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Massachusetts Beats Texas as Unemployment Rises Less in Ranking

Massachusetts Beats Texas as Unemployment Rises Less
An employee at the American Disposables Inc. factory works on the assembly line in Ware, Massachusetts, U.S. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- The Massachusetts labor market deteriorated less than in Texas from 2008 to 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Massachusetts was the fourth most-friendly state for employment in the period, the data show. Texas, where Republican Governor Rick Perry has touted his state’s title as Chief Executive magazine’s best for business, was sixth.

Governor Deval Patrick credited Massachusetts’s commitment to education for the ranking. “We’ve invested in public education at the highest level in the history of the commonwealth, even when the bottom’s been falling out of everything else,” the Democrat said in an interview. “It’s our calling card around the world.”

Massachusetts has a greater percentage of residents 25 or older who hold at least a bachelor’s degree than any other state, according to the Census Bureau; Texas ranks 30th. The unemployment rate among U.S. college graduates was 4.5 percent in May, compared with 14.7 percent for those who don’t hold a high school degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Perry, the longest-serving Texas governor, told a $1,000-a-plate dinner of the New York County Republican Party in Manhattan June 14 that the U.S. needs low taxes, reduced spending and less regulation to end its “economic misery.” Perry, 61, said May 27 he was “thinking about” running for president.

Bloomberg’s ranking weighed changes in states’ employment, their jobless rates and annual median wages. Alaska and North Dakota, which placed first and second, were the only states where the number of jobs in 2010 was more than two years earlier. Both were buoyed by their petroleum industries during the longest recession since World War II, which ended in June 2009, midway through the measurement period.

To contact the reporters on this story: Simone Baribeau in Miami at sbaribeau@bloomberg.net. Jennifer Prince in New York at jprince10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.

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