Western Plains states dominate payroll to population rankings

Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- North Dakota -- although beaten by Washington, D.C. -- was ranked the top state in terms of workers with full-time jobs in 2013, a Gallup study said.

In a study released Friday, Gallup said the payroll to population rate -- the percentage of adults with jobs of at least 30 hours -- was 55.7 percent in the nation's capital and 52.2 percent in North Dakota.

The Plains states dominated the top of the list with Maryland the only eastern state making the top 10.

Following North Dakota was Nebraska (51.4 percent), Minnesota (50.7 percent), Maryland (49.6 percent), Wyoming (48.9 percent), Iowa (48.5 percent), Colorado (48.4 percent), Alaska (48.4 percent and South Dakota (47.3 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum, Gallup said, West Virginia came in last with a payroll to population rate of 36.1. From the bottom up, West Virginia was followed by Mississippi (37.1 percent), New Mexico (37.4 percent), Hawaii (37.7 percent), Florida (38.3 percent), Montana (39.2 percent), South Carolina (39.6 percent), North Carolina (40.1 percent), Oregon (40.2 percent) and Idaho (40.2 percent).

Gallup said states with older populations -- West Virginia and Florida, for example -- ranked poorly, as did states where the housing market collapse was particularly difficult.

In another analytical view of the labor market, Gallup said North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Alaska were the states with the lowest underemployment rate, which counts the number of people in the workforce who are not working the number of hours that they desire.

In North Dakota, 10.1 percent of the workforce is working part-time, but looking for full-time work, Gallup said.

The top 10 also include Alaska, New Hampshire, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

On the other side of that spectrum, 22 percent of California's workforce is working part-time and seeking full-time work.

California is followed by Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii and North Carolina, where 19.6 percent of the workforce is considered underemployed.

Gallup's data comes from a survey conducted throughout 2013 that included 356,586 adults. The results of the survey carry a margin of error of 6 percentage points in individual states and 3 percentage points in most states, Gallup said.

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