The best and worst states to make a living in 2015

The best and worst states to make a living in 2015

(WVUE) - Whether you're looking for work or eager to advance your career, where you choose to live can make a real difference.

A new study ranks the best and worst states to make a living in 2015. MoneyRates, a finance website, evaluated several factors to determine where workers have the best shot at a healthy paycheck, a decent cost of living and safe workplaces.

Five factors were evaluated. These factors include:

  • Average wages: Average annual wage data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • State tax rates: MoneyRates analyzed the state tax information collected by the research group Tax Foundation.
  • Cost of living: Data was sourced from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index.
  • The unemployment rate: Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Incidents of workplace illness, injuries and fatalities: This workplace safety data is from the BLS, which sourced data from employer reports to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

The results showed that job prospects are not equal across America. Some states are booming, while others still struggle with high unemployment.

Texas was the best state to make a living for 2015, according to the study, moving up from second place last year. It edged out Washington, with the two states trading positions from last year.

Hawaii is a tough place for workers looking to get ahead, the study states. It came in dead last in the analysis of all 50 states, largely due to its sky-high cost of living. Adjusted for taxes and the cost of living, workers in Hawaii get the equivalent value of just 55 cents for every dollar they make.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.