TIME cities

These 9 U.S. Cities Are Running Out of Water

These areas that have been under persistent, serious drought conditions over the first half of 2015

The nine cities with the worst drought conditions in the country are all located in California, which is now entering its fourth consecutive year of drought as demand for water is at an all-time high. The long-term drought has already had dire consequences for the state’s agriculture sector, municipal water systems, the environment, and all other water consumers.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration between academic and government organizations, 24/7 Wall St. identified nine large U.S. urban areas that have been under persistent, serious drought conditions over the first six months of this year. The Drought Monitor classifies drought by five levels of intensity: from D0, described as abnormally dry, to D4, described as exceptional drought. Last year, 100% of California was under at least severe drought conditions, or D2, for the first time since Drought Monitor began collecting data. It was also the first time that exceptional drought — the highest level — had been recorded in the state. This year, 100% of three urban areas in the state are in a state of exceptional drought. And 100% of all nine areas reviewed are in at least extreme drought, or D3.

Click here to see the 9 cities with the worst drought.

According to Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), California has a Mediterranean climate in which the vast majority of precipitation falls during the six month period from October through March. In fact, more than 80% of California’s rainfall is during the cold months. As a result, “it’s very difficult to get significant changes in the drought picture during the warm season,” Rippey said. He added that even when it rains during the summer, evaporation due to high temperatures largely offsets any accumulation.

A considerable portion of California’s environmental, agricultural, and municipal water needs depends on 161 reservoirs, which are typically replenished during the winter months. As of May 31, the state’s reservoirs added less than 6.5 million acre-feet of water over the winter, 78% of the typical recharge of about 8.2 million acre-feet. A single acre-foot contains more than 325,000 gallons of water. This was the fourth consecutive year that reservoir recharge failed to breach the historical average.

Normally, current reservoir levels are high enough to buffer against drought. However, “after four years of drought, reservoir holdings are perilously low,” said Rippey. Current total storage levels are at about 17.2 million acre-feet. The typical annual withdrawal is around 8 million acre-feet, which means total storage may fall below 10 million acre-feet by the end of the summer. This also means there is little room for error if the state enters a fifth year of drought.

In addition to surface water, groundwater is a major water source for the state, particularly during periods of drought. According to a recent U.C. Davis analysis of the California drought from 2012 through 2014, groundwater may replace as much as 75% of surface water lost to dry conditions this year. As Rippey explained, however, the problem is that the amount of groundwater is unknown. “The monitoring system for groundwater is not nearly as robust as the surface water monitoring system,” Rippey said.

City and state officials have reacted to the long-term drought by imposing various water restrictions. According to the California Department of Water Resources, California declared a statewide emergency during the 2007-2009 California drought — the first in U.S. history. California declared another such emergency during the 2012-2014 drought, and statewide precipitation was the driest three-year period on record. In an attempt to curb water use, statewide regulations impose penalties for exceeding water consumption budgets. Using water on lawns, for car washes, or to clean driveways is banned or restricted in each of the nine cities.

There are also economic consequences. The U.C. Davis study estimated a loss of at least 410,000 acres of farmland due to water shortages in California’s Central Valley, one of the nation’s most important agricultural zones and the location of most of the cities running out of water. An estimated $800 million was lost in farm revenue last year. That total does not include $447 million in extra pumping costs sustained by the Central Valley. Researchers at U.C. Davis estimated a total statewide revenue loss of $2.2 billion, and more than 17,000 jobs lost in 2014 due to drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine urban areas with populations of 75,000 or more where the highest percentages of the land area was in a state of exceptional drought in the first six months of 2015. All data are as of the week ending June 2.

These are the nine cities running out of water.

  • 9. Bakersfield, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015):72.8%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 523,994

    Over the first half of this year, nearly 73% of Bakersfield was in a state of exceptional drought, the ninth largest percentage compared with all large U.S. urban areas. The possible impacts of exceptional drought include widespread crop failures and reservoir and stream depletions, which can result in water emergencies. The drought in Bakersfield has improved somewhat from the same period last year, when nearly 90% of the area was in a state of exceptional drought — the highest in the nation at that time. Like many other areas in California, however, Bakersfield has suffered through more than four years of drought, and any improvement is likely negligible. The Isabella Reservoir on the Kern River is one of the larger reservoirs in the state with a capacity of 568,000 acre-feet. The reservoir has supplied water to Bakersfield since 1953. Today, Isabella’s water level is at less than 8% of its full capacity after falling dramatically each summer since 2011.

