Bloomberg Rankings used three criteria to identify the worst states to be unemployed in: income replacement, or average unemployment benefits (as of 2012's fourth quarter) as a percentage of median state income per capita; the unemployment rate as of March 2013; and wealth disparity, the ratio of households with incomes of at least $200,000 to those with incomes of less than $10,000, according to the most recent census data available (2011). Each state was ranked on the three criteria, and the ranks were averaged. When there was a tie, as there was with New Jersey, Illinois and Delaware, it was broken by considering the percentage of growth or decline in the employed population over a 1-year period between March 2012 and March 2013.
Data Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Labor, Office of Unemployment, Pew Charitable Trusts,
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