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May 18, 2011
10 ‘Best States for Making a Living’

While the job market is still pretty weak overall, the truth is that conditions vary greatly from state to state, according to, which just named its 10 Best States for Making a Living.

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For example, in February of 2011, the unemployment rate was 13.6 percent in Nevada, but only 3.7 percent in North Dakota. On top of that, found significant differences in a number of other job-related factors as well, and an analysis of these factors cumulated in the list of the best states for making a living. looked at four factors involved in making a living:

  • Average state wages
  • State unemployment rate
  • State tax rate
  • State cost of living

Based on all these factors, 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. A ranking of these adjusted-average incomes is the basis for the following list of the top 10 states for making a living:

  1. Illinois $41,986.51
  2. Washington $41,455.73
  3. Texas $41,455.12
  4. Virginia $41,120.49
  5. Delaware $39,104.64
  6. Massachusetts $38,664.86
  7. Georgia $38.288.47
  8. Tennessee $38,038.27
  9. Colorado $38,020.24
  10. Minnesota $37,721.99

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