    ALSO READ: The Best and Worst States to Be Unemployed

  • 8. Sacramento, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 78.3%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 1,723,634

    Sacramento is the most populous city running out of water, with 1.72 million residents. The city is located just north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of water not just for Sacramento residents but for a great deal of California. The delta also helps provide water to millions of acres of California farmland. The Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers supply nearly 80 California reservoirs. With the ongoing drought, current storage levels are well below historical averages. On average over the first half of this year, exceptional drought covered more than 78% of Sacramento. The remaining area is far from drought-free, as 100% of Sacramento was in a state of extreme drought over that period — like every other city on this list.

  • 7. Chico, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 85.3%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 98,176

    Starting in June this year, new state legislation requires Chico residents to consume 32% less water than they did in 2013. Water bills now include water budgeting information and penalizes residents with higher fees based on how much consumption exceeds the recommended amount. The new rule may be a challenge for some residents, as Chico had among the highest per capita daily water consumption in the state in 2013, according to the ChicoER, a local news outlet. According to The Weather Channel, in April of this year a jet stream shift brought rain and snow to parts of Northern California where Chico is located, a welcome relief to the area’s long-running dry spell. Despite the short-term relief, Chico still suffers from drought — an average of more than 85% of the city was in a state of exceptional drought over the first half of this year.

  • 6. Lancaster-Palmdale, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 87.9%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 341,219

    Compared to the first half of last year, drought conditions in Lancaster-Palmdale are worse this year. Last year, nearly 80% of the city was in extreme drought and just 10% in exceptional drought. This year, 100% of the city was classified as being in a state of extreme drought and nearly 88% in exceptional drought. Many Lancaster-Palmdale residents, particularly those in the Palmdale Water District, receive their water from the district’s water wells, the Littlerock Dam, or — like many Californians — the California Aqueduct. The Colorado River Basin is also a major water source for the region, including Las Vegas to the northeast of Lancaster-Palmdale and Los Angeles to the southwest. Rippey explained that with only three or four wet years in over a decade, the Colorado River Basin region has endured a staggering near 15-year drought. The river, which used to flow into the ocean, now ends in Mexico. Like every other city suffering the most from drought, Lancaster-Palmdale residents are subject to various water restrictions.

  • 5. Yuba City, CA

    > Exceptional drought coverage (first half of 2015): 95.4%
    > Extreme drought coverage (first half of 2015): 100%
    > Population: 116,719

    Yuba City is located on the Feather River, which runs south through Sacramento. The river begins at Lake Oroville, the site of the Oroville Dam and the source of the California Aqueduct — also known as the State Water Project (SWP). The dam’s water levels reached a record low in November 2014. While water levels have increased considerably since then, they remain at a fraction of the reservoir’s capacity. More than 95% of Yuba City was in a state of exceptional drought over the first six months of the year, making it one of only five urban areas to have exceptional drought covering more than 90% of their land area. Like other areas suffering the most from drought, the proportion of Yuba’s workforce employed in agricultural jobs is several times greater than the national proportion. The drought has had considerable economic consequences in the region. Agricultural employment dropped 30.3% from 2012 through 2013, versus the nearly 2% nationwide growth.

    ALSO READ: The Poorest Town in Each State

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TIME Companies

These Are the 20 Largest Privately Held Companies in America

Many of these companies remain private with so many resources available for investment

Many of the largest companies are also household names — but not all. While often the largest public companies are recognizable, some of the largest private companies are far less known. For example, privately owned Cargill, a large conglomerate heavily involved in agricultural and food production, had revenues of nearly $135 billion in 2014. This was more than the 2014 revenue of widely known and public AT&T of about $132.4 billion.

Based on data from PrivCo, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 20 private companies with the largest revenues. All of these companies had revenues of at least $20 billion, with Koch Industries and Cargill Incorporated reporting revenues well over $100 billion, the two highest. The companies employ between 5,000 and 200,000 workers each, with Ernst & Young employing the most workers at roughly 200,000.

These companies do not have much in common beyond being privately held and often also being quite old. Several of the companies were founded in the 1800s or early 1900s. Cargill, the largest private company, is also one of the nation’s oldest, founded in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. The size of these companies is often the result of success compounded over decades, leading them to become dominant players in their respective industries.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Radek Jagielski, Senior Analyst at PrivCo, explained how large capital bases accumulated over many years are a major advantage for these companies. With so many resources available for investment, “there’s really no reason for them to go public and dilute their ownership, ” said Jagielski. In addition, Jagielski explained, large capital bases can be used to “acquire competitors before they become real threats.”

