November 15, 2012

Study: Economic Mobility Above Average in Northeast, Lower in South

map of statesPew’s “Economic Mobility of the States” report discovered the areas of the country where employees are more likely to earn more or less as compared to their national peers. Of the eight states found to offer higher than average economic mobility, six are in the Northeast: Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. The remaining two areas identified as having higher-than-average mobility are Michigan and Utah. Southern states continue to have lower upward and higher downward mobility compared with the rest of the country. Those states in the worst category include Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.

“When it comes to achieving the American Dream, it matters where you live,” said
Erin Currier, project manager of Pew’s Economic Mobility Project. “Understanding that mobility rates differ by state is the first step towards helping policy makers pinpoint what enhances their residents’ mobility.”

The study also found that while the results didn’t depend on whether people born in
a given state stayed or moved to another state, individuals moving out of their home states did tend to have better average mobility than those who remained.

The study focused on the mobility prospects of workers as they rose through the
economic ranks within the ten-year span between the ages of 35 to 39 and 45 to 49 with data drawn from the Social Security Administration’s Survey of Income and Program Participation from 2007.

Read more news in State Labor Stats

Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.