Although the national unemployment rate continues to rise, now at its highest level in 26 years according to a recent article posted on ABCnews.com, the Midwest has something to celebrate. MainStreet.com has named Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas the top three happiest states (fiscally) according to its new Happiness Index. The Happiness Index, based on unemployment rates, percentage of non-mortgage debt to income, and the number of foreclosures, measures which states are best weathering the current economic storm. Nebraska claims the top spot while Iowa snagged the #2 spot followed by Kansas at #3.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that 3.3 million jobs have been lost in the last five months. However, at 4.2 percent, Nebraska’s current unemployment rate is less than half the national average, which is 8.5 percent as of March. Comparatively, the national unemployment rate for degreed professionals remains steady at 4.1 percent according to a March report by the Economic Policy Institute. The competitive job market for degreed professionals allows Aureus Group to continue to match qualified professionals with outstanding opportunities through out the Midwest. Statistically, although the recession has been felt nationwide, Nebraska’s conservative spending and strong agricultural industry has helped to mitigate negative effects caused by the economic downturn.