Special Report

This Is the Worst State to Work in America

Kerkez / iStock via Getty Images

There are a large number of studies about which cities and states are best to work in. Among the most well-known are those from U.S. News and WalletHub. These are based on unemployment, job growth, job satisfaction, and the variety of industries. A new study uses different yardsticks, relying primarily on whether a state is worker friendly.

Oxfam America, a nonprofit with the mission of lowering poverty, released “Best and Worst States to Work in America 2021.” The new study uses three measures: wage policies (40%), worker protections (35%), and rights to organize (25%). Each state is rated on a scale of 1 to 100. Based on the Oxfam survey, the worst state to work, by far, is North Carolina with a score of 6.19. Among the reasons it rates so poorly is that it gets a zero for “right to organize.”

Left out of the analysis are several other important pieces of data. Among them is state unemployment. North Carolina’s unemployment rate, at 4.4% in July, is well below the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Find out how the state economy ranks among the states with the best and worst economies.

The median household income in North Carolina is well below the national median of $63,179, according to the Census Bureau. The North Carolina figure is $53,369. However, North Carolina also has among the lowest annual costs of living. (Some cities in the state rank among the happiest cities in America according to residents.)

Across all of the studies rating the best states to work (and, in some cases, to live), what is lost is that different media and organizations have not agreed on a standard set of measures. That means each survey has a built-in weakness, and also some bias. What someone makes in wages, or how they make it, is not a sufficient yardstick. Quality of life is another yardstick, and Oxfam has a very narrow view of what goes into that.

Click here to see the worst state to work in America

Source: shironosov / iStock via Getty Images

1. Oregon
> Overall score: 85.68

[in-text-ad]

Source: stockstudioX / E+ via Getty Images

2. New York
> Overall score: 85.46

Source: Medioimages/Photodisc / Photodisc via Getty Images

3. Massachusetts
> Overall score: 85.22

Source: halbergman / E+ via Getty Images

4. California
> Overall score: 84.20

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: SelectStock / Vetta via Getty Images

5. New Jersey
> Overall score: 80.81

Source: GarysFRP / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

6. Washington
> Overall score: 80.05

[in-text-ad]

Source: Mark Molesworth / iStock via Getty Images

7. Connecticut
> Overall score: 76.79

Source: THEPALMER / E+ via Getty Images

8. Colorado
> Overall score: 71.88

Source: YinYang / iStock via Getty Images

9. Illinois
> Overall score: 70.95

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: jtyler / iStock via Getty Images

10. Maine
> Overall score: 68.97

Source: pckane / iStock via Getty Images

11. Vermont
> Overall score: 68.91

[in-text-ad]

Source: duckycards / E+ via Getty Images

12. New Mexico
> Overall score: 67.89

Source: JamesYetMingAu-Photography / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

13. Hawaii
> Overall score: 64.29

Source: iShootPhotosLLC / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

14. Rhode Island
> Overall score: 62.36

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Win McNamee / Getty Images News via Getty Images

15. Maryland
> Overall score: 62.03

Source: jferrer / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

16. Minnesota
> Overall score: 61.06

[in-text-ad]

Source: Lacheev / iStock via Getty Images

17. Nevada
> Overall score: 55.81

Source: FatCamera / E+ via Getty Images

18. Alaska
> Overall score: 52.72

Source: GCShutter / E+ via Getty Images

19. Ohio
> Overall score: 51.61

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: opolja / iStock via Getty Images

20. Arizona
> Overall score: 50.69

Source: poba / E+ via Getty Images

21. Virginia
> Overall score: 49.97

[in-text-ad]

Source: hyderabadi / iStock via Getty Images

22. Delaware
> Overall score: 47.92

Source: YakobchukOlena / iStock via Getty Images

23. Nebraska
> Overall score: 46.35

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

24. New Hampshire
> Overall score: 45.44

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Ralf Nau / DigitalVision via Getty Images

25. Montana
> Overall score: 43.99

Source: Mogala / iStock via Getty Images

26. South Dakota
> Overall score: 43.27

[in-text-ad]

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

27. Michigan
> Overall score: 38.48

Source: Alex Potemkin / iStock via Getty Images

28. Pennsylvania
> Overall score: 38.46

Source: Lana2011 / iStock via Getty Images

29. Missouri
> Overall score: 38.26

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: JohnnyGreig / E+ via Getty Images

30. Florida
> Overall score: 36.22

Source: SDI Productions / E+ via Getty Images

31. West Virginia
> Overall score: 33.11

[in-text-ad]

Source: peeterv / iStock via Getty Images

32. Arkansas
> Overall score: 30.43

Source: skodonnell / iStock via Getty Images

33. Iowa
> Overall score: 27.78

Source: csfotoimages / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

34. Wisconsin
> Overall score: 26.98

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

35. Kentucky
> Overall score: 26.82

Source: PJ66431470 / iStock via Getty Images

36. Indiana
> Overall score: 26.63

[in-text-ad]

Source: grandriver / E+ via Getty Images

37. Wyoming
> Overall score: 25.67

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock via Getty Images

38. North Dakota
> Overall score: 25.19

Source: littleny / iStock via Getty Images

39. Idaho
> Overall score: 24.75

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: DMEPhotography / iStock via Getty Images

40. Louisiana
> Overall score: 24.35

Source: Susan Vineyard / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

41. Oklahoma
> Overall score: 24.25

[in-text-ad]

Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

42. Tennessee
> Overall score: 23.34

Source: Drazen_ / E+ via Getty Images

43. Utah
> Overall score: 22.72

Source: LEEDDONG / iStock via Getty Images

44. Kansas
> Overall score: 21.44

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: leekris / iStock via Getty Images

45. Texas
> Overall score: 17.01

Source: Alex Potemkin / E+ via Getty Images

46. South Carolina
> Overall score: 12.12

[in-text-ad]

Source: ablokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

47. Alabama
> Overall score: 10.63

Source: MichaelWarrenPix / iStock via Getty Images

48. Mississippi
> Overall score: 8.08

Source: krblokhin / iStock via Getty Images

49. Georgia
> Overall score: 7.47

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: J. Michael Jones / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

50. North Carolina
> Overall score: 6.19

Take This Retirement Quiz To Get Matched With An Advisor Now (Sponsored)

Are you ready for retirement? Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, that’s why it could be a good idea to speak to a fiduciary financial advisor about your goals today.

Start by taking this retirement quiz right here from SmartAsset that will match you with up to 3 financial advisors that serve your area and beyond in 5 minutes. Smart Asset is now matching over 50,000 people a month.

Click here now to get started.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.