Unemployment is down, income is up, and everyone is crushing it out west

Was there even a recession in California? It doesn’t look like it.

A study from GOBankingRates shows that GDP — Gross Domestic Product, a way to measure the overall economy — in California is up 4.9 percent, while personal income has risen 3.4 percent, making it the third-best improved economy in the country.

West Virginia had a 6.84 percent GDP growth and a 2.75 percent personal income spike this year, making it the state with the strongest economy in 2017. Employment went down 1.3 percentage points as well.

“West Virginia ranks as No. 1 most improving because it had so much ground to make up,” GOBankingRates says. “Its unemployment rate in March 2016 was 6.2 percent, one of the highest in the country. A year later the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent — still higher than 37 other states, but the most improved.”

Nevada came in second, with 6.38 percent GDP growth, 2.39 percent personal income increase, and an unemployment dip of 1.2 percentage points. Pennsylvania and Indiana round out the top 5.

GOBankingRates’ list of the top 25 most improved economies shows other states that have had growth, but not nearly as much as the top 5. At the other end of the list, North Carolina is number 25 with GDP growth at nearly 4 percent and personal income up almost 3 percent.

“[North Carolina] is attractive because of relatively low taxes and cooperation between businesses, communities, and government,” the study says.

Ohio, Michigan, Delaware, and New Jersey round out the bottom 5.

If you’re looking to relocate in 2018, consider growing economies as a place. The more an economy improves, the more likely you are to thrive there, whether it’s buying a home, getting a job, or making more money.

Buying a home in an up-and-coming state could save you a lot of money in the long run. Even though you can buy a home pretty quickly now, it’s only going to cost more if you wait.

Young people, especially, are still interested in buying homes, even as they become exceedingly expensive. Overall, most Americans believe it’s a really great investment in the long run. Growing economies are great for landing a decent price on a home, sans maybe California, if you’re looking to move to a more affordable place. The best places to live aren’t necessarily the most expensive places to live.

If you’ve come to find out that the city you’re living in now is a financial bad fit, remember you’re not alone. Most people can’t afford to live in major cities, whether it’s renting or owning a home. While it’s not as common as it should be, cheap homes are available, even though the people who need them the most can’t afford them — simply because others have larger down payments and cash on hand to make the purchases.

Renters don’t have it so great, either. Those who are hoping to buy a home are staying put with as renters. They can’t afford to buy a home, move to another renting option — either a home or apartment — and they really can’t make it by staying put, either. There are no good options for renters right now.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Family, Home

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Article last modified on December 18, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: California May Be Expensive But Its Economy Is Doing Awesome - AMP.