- We recently ranked the economies of the 50 US states and Washington, DC.
- We used six economic measures: unemployment, job growth, GDP per capita, GDP growth, average wages, and wage growth.
- Here’s where we got our data from, and how we combined it to make an overall snapshot of economic health.
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In our ranking of the economies of the states and DC, we looked at six measures of economic health.
Each measure was rescaled to allow us to compare them to one another. We calculated z-scores for each state on each measure, which rescales each variable based on its average and standard deviation.
To make the combined ranking, we added together the six indicator z-scores for each state to create an overall economic index.
Here are the sources for each of our measures:
- June 2019 unemployment rate: The most recent unemployment rate for each of the states and DC came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics program.
- Percent change in nonfarm payroll jobs, June 2018-June 2019: We calculated the rate of increase or decrease in nonfarm payrolls, also taken from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics data.
- Q1 2019 GDP per capita: Every quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis releases its estimates of the GDP of each state and DC. We used this and the Census Bureau’s estimates of the population of each state as of July 1, 2018, the most recently available data, to calculate GDP per person.
- Q1 2019 GDP growth: The BEA also releases estimates of GDP growth for the states and DC every quarter in the above release.
- June 2019 average weekly wage: We took this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ State and Metro Area Employment, Hours and Earnings program.
- Change in average weekly wage, June 2018-June 2019: This also came from the State and Metro Area Employment, Hours, and Earnings program.
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- Here’s how we ranked the economies of the 30 biggest US metro areas
- Here’s how every state’s economy is doing in 2019, ranked from worst to best
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