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Indiana near basement in WalletHub’s best, worst states for jobs list

A view of a business seeking workers. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — State leaders won’t like the latest of WalletHub’s many lists. The personal finance company calls the state one of the worst when it comes to the working world.

The site places Indiana 45 out of 50 in the “Best & Worst States for Jobs.” The study slots states by cumulative performance in a formula of 34 indicators of job-market strength and economic health.

The state’s poor overall performance appears to be a result of relatively low scores across the board rather than extremely poor performance in individual areas; Indiana is not among the bottom five in any of the spotlighted categories of Job Opportunities, Employment Growth, Monthly Average Starting Salary, Unemployment Rate, Median Annual Income, Time Spent Working, Time Spent Commuting, or Work-Related Stress.

In hindsight, a city-level job report earlier this year telegraphed the state’s bad result in the new study; WalletHub put Indianapolis #158 and Fort Wayne #160 for jobs.

The state report gives the highest praise to Washington, Virginia, and Utah.

Washington lands at No. 1 on the strength of its tech industry, a low poverty rate, and protections in areas like paid sick leave, equal pay, and sexual harassment.

Virginia comes in No. 2 with praise for high average pay and the number of strong companies that offer jobs in the state.

Utah’s No. 3 position comes with one of the shortest average work weeks (37.1 hours) while still seeing among the highest average pay — $76,685.

Mississippi (No. 48), Kentucky (No. 49), and West Virginia (No. 50) land at the bottom of the list.

Indiana’s low ranking echoes other recent poor scores from WalletHub on topics like happiness, childbirth, and the quality of life for Veterans.

The company’s recent studies have been more kind to individual Indiana communities, placing Westfield, Fishers, Zionsville, Noblesville, Brownsburg, and Carmel among the “Best Small Cities in the Country.”