States With The Least Full-time Work

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10. Arizona
>Underemployment rate: 16.6%
>Official unemployment rate: 8.7% (17th highest)
>Gross domestic product: $227.1 billion (20th highest)
>Income per capita: $35,875 (11th lowest)

The housing bust has taken a toll on Arizona, as 43.4% of houses have negative equity in them, the third-highest rate in the country. Housing prices fell a whopping 52.7% from the end of 2006 to the end of 2011, the biggest fall for any state in the U.S. except Nevada. More than 20% of the residents of the state are on Medicaid, the only state on this list to crack the top 10 in this statistic. However, underemployment is showing signs of improvement. The underemployment average for all of 2011 was 18%, where it was the sixth-highest rate in the country.

9. Washington
>Underemployment rate: 17%
>Official unemployment rate: 8.7% (16th highest)
>Gross domestic product: $310.9 billion (14th highest)
>Income per capita: $44,294 (13th highest)

Washington’s unemployment rate is solidly above the June national unemployment rate of 8.2%, and, in addition, the state has plenty of people who have become discouraged, are marginally attached or are involuntarily working part-time. In fact, barely half of all underemployed people are counted as part of the official unemployment rate, the lowest rate among all the states on this list. The underemployment rate has been improving however, as the rate was 17.8% in 2011 as a whole, and 17.6% in the average between Q2 2011 and Q1 2012. Per capita income of $44,294 is the second-highest of the states on this list.

Also Read: Ten States Where Young People Can’t Find Work

8. Florida
>Underemployment rate: 17%
>Official unemployment rate: 9.2% (11th highest)
>Gross domestic product: $661.1 billion (4th highest)
>Income per capita: $39,563 (24th lowest)

Like many of the states on this list, a bruised housing market led to the loss of jobs in the housing industry, leaving many Floridians in less than desirable employment positions. With housing prices cut nearly in half between the end of 2006 and the end of 2011, 45.1% of homes are underwater. GDP growth between 2010 and 2011 rose only 0.5%, the lowest rate on this list. The labor force out of work at least 15 weeks is 6.2%, tied for fourth highest of all states. The state has the highest percentage of people who are over 65, an age group that generally takes longer to find a new job following unemployment.

7. South Carolina
>Underemployment rate: 17%
>Official unemployment rate: 10% (4th highest)
>Gross domestic product: $143.3 billion (24th lowest)
>Income per capita: $33,673 (5th lowest)

The difference between the official unemployment rate and the underemployment rate, 7 percentage points, is the lowest difference of any state on this list. This means that the underemployed tend to be officially unemployed compared to other states. Fortunately, South Carolina’s housing market did not crash as hard as other states. Only 19% of homes are underwater, a far better percentage than places such as Nevada, Florida and Arizona. The 8.5% drop in housing prices between 2006 and 2011 was the lowest on the list. Yet with consumer spending the biggest factor in determining the strength of the economy, South Carolina’s income per capita of $33,673, the lowest on this list, may make it more difficult than other states to emerge from its economic struggles.

6. Oregon
>Underemployment rate: 17.4%
>Official unemployment rate: 9.1% (12th highest)
>Gross domestic product : $186.2 billion (25th highest)
>Income per capita: $37,909 (19th lowest)

While the unemployment rate fell slightly from the recorded rate of 9.2%, the underemployment rate has actually rose from 17.2% in the previous quarter. Oregon is the only state on this list to see an uptick in underemployment. Despite its high underemployment rate, Oregon’s economy did improve by some measures in 2011. Its 2011 gross domestic product rose by 4.7%, more than any state on this list and the second highest of all states measured. Also, the rate of people unemployed for 15 or more weeks is 4.7%, the lowest rate on this list.