Connecticut is the worst state in the nation for the unemployed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg news. The state ranked last among the 50 states and District of Columbia on the difficulty of life for the unemployed based on three equally weighted criteria: income replacement, the unemployment pool and income disparity, based on data compiled from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and U.S. Census.
According to the business news service, the ten most challenging states for unemployed residents are Connecticut, New Jersey, District of Columbia, California, Maryland, Alaska, New York, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
In developing the rankings, Bloomberg used the following: Average weekly unemployment benefits was the quarterly average from 2Q 2012 to 1Q 2013. Personal Income per capita was calculated by dividing 2013 preliminary total personal income by state data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis by the state population from the Census as of mid-year 2012. Unemployment rates were the July 2012 to June 2013 seasonally adjusted 12-month average figures for the civilian non-institutional population. Household income ratios were from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2011. The three scores were averaged for the final ranking.
Connecticut also ranked third from the bottom on Gross Domestic Product growth between 2008 and 2012, according to a companion Bloomberg report of data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Only Arizona and Nevada had a worse track-record during the period. Connecticut was one of ten states to experience negative GDP growth during the years of the comparison. The state’s GDP dropped to 197.2 billion last year, from 202.5 billion in 2008. The most dramatic increase in GDP was in North Dakota, where GDP grew 35 percent. Next was Texas, with a 12 percent increase, followed by Oregon, West Virginia, Alaska, Louisiana, Utah, Nebraska, Maryland and Indiana.
There was some good news for the Land of Steady Habits in recent data. Connecticut ranked #13 among the “least miserable” states in the nation. Which are the most miserable states? Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, New Mexico, South Carolina, Alabama, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky. All of which seems to indicate that a state can have solid GDP growth and still be relatively miserable – particularly for the unemployed.
Thirteen variables from the United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings were isolated to determine each state’s Misery Score. Among them: Air pollution levels refer to micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter. High school graduation rates refer to percent of incoming ninth graders who graduate within four years. Poor health days refer to the number of days in which a person could not perform work or household tasks due to poor mental or physical health. Personal income refers to income from all sources and is not inflation adjusted.
The least miserable states were – from the top – Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, South Dakota – and then Connecticut, at lucky #13.