MoneyRates.com Identifies Best and Worst States for Making a Living

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MoneyRates.com releases a list of the best and worst states for making a living in today’s sluggish economy. The analysis ranks each state’s average wage, unemployment rate, tax rate and cost of living to reveal which states currently provide their residents with the best chance of finding a job and making a good income.

Job seekers who consider relocating for work may want to investigate their options to ensure they’re not simply trading one bad set of employment conditions for another.

MoneyRates.com identifies the best and worst states for making a living after analyzing four factors in each state that affect an individual’s ability to make a living: average wage, unemployment rate, state tax rate and cost of living. These four factors were combined to form an adjusted average income for each state, a representation of how good or bad a living the average person in that state is making.

Though the U.S. job market is still weak overall, conditions vary greatly from state to state. For example, in February 2011, the unemployment rate in Nevada was 13.6 percent but only 3.7 percent in North Dakota. Some states offer a much better chance of finding a job and earning a good living. Other states are at the opposite end of the spectrum and fall short when it comes to providing employment opportunities and the ability to earn a living wage.

“Job seekers who consider relocating for work may want to investigate their options to ensure they’re not simply trading one bad set of employment conditions for another,” advises Richard Barrington, spokesperson and personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com. “There are states you might want to avoid if you’re thinking of moving to improve your career.”

The 10 best states for earning a living, as well as each state’s corresponding annual adjusted average income, according to MoneyRates.com:

1.    Illinois -- $41,987
2.    Washington -- $41,456
3.    Texas -- $41,427
4.    Virginia -- $41,120
5.    Delaware -- $39,105
6.    Massachusetts -- $38,665
7.    Georgia -- $38,228
8.    Tennessee -- $38,038
9.    Colorado -- $38,020
10.    Minnesota -- $37,722

The 10 worst states for earning a living, as well as each state’s corresponding annual adjusted average income, according to MoneyRates.com:

1.    Hawaii -- $22,108
2.    Maine -- $29,159
3.    Montana -- $29,496
4.    California -- $29,772
5.    Vermont -- $29,986
6.    Oregon -- $30,343
7.    Rhode Island -- $30,612
8.    Mississippi -- $30,953
9.    West Virginia -- $31,357
10.    South Carolina -- $31,627

Methodology:
MoneyRates.com calculated an adjusted average income for each state - the average income adjusted for your chances of finding a job, how much you would lose to state taxes and how much purchasing power that income would have based on the cost of living in that state. The average across all states was $35,960.

About MoneyRates.com
Founded in 1999, MoneyRates.com helps consumers find the best high-yield savings account rates, money market rates and checking account and CD rates. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron's, USA Today, SmartMoney and U.S. News and World Report regularly source MoneyRates.com for investor and consumer insights.

Press Contact:
Jessica Cultra
479-739-2690
pr(at)moneyrates(dot)com

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