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October 26, 2005
Researchers Rank the Most Employee-Friendly States

Delaware, New Hampshire, and Minnesota are the most employee-friendly states in the country, according to a ranking by researchers from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts.

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The researchers looked at the working environments in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., analyzing data on average pay, employment opportunities, employee benefits, percentage of low-income workers, fair treatment between genders, and ability for employees to unionize.

Each state received a ranking on a scale of 1-100 in three categories--job opportunities, job quality and workplace fairness. The researchers then averaged the ratings in those three categories to determine the state's total score.

Delaware, at the top of the list, received a total score of 89, ranking second in job quality, third in workplace fairness, and sixth in job opportunities. Louisiana, at the bottom, received a total of 31, ranking last in workplace fairness.

Each of the six New England states is in the top 20 on the list. California is 33rd and New York ties for 36th.

According to the PERI's Work Environment Index, the top five states for worker environment are:

1. Delaware (89)
2. New Hampshire (81)
3. Minnesota (80)
4. Vermont (77)
5. Iowa (73)

The worst states for worker environment are:
46-48. Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah (tied-36)
49. Arkansas (34)
50. Texas (33)
51. Louisiana (31)

You can see where your state fell here. The researchers say they will update the list each year.

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