The website MoneyRates.com has published research results that rank the 50 states according to a proprietary metric they call Compensation and Quality Factor pertaining to employment. It’s based on four factors:
- Average salary, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
- Cost of living, based on data from C2ER.
- Employment rate, based on BLS data.
- Workplace conditions, based on the “Work Environment” component of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The best state for job-searching and employment quality is Washington, which has one of the highest average incomes in the country. There’s also no state income tax and workplace conditions are tops.
The worst is Hawaii, which has a very high cost of living but wages that don’t compensate.
Pennsylvania doesn’t rate special mention, but New Jersey sure does, as it’s No. 9 of the top 10 worst. MoneyRate writes:
Clearly, the worst conditions for making a living are clustered in the Southeast and the Northeast. New Jersey suffers from the usual Northeastern formula for misery: High wages are undermined by a very high cost of living. The state’s unemployment rate is also fairly high, and workplace conditions are rated below average.
Boo. That’s especially distressing after I wrote this tribute to New Jersey, which I love. (And I dare you to contradict me. By which I mean: Bring it.)
• Best States to Make a Living 2014 [MoneyRate.com]
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