When you search job listings, you may want to give top priority to the 15 best states to make a living. You never know where your next opportunity may pop up, but targeting these markets could make your search go faster.
MoneyRates.com conducts an annual survey ranking states based on data from sources including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cost of living data, state tax rates and the Gallup-Healthways index on workplace environmental ratings. These are the 15 states that got top ratings for 2013:
Washington: Washington is the clear winner. It has the lowest cost of living among the eight states where average wages exceed $50,000 a year. It also has no state income tax.
Virginia: Low unemployment (5.6%) and cost of living enable Virginia to come in second.
Colorado: In addition to the third best ranking for workplace environment, you’ve got the Rocky Mountains, skiing and national parks.
Texas: Texas has been in the top five for 3 years mostly for its low cost of living.
Wyoming: The home of Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, also earns the second best score for work environments.
Minnesota: Minnesota is back in the top 10 after a narrow miss in 2012.
Nebraska: This is the first time Nebraska has cracked the top ten.
Utah: Enjoy a low cost of living and unemployment rate. If you don’t like crowds, it’s also the tenth least densely populated state.
Kansas: Yet another example of low cost of living and unemployment.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma is another newcomer to the top 10.
Rounding out the top 15 are Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri and Indiana. Hawaii came in last with a cost of living two-thirds higher than the national average.
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