Many of the oldest companies on the list are family owned businesses, with namesakes still held by current owners. In several cases, family members have retained an active role in the management of the company. For example, Bechtel, one of the world’s largest construction and engineering contractors, is chaired by Riley Bechtel, while Brendan Bechtel is the company’s president and COO.

In all cases, the families’ retention of control of these large companies has resulted in extraordinary inherited wealth. For example, the Koch brothers, who control Koch Industries, are estimated to be worth more than $40 billion each.

Many of the largest private companies are mutual insurance companies. These are insurance companies that are set up to be owned by their policyholders, and so are inherently private companies. These companies, such as State Farm Mutual and Health Care Service Corporation are among the largest insurance companies in the nation.

Policyholders at these insurance companies have voting rights and do not have to worry about being taken over. According to Jagielski, this means these companies can make more long-term strategic plans. In addition, he said, policyholders are able to make changes when they’re unhappy with the insurance product. Less access to capital is one disadvantage to this model. However, as all of the insurance companies on this list have been around for nearly 100 years or more, access to capital is not a major issue.

To identify the largest private companies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 100 U.S. private companies with the largest annual revenue figures from PrivCo. Revenues are as of the most recent period available. Company headcounts, headquarter locations, and the industries in which the companies operate also come from PrivCo. Financial data and company histories come from company websites.

These are 20 largest private companies.

  • 20. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc.

    > Revenue: $22.65 billion
    > Number of employees: 10,500
    >Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    > Industry: Retail

    Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores was started by Tom and Judy Love in 1964 with a single gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma. Today, the company has more than 330 locations in 39 states. The company is still run by family members, and Tom Love remains its CEO. Forbes estimates that Tom and Judy Love have a combined net worth of $4.1 billion, largely due to their control of the company.

  • 19. Reyes Holdings LLC

    > Revenue: $23 billion
    > Number of employees: 16,100
    >Headquarters: Rosemont, Illinois
    > Industry: Food and beer distributor

    Reyes Holdings is a holding company that controls a number of food and beverage distributors operating around the world. Among the company’s largest holdings is Martin-Brower, which Reyes acquired in 1998. Martin-Brower is the largest distributor for McDonald’s, employing 7,800 people. The company is controlled by brothers Christopher and Jude Reyes, who Forbes ranks as tied for the 418th richest people in the world. Each have an estimated wealth of $4 billion.

  • 18. Penske Corporation

    > Revenue: $23.1 billion
    > Number of employees: 38,848
    >Headquarters: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    > Industry: Transportation Services

    Penske Corporation is a diversified transportation services company. It operates a wide range of services, including car and truck rental, car dealerships, and auto part manufacturing. The company was founded in 1969 by Roger Penske, who also owns auto racing team Penske. Penske himself was a former race car driver who once raced in both Formula One and NASCAR. The company is also very active in other countries, with more than 275 locations worldwide.

  • 17. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

    > Revenue: $23.9 billion
    > Number of employees: 33,672
    >Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
    > Industry: Insurance

    Nationwide is one of the several policyholder-owned mutual insurance companies on our list of largest private companies in the country. Nationwide started out in 1925 as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Its original goal was to provide affordable auto insurance for Ohio farmers. In 1955, the company changed its name to Nationwide after having expanded to 20 states beyond Ohio. Today, the company is one of the nation’s largest insurers, ranking ninth in life insurance and seventh in homeowner’s insurance, in terms of total premiums.

  • 16. KPMG LLP

    > Revenue: $24.82 billion
    > Number of employees: 162,031
    >Headquarters: New York, New York
    > Industry: Accounting Services

    KPMG is one of the largest accounting firms in the United States. It is one of the Big Four accounting service providers in the country along with Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The company operates in 155 countries and employs more than 160,000 people, making it the third largest private employer on our list. Much of the increase in the size of the company has been through mergers. Most recently the company became KPMG after it merged in 1987 with Klynveld Main Goerdeler and Peat Marwick International.

  • 15. C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

    > Revenue: $25.9 billion
    > Number of employees: 13,200
    >Headquarters: Keene, New Hampshire
    > Industry: Food Distributer

    C&S Wholesale Grocers is the largest grocery wholesaler in the United States, according to the company. The company operates 50 locations across 15 states, serving about 5,000 grocery stores and other customers. The company was founded in 1918 by Israel Cohen and Abraham Siegel in Worcester, Massachusetts. Rick Cohen, current CEO, is the third generation Cohen to lead the company.

