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March 09, 2015

Pa., N.J. on bottom half of state economies list by business site

Delaware, New Jersey rank slightly better than Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has the 36th best economy economy in the nation, according to an analysis by Business Insider.

Its "U.S. State Economies" list, published March 3, ranked the economies of all 50 states from worst to best, considering the following six factorsrecent change in housing prices, nonfarm payroll job growth, unemployment rate, GDP per capita, average weekly wage, and state government surplus and deficit.

Delaware was the bright spot in the tri-state area, earning a spot on the top half of the list.

Pennsylvania, which boasts 21 out of the nation's Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast, Hershey, Rite Aid and U.S. Steel, and its $378 million surplus can't hold a candle to the average state surplus of $4.2 billion. Business Insider also cited a slow housing market, which only went up 1.73 percent from the third quarter of 2013 compared to the third quarter in 2014, far below the national average of 3.85 percent.

With its sixth-highest GDP per capita — at $62,682 — in 2013, Delaware earned 23rd place in a tie with six other states. The state also earned a pat on the back for having the eighth highest job creation rate.

Meanwhile, New Jersey — also home to 21 Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson and Merck — earned the 35th spot on the list by way of "very slow job creation" and a nonfarm payroll growth rate of 0.74 percent from December 2013 to December 2014, Business Insider said. It did get some credit, however, for having the fourth-highest average weekly wage of $1,097 for the second quarter of 2014.

North Dakota topped the list, boasting the highest jump — at 5.42 percent — in nonfarm payrolls between December 2013 and December 2014. Mississippi is last on the list, with a 0.02 percent growth in nonfarm payrolls in the same period.

Click here to view the full list.