Personal finance site MoneyRates used several data sources, including the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the best and worst states for making a living in 2017. The ranking is based on five factors: average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, unemployment rates, and incidents of workplace injuries. (See the full list and methodology.)
The absence of an income tax and high median wage weigh in Washington’s favor. MoneyRates describes Washington’s ranking.
This is one of nine states that does not levy a tax on wage income, and that is a particular advantage in Washington because the median wage there is the fourth-highest in the nation, putting more money in checking accounts. Washington is around the middle of the pack as far as the employment rate and workplace safety, so the only clear negative to be concerned with is the cost of living.
Living expenses are about 7 percent higher in Washington than in other states. While the high wage level would more than make up for that in most cases, be sure you have in-demand job skills so you don’t end up paying the high cost of living without a strong wage in return.
Washington has ranked in first or second place for all seven years MoneyRates has produced the rankings.
Last week we reported that Washington placed fifth in the U.S. News & World Report “best states” list.
All the usual caveats apply.