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:

Best and Worst States for Jobs: Will jobs improve in 2010?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released state unemployment for December 2009 today.  Every state in the U.S. saw its unemployment rate rise in 2009.

The Best State for Jobs and Employment in 2009 was North Dakota.  It had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.4%.  Its unemployment rate increased by 1.1% in 2009.  South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas were also Top States for Jobs and Employment.

The Worst State for Jobs and Employment in 2009 was Michigan.  Its unemployment ended the year at 14.6%, an increase of 4.4% in 2009.  21 states and D.C. saw their unemployment ranks increase by 3% or more in 2009.  2009 was a very bad year for those seeking employment.  Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, California and D.C. all were Worst States for Jobs and Unemployment in 2009.  They all have unemployment rates of 12% or higher.

Minnesota and North Dakota had the smallest unemployment increases in 2009 with increases of only 0.8%. The Worst States for Unemployment Increases were West Virginia and Nevada which had increases of 4.6% in unemployment.  The list of Best and Worst States for Jobs and Employment is below.  It is presented from best to worst based on year over year changes.  Politically, these are very poor numbers for the Obama administration.  With the large health care bill off the table for now, let’s hope businesses will become a little more willing to hire in 2010.

Best and Worst States for Jobs

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

California Jobs September 2009: Shrinking

California continues to lose jobs.

The California Employment Development Department just released September numbers and California jobs declined by 39,300 during the month.  Unemployment was 12.2% for September, a slight improvement due to an upward revision of August to 12.3%

More unemployment is not a surprise considering all the problems the state has.  (See Why California is a Worst State for Jobs)

 

The Bureau of Labor Statisticsis is scheduled to release the nation’s September List of State Unemployment on Wednesday October 20.  August was bad news.  (See August 2009 Best and Worst States for Employment) California’s release on Friday is a preview of more state releases to come next week.

September should show more State Employment decreases as the September US Unemployment rate increased to 9.8% from 9.7%.

The LA Times ran a story California Job Losses Keep Climbing on Friday as well about the outlook for California Jobs.  Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate soared to 12.7% in September, upfrom 12.2% in August. Industries including leisure and hospitality,manufacturing and construction shed jobs over the month.  The Bay Area saw its unemployment rate decrease from August. The jobless rates in Napa County, at 8.7%,and the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City Metro Division, at 9.2%,are among the lowest in the state. All five metro divisions in the Bay Area improved. California Jobs do not look like they will be improving significantly soon.  See also California Job Openings September 2009

The September 2009 California Employment by County List follows:

County Labor Force Employed Jobless Jobless %
ALAMEDA 768,700 681,500 87,200 11.30%
ALPINE 420 350 60 15.20%
AMADOR 17,960 15,790 2,170 12.10%
BUTTE 105,400 92,600 12,800 12.20%
CALAVERAS 21,000 18,000 3,000 14.30%
COLUSA 11,160 9,540 1,620 14.50%
CONTRA COSTA 529,900 470,400 59,400 11.20%
DEL NORTE 11,870 10,460 1,410 11.90%
EL DORADO 91,200 81,000 10,200 11.20%
FRESNO 452,200 388,600 63,500 14.10%
GLENN 12,590 10,860 1,730 13.80%
HUMBOLDT 60,000 53,800 6,200 10.30%
IMPERIAL 76,900 53,700 23,200 30.10%
INYO 8,980 8,120 860 9.50%
KERN 377,400 325,100 52,300 13.90%
KINGS 59,700 51,400 8,300 13.90%
LAKE 25,890 22,080 3,800 14.70%
LASSEN 13,510 11,910 1,600 11.80%
LOS ANGELES 4,923,800 4,298,200 625,700 12.70%
MADERA 70,400 61,700 8,700 12.30%
MARIN 134,600 123,900 10,700 8.00%
MARIPOSA 9,980 9,100 880 8.80%
MENDOCINO 43,420 39,040 4,390 10.10%
MERCED 106,700 89,900 16,700 15.70%
MODOC 4,050 3,600 450 11.10%
MONO 7,880 7,070 810 10.30%
MONTEREY 217,000 195,400 21,700 10.00%
NAPA 75,600 69,100 6,500 8.70%
NEVADA 49,730 44,290 5,440 10.90%
ORANGE 1,624,900 1,472,400 152,500 9.40%
PLACER 175,100 155,300 19,800 11.30%
PLUMAS 10,210 8,790 1,420 13.90%
RIVERSIDE 915,600 780,800 134,800 14.70%
SACRAMENTO 687,900 604,200 83,700 12.20%
SAN BENITO 24,800 21,700 3,100 12.50%
SAN BERNARDINO 867,500 749,700 117,800 13.60%
SAN DIEGO 1,560,000 1,400,200 159,800 10.20%
SAN FRANCISCO 447,100 403,700 43,400 9.70%
SAN JOAQUIN 304,600 257,400 47,100 15.50%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 138,400 125,900 12,500 9.00%
SAN MATEO 380,800 346,400 34,400 9.00%
SANTA BARBARA 221,600 202,700 18,800 8.50%
SANTA CLARA 886,600 782,200 104,400 11.80%
SANTA CRUZ 147,900 132,800 15,100 10.20%
SHASTA 84,000 71,600 12,300 14.70%
SIERRA 1,540 1,330 210 13.70%
SISKIYOU 18,870 16,320 2,550 13.50%
SOLANO 214,400 189,700 24,700 11.50%
SONOMA 262,400 236,400 26,000 9.90%
STANISLAUS 243,200 206,000 37,200 15.30%
SUTTER 41,600 35,300 6,300 15.10%
TEHAMA 26,220 22,630 3,590 13.70%
TRINITY 4,700 3,950 750 15.90%
TULARE 206,300 175,600 30,700 14.90%
TUOLUMNE 25,900 22,610 3,300 12.70%
VENTURA 428,800 381,600 47,200 11.00%
YOLO 97,500 86,900 10,600 10.90%
YUBA 28,800 23,700 5,100 17.80%

