Despite slow economic growth some states continue to struggle with unemployment and high costs of living. MoneyRates’ list of the worst U.S. states to make a living breaks down those areas hardest hit by economic slowdown.
Hawaii’s picturesque landscapes can’t hide the state’s ugly economic climate. It’s very high cost of living and near average earnings make it a tough place for making a living.
Adjusted average income: $22,394
Maine’s lower wages and an above-average cost of living keep it near the top of the worst states list.
Adjusted average income: 29,703
While the state made improvements with its labor market and increased the adjusted average income, it’s still behind most of its competition.
Adjusted average income: $30,433
Mississippi has the distinction of having the lowest average income in the country as well as a higher-than-average unemployment rate.
Adjusted average income: $31,178
Montana climbed a few spots from 2011, but the state’s continued low income levels still hamper the state.
Adjusted average income: $31,256
Another New England state on the list, Rhode Island’s cost of living and unemployment rate hurt residents’ earning potential.
Adjusted average income: $31,353
The Golden State’s high taxes and cost of living keep the state in the bottom 10 again this year—but it was able to climb three spots from last year’s ranking.
Adjusted average income: $31,456
With one of the lowest average income levels in the country, West Virginia is hard to make a living in.
Adjusted average income: $32,297
Low income and high unemployment kept the Palmetto State on the list for the second year in a row.
Adjusted average income: $32,645
Despite having no state income tax, South Dakota is the newcomer to this year's list because its average income is the second lowest in the country.
Adjusted average income: $33,121
The job market has been experiencing some positive momentum recently, but job seekers might want to avoid these states ranked on MoneyRate’s worst states to make a living.