Alabama ranks among the worst state economies in the nation

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Two thousand fifteen…. was a banner year for the U.S. economy, thanks to a strong dollar, job gains, lower oil prices, increased consumer spending, and general improvements in the housing and business sectors, but much less so in Alabama.

The Yellowhammer State economy was named Monday as the nation’s eighth worst economic performer in 2015, according the financial website WalletHub.

To determine the state economic rankings, WalletHub’s analysts compared the states using factors including economic activity, innovation potential and economic health.

Alabama ranked among the bottom 50 states and Washington, D.C., as the state with the sixth worst “economic health,” which included metrics on unemployment rate, median household income, percentage of residents living below the poverty level and other measures.

Here are Alabama’s key rankings from the study (1=Best-Performing; 25=Avg.)

  • 41st: GDP growth
  • 33rd: % of fast-growing firms
  • 21st: Exports per capita
  • 43rd: Business startup activity
  • 32nd: % of jobs in high-tech industries
  • 47th: Annual median household income
  • 34th: Nonfarm payrolls change
  • 45th: State-government surplus/deficit per capita
  • 45th: Unemployment rate

Other states that ranked among the worst economies included Arkansas, West Virginia, Maine, New Mexico and Louisiana. Cities with a thriving economy for 2015 were Utah, Washington, California, Massachusetts and Colorado.

Here’s a look at how Alabama compares to the rest of the country:

Source: WalletHub

To identify the best-performing state economies, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key areas including economic activity, economic health and innovation potential.

WalletHub first identified 23 relevant metrics and gave them all a value between 0 and 100, 100 being the most favorable.

WalletHub calculated the overall score for  each state using the weighted average across all metrics and ranked the states accordingly.

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