Every year US News & World Report assesses the 50 US states for a variety of characteristics such as health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime, fiscal stability and overall quality of life.
Several years have passed since the US fell into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. From 2007 to 2009 unemployment climbed past 10% at its worst, with some states doing even more poorly. Now unemployment stands at about 5% nationwide, although the recovery is not experienced in every state equally. The US News & World Report survey shows some states have only 2% unemployment while there are other states with 7%.
Growth of the US economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, was 2.6% annualized in 4Q of 2017, below that of the previous quarter. This number is also lower than the annual average from 1947 through 2017. There are political leaders who would like to see GDP reach 4%.
The following states did the best in the rankings for 2017:
1. Colorado: Ranked 4th for growth, 3rd for employment and 3rd for business environment.
2. Utah: Sixth for growth, 4th employment and 5th for business environment.
3. Washington: First for growth, 24th for employment, and 4th for business.
4. California: Fifth for growth, 29th for employment, and 1st for business environment.
5. Florida: Second for growth, 32nd for employment, and 7th for business environment.