The best, worst states to work in America

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The top three states and territories to work in are Oregon, New York and Massachusetts, while the worst three states to work in are in the South, according to an August ranking by Oxfam America.

Oxfam America is an organization that analyzes and fights poverty globally. For its study, Oxfam looked at three categories: wages (40 percent of overall score), worker protections (35 percent) and the right to organize (25 percent). 

Some insights into the rankings and scores: 

  • For wage policies, the data looked at minimum wage and the ratio of state's minimum wage to the cost of living for a family of four. For example, in Washington the minimum wage is $13.69 an hour, where in bordering Idaho the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
  • Arizona scored No. 22 in the overall ranking but ranked in fifth place for wage policies.
  • The study looked into established policies that protect workers such as women and working parents. Some of the things considered include protections for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, mandated paid sick or family leave, and if there are rules limiting sudden changes in shift schedules.
  • For the right to organize policies, the study looked at laws that suppress union activity or give public workers the right to negotiate their wages. North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia scored a zero in the right to organize category.
  • Mississippi scored a zero for worker protection because it does not have laws that protect workers from sexual harassment, protect domestic workers or mandate compensation coverage for farmworkers.

Below is the overall rank of each state, along with its total score.

  1. Oregon — 85.68
  2. New York — 85.46
  3. Massachusetts — 85.22
  4. California — 84.2
  5. Washington, D.C. — 83.45
  6. New Jersey — 80.81
  7. Washington — 80.05
  8. Connecticut — 76.79
  9. Colorado — 71.88
  10. Illinois — 70.95
  11. Maine — 68.97
  12. Vermont — 68.91
  13. New Mexico — 67.89
  14. Hawaii — 64.29
  15. Rhode Island — 62.36
  16. Maryland — 62.03
  17. Minnesota — 61.06
  18. Puerto Rico — 60.29
  19. Nevada — 55.81
  20. Alaska — 52.72
  21. Ohio — 51.61
  22. Arizona — 50.69
  23. Virginia — 49.97
  24. Delaware — 47.92
  25. Nebraska — 46.35
  26. New Hampshire — 45.44
  27. Montana — 43.99
  28. South Dakota — 43.27
  29. Michigan — 38.48
  30. Pennsylvania — 38.46
  31. Missouri — 38.26
  32. Florida — 36.22
  33. West Virginia — 33.11
  34. Arkansas — 30.43
  35. Iowa — 27.78
  36. Wisconsin — 26.98
  37. Kentucky — 26.82
  38. Indiana — 26.63
  39. Wyoming — 25.67
  40. North Dakota — 25.19
  41. Idaho — 24.75
  42. Louisiana — 24.35
  43. Oklahoma — 24.25
  44. Tennessee — 23.34
  45. Utah — 22.72
  46. Kansas — 21.44
  47. Texas — 17.01
  48. South Carolina — 12.12
  49. Alabama — 10.63
  50. Mississippi — 8.08
  51. Georgia — 7.47
  52. North Carolina — 6.19

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