4.36% -99
31 Nevada 1735 1865 -6.97% -130
32 Oregon 1722 1832 -6.00% -110
33 Mississippi 1545 1548 -0.19% -3
34 New Mexico 1363 1423 -4.22% -60
35 Utah 1265 1236 2.35% 29
36 Arkansas 1258 1414 -11.03% -156
37 Nebraska 1077 1230 -12.44% -153
38 Delaware 976 1057 -7.66% -81
39 Alaska 972 805 20.75% 167
40 Hawaii 787 865 -9.02% -78
41 West Virginia 784 856 -8.41% -72
42 New Hampshire 694 694 0.00% 0
43 Rhode Island 650 707 -8.06% -57
44 South Dakota 647 585 10.60% 62
45 Idaho 642 665 -3.46% -23
46 Vermont 612 659 -7.13% -47
47 North Dakota 561 438 28.08% 123
48 Maine 462 449 2.90% 13
49 Montana 444 508 -12.60% -64
50 Wyoming 383 373 2.68% 10
Entire U.S. 213077 235059 -9.35% -21982

Source:  Bestandworststates.com, careerbuilder.com
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Best States For Jobs, Worst States for Jobs

Best and Worst States for Jobs

Unemployment increased in February to 8.1% nationwide.  The labor department just released the latest state numbers for January.

Wyoming is the Best State for Jobs with unemployment of only 3.7%.  North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah are in the Top 5 Best States for Jobs.

The Worst State for Jobs is Michigan with its unemployment now at 11.6%.  There are now 4 states in the U.S. that have unemployment rates above 10%.  South Carolina, Rhode Island and California are the other 3 Worst States for Jobs with rates above 10%.  North Carolina at 9.9% is also a Worst State for Jobs and will probably be above 10% next month.

The unemployment rate in states will be going up again when February is released as the national average has already increased and been released. We will keep you posted.

List of State Unemployment is below.

State Rate
1 WYOMING 3.7
2 NORTH DAKO 4.2
3 NEBRASKA 4.3
4 SOUTH DAKO 4.4
5 UTAH 4.6
6 IOWA 4.8
7 OKLAHOMA 5
8 LOUISIANA 5.1
8 NEW HAMPSH 5.1
8 NEW MEXICO 5.1
11 WEST VIRGIN 5.3
12 MONTANA 5.6
13 KANSAS 5.8
14 VIRGINIA 6
15 HAWAII 6.1
16 MARYLAND 6.2
17 ARKANSAS 6.4
17 TEXAS 6.4
19 COLORADO 6.6
19 IDAHO 6.6
21 DELAWARE 6.7
22 VERMONT 6.8
23 WISCONSIN 6.9
24 ARIZONA 7
24 NEW YORK 7
24 PENNSYLVANI 7
27 CONNECTICU 7.3
27 NEW JERSEY 7.3
29 MASSACHUSE 7.4
30 MINNESOTA 7.6
31 ALABAMA 7.8
31 MAINE 7.8
31 WASHINGTON 7.8
34 ALASKA 7.9
34 ILLINOIS 7.9
36 MISSOURI 8
37 FLORIDA 8.6
37 GEORGIA 8.6
37 TENNESSEE 8.6
40 KENTUCKY 8.7
40 MISSISSIPPI 8.7
42 OHIO 8.8
43 INDIANA 9.2
44 DISTRICT OF 9.3
45 NEVADA 9.4
46 NORTH CAROL 9.7
47 OREGON 9.9
48 CALIFORNIA 10.1
49 RHODE ISLAN 10.3
50 SOUTH CAROL 10.4
51 MICHIGAN 11.6

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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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Cost of Living by State, Tennessee the Best, Hawaii Worst

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) has some valuable information on the the cost of living for each State.

The Best States for Cost of Living are Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas.

The Worst States for Cost of Living are Hawaii, DC, California, New Jersey and Alaska.

Map below for cost of living is courtesy of MERIC.

The Best States for Housing Costs are Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Dakota, Texas and Missouri.

The Worst States for Housing Costs are Hawaii, DC, California, Maryland and New Jersey.

If you are looking for the Best State to Retire, the cost of living is a very important consideration.  If you want to stretch your dollar, look to the Southeast and Midwest and stay away from the North East.  Hope this helps.

Cost of Living Annual Map

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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 Defending Life, Pennsylvania Best, California Worst

Americans United for Life (AUL) has recently published a Best and Worst States for Defending Life 2009.  It is a state by state legal guide for Abortion, Bioethics and the End of Life.

It is an extensive review of State policy and law for each state and has a ranking methodology for each of the defined areas of Defending Life.  Pennsylvania is ranked the Best State and California the Worst for Defending Life.

Regardless of your views or politics, the AUL study provides important insight into your state’s positions on issues such as assisted suicide, human cloning, stem cell research, parental notification for abortion for minors and other matters.  It is info you may find useful.  Source: Defending Life 2009

 

Best States Worst States
1. Pennsylvania 50. California
2. Louisiana 49. Hawaii
3. South Dakota 48. Vermont
4. Oklahoma 47. New Jersey
5. Mississippi 46. Connecticut
6. Texas 45. Nevada
7. North Dakota 44. Oregon
8. Nebraska 43. New York
9. Arkansas 42. Washington
10. Indiana 41. Illinois

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

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