Georgia has some work to do to improve its performance when it comes to jobs, according to a new report from financial website Wallethub.
According to the analysis, "Best and Worst States for Jobs," Georgia ranks 36th in the U.S. Massachusetts tops the list, while West Virginia placed 50th.
"Georgia is the 15th worst state to find a job," Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub, said. "Some of the reasons for this are the large share of unemployed residents who have been jobless for more than six months, the fact that employees have little access to employer-based retirement plans, and the fact that there are few policies aimed at improving workers' quality of life, especially women and parents.”
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.
On the positive side, workers in Georgia receive the fifth highest monthly starting salary. On the flip side, the state is tied with Mississippi for 45th place with the highest unemployment rate.
“Additionally, employers in Georgia lack in disability friendliness, there are long commutes as well as very few commuter friendly jobs,” Gonzalez said.
Georgia faces some tax policy hurdles as well.
“Another important thing to consider is the state income tax burden, which is among the highest, especially for middle income earners," Gonzalez said.
Individuals earning more than $7,000 and couples earning more than $10,000 pay a 6 percent income tax rate.
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.”