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Which States Have the Best Economies?


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With the economy in a slow mode, it makes sense that a reader would ask: "Where can I find information on which states have the best economies and job markets?"

There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question. For example, many of the states with the fastest-growing economies did so for reasons that might not get you a job. Texas grew a hearty 4.8% in 2012, double that of the U.S. overall. However, it did so thanks to oil drilling and immigration from Mexico. North Dakota grew 13.4%, a result of its boom in shale oil extraction. West Virginia grew 2.44% due to demand for coal. Those states' growth will be the biggest help to those with mining skills.  (Source: USA Today, Top States With Fastest Growing Economies, June 15, 2013)

Montana has the best economy to start a business. That's because its  Bakken oil fields have created a desperate need of small service businesses. Vermont is second, thanks to its rich (literally!) resources of venture capital startup funds. These businesses focus on technology, biotech and life science startups. New Mexico is third, attracting many technology and biotech companies supported by both the Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. The growth in those states helps those with entrepreneurial skills. (Source: Kauffman Foundation, Best States for New Businesses, June 18, 2013)

How It Affects You

You might want to think about moving to one of the states on the list, even if you aren't an entrepreneur or have oil drilling skills. The companies that are doing well will need all skill levels. It will also be a good environment to improve your skills and become more entrepreneurial, yourself.

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