  • 14. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

    > Revenue: $26.4 billion
    > Number of employees: 6,800
    >Headquarters: Springfield, Massachusetts
    > Industry: Insurance

    Massachusetts Mutual is one of several insurance companies reporting the 20 highest private company revenues. Mutual insurance companies are owned by their policyholders, and so are private by definition. While the company does not have shareholders, its policyholders are entitled to vote as members of the Board of Directors, and in some cases eligible to receive dividend payments. Massachusetts Mutual is also quite old, founded May 15, 1851.

  • 13. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

    > Revenue: $26.707 billion
    > Number of employees: 5,500
    >Headquarters: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    > Industry: Insurance

    Like several of the largest private companies, Northwest Mutual is a very old company, founded in 1857. The company has over 330 offices in the United States and serves over four million clients. While the company specializes in life insurance, it offers a broad array of insurance products. The company also offers financial services to its clients, including brokerage services and retirement products.

  • 12. Carlson Wagonlit Travel Inc.

    > Revenue: $27.3 billion
    > Number of employees: 20,000
    >Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
    > Industry: Travel Agency

    Carlson Wagonlit is one of the world’s largest travel management companies, according to the company. It operates in 150 countries and generates more than $27 billion in revenue. The company was formed through a 1994 merger of two large travel agencies, Carlson Travel Network and Wagonlit Travel. The company’s oldest component dates back to 1888, when the Ask Mr. Foster travel agency was founded in St. Augustine Florida, the oldest city in the continental United States.

  • 11. Ernst & Young LLP

    > Revenue: $27.4 billion
    > Number of employees: 190,000
    >Headquarters: New York, New York
    > Industry: Accounting Services

    Ernst & Young is one of the biggest accounting firms in the nation. It is one of the Big Four accounting firms in the country along with KPMG, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The company operates on a global scale, with more than 700 offices in 150 countries. The company became one of the largest accounting firms in part due to mergers and acquisitions of smaller accounting firms. Today’s Ernst & Young is the product of a 1989 merger between Arthur Young and Ernst & Whinney. The oldest component of the company dates back to the founding of the English firm Harding & Pullein in 1849. The company is the largest private employer on our list, with 190,000 employees worldwide.

  • 10. Publix Super Markets Inc.

    > Revenue: $29.2 billion
    > Number of employees: 167,367
    >Headquarters: Lakeland, Florida
    > Industry: Super Market Operator

    Publix Super Markets is one of the nation’s largest grocery store operators and the largest employee-owned grocery store chain, according to the company. Publix is the second largest privately owned employer on our list with just under 168,000 employees. The company has 1,099 store locations, operating in five Southeastern states. Most of the locations are in Florida, where the company has 759 stores and makes up about 40% of the state’s grocery store market. The company was founded in George Jenkins in 1930.

  • 9. Pilot Flying J

    > Revenue: $32.09 billion
    > Number of employees: 21000
    >Headquarters: Knoxville, Tennessee
    > Industry: Retail

    Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J merged in July of 2010 to create Pilot Flying J. Today, the merged companies are the largest privately-held retail gas and convenience store chain in the country. The company has 703 locations across all 50 states. The company originated from the Pilot Corporation, which was founded in 1958 when James Haslam II opened a gas station in Gate City, Virginia.

  • 8. Mars Inc.

    > Revenue: $35.25 billion
    > Number of employees: 77000
    >Headquarters: McLean, Virginia
    > Industry: Candy and Confectionery Products Manufacturer

    Mars is the world’s largest candy company. It owns some of the most popular candy brands such as Snickers, Twix, and of course the Mars bar. Part of the company’s size is attributable to acquisitions of other candy companies over the years, including Wrigley Company, which produces products such as Starburst and Skittles. The company is owned by the Mars family, whose ownership in the company makes them one of the richest families in the country.

  • 7. Liberty Mutual Holding Co., Inc.

    > Revenue: $39.631 billion
    > Number of employees: 55000
    >Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts
    > Industry: Insurance

    Liberty Mutual was founded in 1912 as Massachusetts Employees’ Insurance Association. Over the next several decades, the company expanded its operations to all states. Today, Liberty Mutual Holdings is the third largest property and casualty insurer in the country. Like all of the insurers on this list, Liberty Mutual is policyholder-owned.

  • 6. Bechtel Corporation

    > Revenue: $42.15 billion
    > Number of employees: 53,000
    >Headquarters: San Francisco, California
    > Industry: Construction & Engineering

    Bechtel is one of the largest diversified construction and engineering contractors in the world, working in a variety of industries including oil and gas, infrastructure and telecommunications. The company was founded in 1898 by Warren Bechtel and initially focused on railroad construction projects. Notable projects include working on building the Hoover Dam, development of the Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, and aiding in the cleanup following the Three Mile Island accident. The company is largely owned by descendants of Warren Bechtel, and the family has remained consistently involved in the company’s management.

