Best States for Gainful Employment

This began with a simple question: “What is the best state in the United States to live in for gainful employment?” One important variable is the median household income. Obviously the more income that a median household earns the more potential there is for gainful employment. Another important variable to examine is the cost of living in a state. This is because a lower cost of living equates to lower expenses as a household. If a person has a high household income and fewer expenses then they have more money in their pocket at the end of the day.   A third variable is the unemployment rate within the sate. Naturally, a person needs to be employed before they can be gainfully employed. There are probably other variables that might also be considered but these three are the focus of this analysis.

The data used came from three different sources which had each determined one of the three variables for this analysis (links are at the bottom of the page). The states were then assigned a rank (if the data source hadn’t ranked them) where 1 was the best and 50 was the worst. The three scores for each state were summed to create the Worker Hardship Index values in the chart.


The data used for the median household income was separated by political party (Democratic/Republican). The way that they determined if a state was classified as one or the other was by taking the party affiliation of the three highest ranking politicians (the governor and the two senators) for each state. Whichever party had two or more of the three positions became the state’s affiliation.


The same political affiliations from the source were utilized to examine if political party influenced the results of states in the Worker Hardship Index. Some basic stats were tabulated (Table 1) where the mean score for democratic states was 79.0227 and the mean for republican states was 74.3929 (median was 76 and 73.5 respectively). Subsequently, the variance and normality were checked on the data and an ANOVA was run utilizing R.

  1. StatesAnova

An ANOVA is a statistical test that can be utilized to determine if there is likely a difference between different factors in a dataset. This ANOVA produced a p-value of 0.501 which means that the difference between the means and medians of republican and democratic states was not significant. In less technical words there is no statistical reason for us to believe that the political association of a state (as determined above) has any impact on the Worker Hardship Index score for that state.

Congratulations to the top 10 most gainfully employed states! You must be doing something right.

State                            Raw Score           Political               Rank

  1. Utah                                      37                           Republican         1
  2. Iowa                                       41                           Republican         2
  3. Wyoming                            41                           Republican         3
  4. Nebraska                            43                           Republican         4
  5. Virginia                                44                           Democratic         5
  6. North Dakota                  47                           Republican         6
  7. New Hampshire             49                           Democratic         7
  8. Kansas                                 51                           Republican         8
  9. Minnesota                        52                           Democratic         9
  10. Texas                                    52                           Republican         10
  11. Colorado                           53                           Democratic         11
  12. Indiana                                53                           Republican         12
  13. Idaho                                    55                           Republican         13
  14. Hawaii                                  58                           Democratic         14
  15. South Dakota                  61                           Republican         15
  16. Maryland                          64                           Democratic         16
  17. Michigan                           65                           Democratic         17
  18. Oklahoma                         65                           Republican         18
  19. Vermont                           66                           Democratic         19
  20. Wisconsin                        66                           Republican         20
  21. Delaware                          69                           Democratic         21
  22. Illinois                                 72                           Republican         22
  23. Ohio                                     72                           Republican         23
  24. Kentucky                           75                           Republican         24
  25. Massachusetts              75                           Democratic         25
  26. Connecticut                     76                           Democratic         26
  27. Washington                     76                           Democratic         27
  28. New Jersey                      80                           Democratic         28
  29. Missouri                            81                           Democratic         29
  30. Montana                           81                           Democratic         30
  31. Georgia                              84                           Republican         31
  32. Maine                                  84                           Republican         32
  33. Pennsylvania                  85                           Democratic         33
  34. Arkansas                           89                           Republican         34
  35. New York                         90                           Democratic         35
  36. Tennessee                       90                           Republican         36
  37. Rhode Island                 94                           Democratic         37
  38. Alaska                                95                           Republican         38
  39. Florida                               95                           Republican         39
  40. Alabama                           96                           Republican         40
  41. California                         97                           Democratic         41
  42. Mississippi                      97                           Republican         42
  43. North Carolina             100                         Republican         43
  44. Arizona                              101                         Republican         44
  45. Louisiana                          103                         Republican         45
  46. South Carolina             106                         Republican         46
  47. Nevada                              112                         Republican         47
  48. Oregon                              114                         Democratic         48
  49. West Virginia                 133                         Democratic         49
  50. New Mexico                   136.5                     Democratic         50


Links to data used:

Chattanooga, TN should increase minimum wage to $24.75 per hour

Chattanooga, TN should increase the minimum wage to $24.75  per hour.

Tennessee has more people paid minimum wage, or lower, than any state in the United States

I live in the Chattanooga metropolitan area and recently I have been reading about wages of employees and fairness of pay. It turns out that Tennessee has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the entire nation at a surprising 7.4% of the hourly workforce.  This information was worked out based on data from check it out here). This means that Tennessee is a ripe place to discuss employee wages and potential solutions to wage problems in this area and other places in the country. In this article I try to show why a Single-Income per household living wage model is a good solution.

Two Income Households are Problematic

The rise of two income households began perhaps as far back as the 1940’s where about 30% of women worked (my numbers are from here). This number increased to around 40% by 1967. I located some numbers of inflation adjusted median house hold income from 1967 to 2012  which shows that the inflation adjusted median household income of 1967 was about $43,000 and in 2012 that value had increased to about $51,000. This represents just over $8,000 in increased median household income over 55 years.

