Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
No. 10 Maryland
Unemployment rate: 6.58%
Benefit as a percentage of income: 32.99%
Wealth disparity ratio: 1.42
Maryland's manufacturing industry took a hit last year. Such companies as RG Steel, Unilever, Hostess Brands and Phillips Foods cut thousands of jobs as steelmakers and others shut plants. While the state's 6.6 percent unemployment rate is lower than the national average of 7.5 percent, the situation for those without jobs is dire. Unemployment insurance covers just 33 percent of lost income, and the state's big wealth gap -- the highest in the nation, after New Jersey's -- makes being jobless here harder than in most of the country. For every household making less than $10,000 per year, 1.42 households make at least $200,000. Pew Charitable Trusts says the federal "sequestration" budget cuts will lead to a $3.4 million cut in federal grants to unemployment insurance in Maryland.