Arizona ranks second for employment growth in a new report analyzing the top U.S. states for jobs, but finishes in the middle of the pack overall.
The report from consumer website Wallethub, "Best & Worst States for Jobs," ranks Arizona 27th in the U.S.
Rankings in the study were determined by assigning points for “33 key indicators of job-market strength, opportunity and a healthy economy.” Those points were then compiled to create the complete state rankings.
Massachusetts topped the rankings. West Virginia finished last.
In addition to ranking second for highest employment growth, Arizona ranked 45th place for highest unemployment rate.
"Some of [Arizona's] strong points include employment growth and outlook, low automation risk, and job security,” Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub, said. “The large share of engaged workers, the existence of work share programs, and the small percentage of workers with multiple jobs are other indications of the state's healthy work environment.”
A 2017 report by the Gallup Organization on the “State of the American Workplace” found that 35 percent of the state's workforce met its’ criteria of being “actively engaged” in their job. The number may seem low, but not when compared to the state that topped that list, Alabama, which has a 37 percent engagement rate.
Gonzalez those seeking employment in Arizona face a difficult balance.
“Arizona is lacking in job opportunities, employee benefits and access to employer-based retirement plans," she said. "The state has a high unemployment rate, and a large percentage of workers living in poverty."
The WalletHub study does provide some hope for states looking to reverse their positions on this list. It notes that there were “over 263,000 new jobs added in April 2019 alone and the unemployment rate (across the country) is at the lowest it’s been since December 1969.”