Let’s compare that $8,000 increase in household income to the increased presence of women in the workforce over that same period. From 1967 to 2012 the percentage of women working increased from 40% to 57%. This amounts to a 17% increase in female prevalence within the workforce. Simultaneously, the median household income increased 18%.  This may seem reasonable except that mass production has made prices cheaper and economically this was an exceptional growth period for the United States. The Dow Jones doubled in the same time period as can be seen in this 100 year chart. Comparing the market index chart to a CNN chart it seems that prior to 1968 the purchase power available to minimum wage was gradually increasing and so was the market. Though after 1968 as women’s role in the workforce increased the purchase power of minimum wage dropped.

When I look at this drop the more cynical side of me cannot help but think that the reduction of purchase power is a direct a result of corporate entities realizing that more and more of the work force was dominated by two-income households naturally they would realize that they could pay lower wages and the working class would accept these conditions. As peoples wages were decreased slowly over 55 years more households were becoming two-income households. It is not clear from the available data if this occurred from necessity or because people enjoyed the short-term luxury afforded by an increased household income. Either way the two-income household became the normal way of life within this country. The purchase power of minimum wage workers eroded and lower income families moved more towards the two-income household model.

The effects go beyond adults working more!

This might be easily dismissed and shrugged off as a situation where times are rough and people need to buckle down and get things done. The consequences instead are potentially massive. If we continue to accept a two-income household as the norm in our society then it will eventually, if it hasn’t already, eliminate the ability of vast portions of the american population the option to maintain a single income household where one of the adults doesn’t need to work.

Well maybe two-income households benefit society by increasing productivity and the single income household was a fluke? Surely there are some benefits to national productivity from a larger potential work force which certainly benefit the american people. However, what seems to be happening is that men’s income is being reduced while women’s income is being increased until they meet somewhere in the middle.

The current women’s rights movement is a push for equal wages between men and women. This is absolutely something which needs to be realized across the board in all areas where women work. They should get equal pay for equal work. The problem I have with this scenario is that we shouldn’t be lowering men’s wages to increase women’s wages. Instead men’s wages should be growing and women’s wages should be increased even more to close the gap.

Another problem is realized in the early child development in two-income households. Children raised in this environment have a less stable home life and perhaps more stressed and overworked parents. This can create a stressful environment for the children and could produce negative effects in growth and development. Additionally it prohibits the parents from providing as much attention to their children to teach and prepare them for taking over after we pass the torch on to them.

Business Wins and the American People Lose

American households stand to lose a lot. My personal opinion is that this is the cause of a lot of problems we are seeing today. Most importantly households are working more for less per hour of work. The businesses, and their owners, are making out like bandits. They have machines making products cheaper each day with a smaller work force. They have two-income households becoming the norm which allows them to reduce the incomes of their formerly single income household employees. We haven’t arrived there yet but my fear is that we are headed towards a way of life where households work 80 hours a week to provide what only 100 years ago was provided by 40 hours of work. This current model leads to a degradation of the american lifestyle.

Increasing Minimum Wage is the Answer

The situation can be changed to make the American citizens the winners and the businesses can become more profitable by real improvement instead of a false improvement where they get more labor for cheaper. American families are potentially harming the growth and development of the next generation by reducing the ability of parents to choose to keep a parent home to care for and raise the children. The best way, in this Authors current opinion, to fix this problem is to set a living wage based on what an American Household should be for size and for standard of living. The living wage should be based on a single-income household and if households have two incomes then naturally they should receive the full luxury of that second income. Additionally these minimum living wages based on Single-Income households should be indexed to the cost of living this is to prevent the business world from once again devaluing the work of Americans.

Currently the best charts I can find for estimating what a single-income family living wage might be are produced by  Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at this website where you may look up your own community. In Chattanooga Tennessee if we call my family the average Chattanoogan household, two adults and 3 kids, then an appropriate living wage would be in the $24.75 ballpark. Sure there may be an argument for a smaller household size to be considered than my family of five but the basic premise holds true. Set a minimum wage at a living wage for a typical single income American household and index it to the cost of living.

Check out the MIT link for Chattanooga to see the $24.75 for yourself. Obviously this would have to be implemented over a longer period of time, perhaps a decade of annual pay increases to catch the American worker up with an appropriate salary while allowing businesses time to adjust and plan.

To discuss this issue please start a thread on our new forums. This is an evolving idea and maybe updated as more perspective is gained.

A sample Diminished enlightenment system

Here is a way that Enlightened CP could be diminished to allow players to catch up more easily.


Basically, as your CP gets closer to the highest CP the amount of enlightenment you receive is reduced. If ZoS would like help making a system they like I am available for consult.

Basically the premise behind it is that as the proportion of your cp to the highest players cp changes then so does the amount of enlightened cp you get on a a daily basis.

For example if there are 11 players

0 cp, 100 cp, 200 cp, 300 cp, 400 cp, 500 cp, 600 cp, 700 cp, 800 cp, 900 cp, 1000 cp

Then those players would get 10,  9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0 cp respectively.

This would make it much easier for the lower CP players to reduce the CP gap.

Sorry for the typos, my computer keyboard is jacked up atm thanks to the baby.