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The four States with the highest employment-population ratios in 1997 were all in the Midwest. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and North Dakota led the country in the percentage of persons age 16 and over who had jobs.
In Minnesota and Wisconsin, the proportion of the population that was employed was about 72 percent, while in Nebraska and North Dakota, the proportion was about 71 percent. Colorado, part of the West region, had the fifth highest percentage, at just over 70 percent. In comparison, the national average for the employment-population ratio was just under 64 percent in 1997.
Of the five States with the lowest employment ratios, four were in the South. West Virginia had the lowest employment-population ratio by far—about 52 percent. The ratio was a little above 58 percent in Louisiana and Mississippi, and a bit above 59 percent in New York and Florida.
These data on employment are a product of the Current Population Survey. Additional information is available from Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, 1997 (PDF, 966K), (BLS Bulletin 2515).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Midwestern States have top employment-population ratios at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/sept/wk2/art02.htm (visited March 31, 2023).