Unemployment By State: It`s Good To Be Empty And Far From Mexico Or International Airports

Here`s the government`s current unemployment rates by best 10 and worst 10:

Unemployment Rates for States
Monthly Rankings
Seasonally Adjusted
Dec. 2012p
Rank State Rate
1 NORTH DAKOTA 3.2
2 NEBRASKA 3.7
3 SOUTH DAKOTA 4.4
4 IOWA 4.9
4 WYOMING 4.9
6 OKLAHOMA 5.1
6 VERMONT 5.1
8 HAWAII 5.2
8 UTAH 5.2
10 KANSAS 5.4

41
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 8.5
42 CONNECTICUT 8.6
42 GEORGIA 8.6
42 MISSISSIPPI 8.6
45 ILLINOIS 8.7
46 MICHIGAN 8.9
47 NORTH CAROLINA 9.2
48 NEW JERSEY 9.6
49 CALIFORNIA 9.8
50 NEVADA 10.2
50 RHODE ISLAND 10.2

At present, American prosperity is dominated by natural resources per capita, with low population states with lots of energy resources in the ground and not too many workers (i.e., not too close to the Mexican border and Mexico`s “reserve army of the unemployed”) having the lowest unemployment, and highly urbanized states having the highest unemployment. 

Hopefully, this won`t always be true. But, it is true that one of the big drivers of America`s heritage of prosperity has been having a lot of valuable land per inhabitant, as was pointed  out by Benjamin Franklin in the 1750s. 

The more recent notion that American wealth doesn`t have anything to do with having lots of wide open spaces seems to be mostly the product of the neuroses of the kind of economists who feel uncomfortable in the wide open spaces and, especially, feel uncomfortable around the kind of Americans who feel comfortable in the wide open spaces.