Can't find a job? Try Utah or Wyoming
A new study rates the top 10 and bottom 10 states for making a living. Bet you can't guess which one is the worst.
Just don't look in Hawaii.
The Aloha State came in dead last in "Best and Worst States to Make a Living," a new study from MoneyRates.com.
You're much better off looking in the top 10: Washington, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas or Oklahoma.
But . . . isn't Hawaii a paradise? And aren't some of those other places, you know, cold?
True in both cases, but study author Richard Barrington based his analysis on more than just weather.
To come up with these rankings, the analyst took into consideration:
- Average wage and unemployment data (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Cost of living data (Council for Community and Economic Reseach)
- State tax rate information (Tax-Rates.org)
- "Workplace environment" rankings (Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index)
That last is to provide some "qualitative" input, says Barrington, a senior financial analyst for MoneyRate.com. Obviously you should choose a job that covers the bills. But if two states hold similar job opps, why not take the one that comes with a better quality of life?
For many, that's likely to be Minneapolis rather than Maui. Although Hawaii has natural beauty (and great surfing) and also ranked No. 1 with regard to workplace environment, it also has a relatively high state tax burden and a cost of living that's two-thirds higher than the national average. Salaries, however, are only a little higher than the national average.
This is the third year in a row that Hawaii was ranked last. The nine other worst states are South Dakota, Alaska (where I now live), Vermont, West Virginia, New Jersey (my home state!), South Carolina, New York, Rhode Island and Mississippi.
(Want to know where your state ranks? See the full list on MoneyRates.com.)
There's hope (and employment) out there
If you were thinking of seeking fame and fortune on Oahu, this study might bum you out. However, it might help people who are convinced that it's impossible to find a job anywhere.
Articles about the job market tend to be written from "a national perspective," Barrington says. If you're living in Rhode Island, you might not know that the unemployment rate is considerably lower in Oklahoma or Arizona (No. 11 on the list).
I also know that it's tough to move away from family and friends. But look at it this way: You can stick around and see your loved ones fairly often while eking out a living on unemployment or temp work, or you can turn your job search elsewhere and plan to come home for Christmas.
A smarter search
It should be a search, incidentally. Don't just head to Washington or Wyoming on the grounds that you might find work. Check online job sites such as MSN Careers or Monster. Read the help-wanted ads in online editions of regional newspapers.
Social networking can be a huge advantage in the job search, whether it's using LinkedIn or letting your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know you're in the market. Somebody might know somebody who's looking to hire.
Word of mouth works, too. An acquaintance put it out in the universe that she was looking. Within a few days, she was told about a job she probably never would have found on her own. A week later, she was hired.
I hope your own job search has a similarly happy ending. Remember: You can be happy even after you leave your comfort zone. Your real life might be waiting to begin, even if that's in Nebraska. It certainly hasn't hurt Warren Buffett any.
More from MSN Money:
155,000 new jobs? how many were low paying part time jobs? probably 100,000 of those.. or 2/3's...btw.. how many jobs were lost this month? do they suctract that from the new ones? or are they skipping that? odd... according to a research center.. it said 12 million were unemployed...out of 250,000 million working americans... at that rage they said it was about 7.5%....however... basic math from 10 year old suggets that the rate would be around 5% of that rate...thats 1 in every 22 to 23 out of work..supposely... but that only is around 4.5% or so... so someones research is wayyyy off.. either MSN's or the medias or the gov. btw.. if were adding 150-250,000 new jobs PER MONTH.. and we've had this for a year now...um... shouldnt about 3-4 million more people be employed? odd... so how come the stats are fu##ed up?? how many are lost per month....there not telling us...more propaganda bullcrap.. btw idaho is the worst state...or it should be.. its got the lowest amount of new jobs and it ranks like 49th for job creations...
It was mandatory to attend meetings where we were told to NOT offer patients shampoo or toothpaste unless they asked for it. A standard nights stay in this deluxe hospital would run you 10,000 and were weren't allowed to offer patients shampoo. SHAMEFUL... dreadful that our economy is continuing to grow more and more greedy. Even with my years of experience as a secretary, I am unable to find full time work.
In Colorado the Democrats have taken over politically. The whole state is now a magnet for illegal immigrants who have displaced many American workers who work in construction or other trades. As soon as Obama can get them legalized and onto our entitlement programs this state will change dramatically.
I have said a thousand times. There are plenty of jobs out their. Maybe not the job that you have dreamed of, but a job. As I see it, the majority, (maybe not all) of the people who do not have a job, it's because they are not hungry. They have been living off the social system, ie, unemployment, welfare, food stamps, etc. for so long that they have accepted that as a life style. There are acceptations, disabled, etc. But I have seen way to many able body people just hanging around that could be working. Like the good Book says, an idle mind is the devil's work shop. Check out our prison system.
I am so tired of people claiming if you wanted a job you could get one... I've applied for Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Albertson's, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Walgreens, banks and you name it! I just love the cute e-mails that I receive telling me I am over qualified or under-qualified... how adorable. I refuse to uproot myself to move to another state where the only job available is for 8 dollars an hour. How pathetic.
What are they going to do when people can no longer afford the inflation that continues to increase our cost of living?!! Will they then raise the food stamp qualification income standards? How about they raise it to 25,000 a year for a married couple? Or how about 30,000 a year for a married couple with children? Maybe then people would stop stealing, robbing or protesting due to the cost of living. What is going to happen when the vast majority of us are unemployed, unable to pay rent or buy food and are on the door steps of the white house begging for things to change... will they then blame the "Left Wings" for putting starvation and poverty in our heads?! I wonder...
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
A Fidelity study found that adult kids and their folks aren't on the same page when it comes to discussing finances.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'