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America’s 50 states (and the District of Columbia) attract very different personalities when it comes to the world of work. Actors flock to New York and southern California, tech workers head to Silicon Valley and Seattle, oil jobs are more plentiful in Texas and loggers love Oregon.
But Oxfam America, which is part of a global organization working to end the injustice of poverty, decided to dig into the elements that all jobs share. Their analysis examined labor laws and worker protections in all states and D.C.
“The rankings are intriguing, and sometimes surprising,” the organization writes. While federal laws help determine working conditions and pay for all Americans, state laws matter as well.
“If you live in one of the best states for workers, your wages and conditions are significantly better than in one of the worst states,” the report concludes. “What’s more, your well-being is likely much better as well.”
Here’s a look at the overall rankings of the states and D.C., taking into account each area’s wage policies, worker-protection policies and right-to-organize policies, from worst to best.