Sunday, June 13, 2021

    Here is how we ranked the economies of the states and DC

    Here is how we ranked the economies of the states and DC

    women doing math at whiteboardwomen doing math at whiteboard

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    • Business Insider recently published its state economy ranking.
    • Below are our methods and data sources used to create an overall economic index for the 50 states and Washington, DC.
    • We used datasets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and US Census from January 2020 and Q3 2019.  
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    We recently released our state economy ranking using January 2020 and Q3 2019 data.

    For our state economy ranking, we used six different labor-market and overall economic datasets and then scaled the figures using z-score so that we can compare the values on the same scale. After that, we summed the z-scores to get an overall economic index that we then ranked from lowest to highest. 

    Here are the sources for each of our measures:

    • Preliminary January 2020 unemployment rate: The 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, January 2019-January 2020:  We calculated the rate of increase or decrease in nonfarm payrolls, also taken from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics data.
    • Q3 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, 2019, the most recently available data, to calculate GDP per person.
    • Q3 2019 GDP growth:  The BEA also releases estimates of GDP growth for the states and DC every quarter in the above release.
    • Q3 2019 average weekly wage: We took this from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program.
    • Change in average weekly wage, Q3 2018-Q3 2019: This also came from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program.

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