Best and Worst States for Employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released state unemployment numbers for August 2009.  State Employment statistics show a continued worsening.  14 States and DC now have unemployment rates of 10% or greater.  North Dakota has the nation’s best state employment rate with 95.7% of its people employed.  All 50 State Unemployment rates are listed below.

The Best States for Employment were North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and Virginia.

The Worst States for Employment were Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, Oregon and California.


California has the most unemployed in the nation with 2.248 million people out of work.  The States with Most Unemployment are:

Unemployed Unemp Rate
1 California 2248.0 12.2
2 Texas 966.0 8.0
3 Florida 983.7 10.7
4 New York 834.9 9.0
5 Michigan 736.1 15.2

(Unemployed in thousands)
Source: BLS

List of State Unemployment August 2009

1 NORTH DAKOTA 4.3%
2 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.9%
3 NEBRASKA 5.0%
4 UTAH 6.0%
5 VIRGINIA 6.5%
6 MONTANA 6.6%
6 WYOMING 6.6%
8 IOWA 6.8%
8 OKLAHOMA 6.8%
8 VERMONT 6.8%
11 NEW HAMPSHIRE 6.9%
12 ARKANSAS 7.1%
12 KANSAS 7.1%
14 HAWAII 7.2%
14 MARYLAND 7.2%
16 COLORADO 7.3%
17 NEW MEXICO 7.5%
18 LOUISIANA 7.8%
19 MINNESOTA 8.0%
19 TEXAS 8.0%
21 CONNECTICUT 8.1%
21 DELAWARE 8.1%
23 ALASKA 8.3%
24 MAINE 8.6%
24 PENNSYLVANIA 8.6%
26 WISCONSIN 8.8%
27 IDAHO 8.9%
28 NEW YORK 9.0%
28 WEST VIRGINIA 9.0%
30 ARIZONA 9.1%
30 MASSACHUSETTS 9.1%
32 WASHINGTON 9.2%
33 MISSISSIPPI 9.5%
33 MISSOURI 9.5%
35 NEW JERSEY 9.7%
36 INDIANA 9.9%
37 ILLINOIS 10.0%
38 GEORGIA 10.2%
39 ALABAMA 10.4%
40 FLORIDA 10.7%
41 NORTH CAROLINA 10.8%
41 OHIO 10.8%
41 TENNESSEE 10.8%
44 DC 11.1%
44 KENTUCKY 11.1%
46 SOUTH CAROLINA 11.5%
47 CALIFORNIA 12.2%
47 OREGON 12.2%
49 RHODE ISLAND 12.8%
50 NEVADA 13.2%
51 MICHIGAN 15.2%

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 States for Jobs: Job Openings Up 8.54%, 44 States Up

After dropping like a rock during the first few months of the year and staying there through May, job openings have increased 8.59% nationwide since May 31, according to analysis released by BestandWorstStates.com.  This is encouraging news and reinforces the view that employment dynamics are improving from their lows.  While a significant rebound, it should be viewed with caution as job openings are still 1.57% below late January levels, just prior to the stimulus package being passed.  Total job openings are not high enough to make a significant improvement to the jobless rate which was released this week to be a slightly improved 9.4%.  For a complete list of state job opening activity see previous post List of Job Openings by State

For our lastest post on Best and Worst States for Jobs go to Which States had the Best Employment Markets in 2009? Will 2010 Job Market Improve?

