Governing Mag: Massachusetts has America’s strongest economy

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he was “concerned about the slide’’ of the Republican party.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker oversees the country's best state economy, according to one ranking. –Michael Dwyer / AP

Massachusetts boasts the strongest economy of any state in the country, according to the experts at Governing magazine.

Governing, a monthly magazine looking at state and local politics, examined a range of economic measures for all 50 states to come to determine which are doing well—and which aren’t.

Count the Bay State at the top of that list. The rankings highlight the work of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, who had remarkably high approval ratings in a survey from earlier this year. Massachusetts has an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent and has added 56,600 jobs from December 2015 to this July, according to the state’s Office of Labor and Workforce Development.


New Hampshire, too, comes in not far behind as the seventh-strongest state. Vermont and Maine are in the middle of the pack at 25th and 28th, respectively.

The rankings are based on six official labor statistics, according to Governing:

[T]he current state unemployment rate; the improvement in the state unemployment rate over the past year; the per capita state GDP in 2015; the percent change in real state GDP between 2014 and 2015; the percent change in state personal income per capita, from the third quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016; and the percentage growth in year-to-date increases in jobs for 2016.

The top 10 best performing states largely represent blue-to-purple states on the political spectrum like Massachusetts and Oregon, while the bottom 10 represent red-to-purple states like West Virginia and Alaska, Governing notes.

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