Here’s the latest rundown of the 10 best states for working courtesy of moneyrates.com:
- Washington. Washington repeats as the best state for all-round employment conditions, and it held the No. 2 spot in the two years before that. Washington’s strengths include one of the highest average incomes in the nation, no state income tax and workplace conditions that ranked in the top 10 in the Gallup-Healthways survey. The state’s unemployment rate and cost of living are above average, but only slightly, so this is not enough to undermine its positives.
- Texas. Another state with no income tax, Texas moves up from the No. 4 position last year. While the typical income in Texas is only about average, the state benefits from a cost of living and unemployment rate that are both lower than average. Employees in the state indicate that workplace conditions are good enough to rank in the top 10 nationally.
- Minnesota. This state moved up three slots from sixth last year, largely on the strength of a very low unemployment rate and excellent workplace conditions. The state does have a higher-than-average cost of living and tax burden, but incomes in the state are more than enough to make up for these disadvantages.
- Colorado. The greatest strength Colorado has going for it is a high average income level in a state where the cost of living is about typical of the nation as a whole. Workplace conditions are considered decent, and unemployment is about average. The only clear negative is a state tax burden that is higher than the national norm.
- Utah. Like the other states in the top five, Utah repeats a top-10 showing from last year, and this time around it moved up three slots from eighth. Cost of living and unemployment in the state are very low, and workplace conditions are above average. Slightly below-average incomes and above-average tax burdens hold take-home pay down a bit though.
- North Dakota. Surging up from 17th, North Dakota benefits tremendously from the nation’s lowest unemployment rate, and employees gave the state’s workplace conditions the highest rating of any state. Taxes are also very low, which is good because the average income is a little below par.
- Virginia. Despite slipping from the No. 4 ranking last year, Virginia deserves recognition for making the top 10 in all four years of this study. Virginia benefits from high incomes, a moderate cost of living and low unemployment. However, the typical tax burden is heavier than average, and employees in Virginia rated workplace conditions a little below the norm.
- Nevada. As a state that suffered terribly from the economic downturn, Nevada showed resilience by climbing 10 places in the rankings this year. The unemployment rate, though still a problem, has fallen by more than 5 percentage points over the past four years, and employees give the state’s workplace conditions high marks. Incomes are a little below par, but between no state income taxes and a low cost of living, Nevadans come out ahead.
- Oklahoma. Up one place from last year, Oklahoma’s virtues include a low cost of living, low unemployment and excellent workplace conditions. These help make up for a relatively low average income.
- Nebraska. Yet another repeat from last year’s top 10, Nebraska earned high honors again, thanks primarily to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. The cost of living is also very reasonable, and its workplace conditions earned an above-average ranking.
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E.J. Smith is Founder of YourSurvivalGuy.com, Managing Director at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd., a Managing Editor of Richardcyoung.com, and Editor-in-Chief of Youngresearch.com. E.J. graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with a B.S. in finance and investments. In 1995, E.J. began his investment career at Fidelity Investments in Boston before joining Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. in 1998. E.J. has trained at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, NH. His first drum set was a 5-piece Slingerland with Zilldjians. He grew-up worshiping Neil Peart of the band Rush, and loves the song Tom Sawyer—the name of his family’s boat, a Grady-White Canyon 306. He grew up in Mattapoisett, MA, an idyllic small town on the water near Cape Cod. He spends time in Newport, RI and Bartlett, NH—both as far away from Wall Street as one could mentally get. The Newport office is on a quiet, tree lined street not far from the harbor and the log cabin in Bartlett, NH, the “Live Free or Die” state, sits on the edge of the White Mountain National Forest. He enjoys spending time in Key West and Paris. Please get in touch with E.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org.