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La. has the distinction of being the worst-run state in the U.S., report says

11th December 2017   ·   0 Comments

With the title of being the world’s “prison capital” in its back pocket, a reputation for being a haven for underperforming public schools, sexually transmitted diseases, illiteracy and poverty, the last thing the state of Louisiana needs is more bad news. But that’s exactly what it got with the release of a new study that examines various states’ ability to serve and provide for their respective residents.

Louisiana is the worst-run state in the nation, according to a new survey conducted by the website 24/7 Wall Street.

The survey, which looked at factors such as unemployment, poverty and credit rating, noted that the Pelican State’s anemic tax revenues and its seemingly constant struggle with budget shortfalls.

The survey also pointed out that the average unemployment insurance payout covers less than a quarter of the average weekly wage.

Listed below are some of the stats that helped La. to secure the top spot as America’s worst-run state:

• 2016 Unemployment: 6.1 percent (3rd highest)

• Pension funded ratio: 63.3 percent (13th lowest

• Credit rating and outlook: Aa3/Negative

• Poverty: 20.2 percent (2nd highest).

“Many of the worst- managed states have relatively little revenue to work with. Louisiana is no exception,” the report said. “The state collects the equivalent of only $2,071 per person in tax revenue a year compared to the $2,821 per capita amount states collect on average. With low revenue, Louisiana struggles to save for unexpected budget shortfalls and fund its pension system. Louisiana’s rainy-day fund is only worth about three percent of its annual budget and only 63.3 percent of the state’s pension system is funded, each among the smaller such shares among states.

“Joblessness is also a major problem in Louisiana, and the state offers little assistance to its out-of-work residents,” the report continued. “Some 6.1 percent of Louisiana’s labor force was unemployed in 2016, the third-highest unemployment rate in the country after only Alaska and New Mexico. Additionally, the average unemployment insurance payout covers less than a quarter of the typical weekly wage. Nationwide, unemployment insurance payouts cover over a third of the average weekly wage.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Minnesota captured top honors as the nation’s best-run state.

This article originally published in the December 11, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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