 

Good News Front:

Job openings increased nationwide 8.59% from May 31, 2009 from 210,048 to 231,370 on July 31, 2009.  This increase is quite significant with 44 states showing increases during the past two months.  The Top States for Jobs were mostly small states.  Indiana was a notable large state on the Best State for Jobs list with a 18.14% increase in job openings during the last 60 days.  Most of the Best States for Jobs have below average unemployment rates.  The number of job openings in many of these states are quite small.  Many of these small states would be Best States for Jobs if you are looking for employment however.  For the complete Best States for Jobs List see

Best States for Jobs (Per Cent Increase in Openings)

Rank State Job Growth% Jobless% #Job Open
1 Alaska 31.43% 8.4 1058
2 Idaho 22.26% 8.4 813
3 Maine 20.04% 8.5 539
4 Kentucky 18.89% 10.9 3285
5 Indiana 18.14% 10.7 5589
6 Montana 15.16% 6.4 585
7 Missouri 14.60% 9.5 5109
8 South Dakota 13.50% 5.1 664
9 Wyoming 12.33% 5.9 419
10 Alabama 12.31% 10.6 2883

Source:  Best and Worst States.com and  CareerBuilder.com

Not so Good News:

Job openings have decreased 1.57% since the end of January nationwide even though 30 states have more job openings than in January. The Top Ten US States according to population have shown a 4.1% decrease in job openings.  California, the US largest state, has 9.3% lower jobs available than in January.  With a 11.6% jobless rate, California appears to be a poor state for job seekers.  Illinois is also a Worst State for Jobs with a 14.2% drop in openings along with a 10.5% unemployment rate.  The US unemployment rate will not improve significantly without the Top Ten States also improving as these states have about 50% of the US population.

#Jobs Open 7-31 Change Job Growth% Jobless Rate Population
1 California 23450 -2405 -9.30% 11.6% 36.8
2 Texas 19373 -678 -3.38% 7.5% 24.3
3 New York 12667 -390 -2.99% 8.7% 19.5
4 Florida 14927 -247 -1.63% 10.6% 18.3
5 Illinois 11747 -1955 -14.27% 10.5% 12.9
6 Pennsylvania 11193 52 0.47% 8.3% 12.4
7 Ohio 8286 10 0.12% 11.1% 11.5
8 Michigan 5443 -98 -1.77% 15.2% 10
9 Georgia 7547 478 5.02% 10.5% 9.7
10 North Carolina 6860 57 0.84% 11.0% 9.2
121493 -5176 -4.09% 164.6

Unemployment Up in Every State

The US States continued to see rising unemployment in June. 16 States, if you count DC, now have unemployment rates greater than 10.0%. 38 states and DC saw increases from May. All 50 states and DC have higher unemployment than a year ago.  Our national unemployment rate was 9.5% in June.  The July national jobless numbers will be released on August 7.

Michigan continues to be the Worst State for Jobs with a 15.2% jobless rate. North Dakota is the Best State for Jobs with only a 4.2% unemployment rate.

3 of the 5 largest states by population have rates greater than 10.%  They are California, Florida and Illinois. California has more than twice as many jobless as any other state with 2.146 million jobless in June.  California has  the most unemployed people in the nation.  The next largest amount of unemployed are in Florida with 970,000 jobless in June according to BLS statistics.

We will be releasing shortly our updated analysis of job openings. Unemployment will continue to rise until more job openings start to appear.  List of Best and Worst States for Jobs is below.

1 Michigan 15.2
2 Rhode Island 12.4
3 Oregon 12.2
4 South Carolina 12.1
5 Nevada 12
6 California 11.6
7 Ohio 11.1
8 North Carolina 11
9 District of Columbia 10.9
10 Kentucky 10.9
11 Tennessee 10.8
12 Indiana 10.7
13 Alabama 10.6
14 Florida 10.6
15 Georgia 10.5
16 Illinois 10.5
17 Mississippi 9.8
18 Missouri 9.5
19 West Virginia 9.4
20 New Jersey 9.2
21 Washington 9.2
22 Wisconsin 9.2
23 Arizona 8.9
24 Massachusetts 8.7
25 New York 8.7
26 Maine 8.5
27 Alaska 8.4
28 Delaware 8.4
29 Idaho 8.4
30 Minnesota 8.4
31 Pennsylvania 8.3
32 Connecticut 8
33 Colorado 7.6
34 Texas 7.5
35 Hawaii 7.4
36 Maryland 7.3
37 Arkansas 7.2
38 Virginia 7.2
39 Vermont 7.1
40 Kansas 7
41 Louisiana 6.8
42 New Hampshire 6.8
43 New Mexico 6.8
44 Montana 6.4
45 Oklahoma 6.3
46 Iowa 6.2
47 Wyoming 5.9
48 Utah 5.7
49 South Dakota 5.1
50 Nebraska 5
51 North Dakota 4.2

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics

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.