  • 5. Health Care Service Corporation

    > Revenue: $55 billion
    > Number of employees: 20,975
    >Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
    > Industry: Insurance

    The Health Care Service Corporation is the largest policyholder-owned health insurance company and the fourth largest overall provider of health insurance in the country, according to the company. The company was founded in 1936 by a group of Chicago doctors and subsequently expanded throughout the rest of Illinois and the nation. Today, the company provides insurance for nearly 14.7 million people. It primarily operates in Illinois, Texas, Montana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

  • 4. Dell Inc.

    > Revenue: $55.49 billion
    > Number of employees: 110,100
    >Headquarters: Round Rock, Texas
    > Industry: Technology & Electronics

    Dell was founded by Michael Dell in 1984, when he was still in college. The company grew into one of the largest providers of computers and servers to individuals and corporations in the world. The company went public in 1988 and became one of the largest publically-traded PC makers in the world. Dell became one of the largest privately held companies in the country after Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners bought back the publicly traded shares in 2013. The two parties acquired the company for $24.9 billion. The company ceased public trading on October 29, 2013.

  • 3. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

    > Revenue: $71.2 billion
    > Number of employees: 72,000
    >Headquarters: Bloomington, Illinois
    > Industry: Insurance

    State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is the nation’s largest mutual insurance company on our list by revenue. Mutual insurance companies are owned entirely by their policyholders. The company was founded in 1922 by George Jacob “G.J.” Mecherle, a retired farmer. The firm initially catered to farmers but expanded over the years into a diversified insurance provider. The company has nearly 44 million auto insurance customers, insuring more cars than any insurer in the country, according to the company.

  • 2. Koch Industries, Inc.

    > Revenue: $121 billion
    > Number of employees: 102,000
    >Headquarters: Wichita, Kansas
    > Industry: Diversified Conglomerate

    Koch Industries was founded in 1940 as Wood River Oil and Refining Company, an energy engineering business. While it has retained its energy focus, over the past 75 years the company has evolved into a diversified global conglomerate. The company employs more than 100,000 people and operates in 60 countries. The company is largely owned by members of the Koch family. It is the source of wealth behind the large-scale conservative political activities of the Koch brothers, David and Charles.

  • 1. Cargill Incorporated

    > Revenue: $134.872 billion
    > Number of employees: 143,000
    >Headquarters: Wayzata, Minnesota
    > Industry: Diversified Conglomerate

    Cargill is the largest privately held company in the United States by revenue. Founder W.W. Cargill started the company in 1865 in the grain business. Over the last 150 years it has grown into a massive and diversified conglomerate. While the company is still heavily involved in the agriculture and food processing businesses, it also has industrial and financial services segments. The company has 143,000 employees and operates in 67 countries. It is primarily owned by descendants of the firm’s founder. Based on its 2014 revenues of $134.9 billion if the company were publicly traded it would be 11th on the Fortune 500 list, behind Valero Energy and ahead of AT&T.

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

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TIME Companies

These Are 15 Companies Losing the Most Money in 2014

The list is led by oil and gas producer Apache Corp.

The drop in oil prices last year might have been good news for U.S. motorists, but it wreaked havoc for oil drilling companies. Oil and natural resource companies snagged five slots on the list of the 15 companies that lost the most money in 2014, the largest industry contingent on the list. Pharmaceutical companies were a close second with four companies among the top 15, and the tech industry was represented with three companies. Giant e-retailer Amazon.com made the list as well.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 15 publicly traded companies with the largest losses in 2014. The list was led by oil and gas producer Apache Corp., which reported a staggering $5.4 billion loss. Together, the 15 companies lost $21.7 billion in 2014 on collective revenues of $267.5 billion.

Of the 15 companies recording the greatest losses, only two — Target and Amazon.com — were within the top 40 publicly traded companies in the country by revenue. Amazon.com ranked 26th out of the the S&P 500 companies with just under $89 billion in revenue, and Target ranked 37th with nearly $73 billion in revenue.

Losses among energy companies were largely due to writedowns resulting from the plunge in oil prices. Oil drilling and exploration companies were forced to write down the goodwill on their balance sheets because the drop in oil prices made drilling new wells uneconomical and decreased the value of their oil reserves.

While the colossal losses reported were certainly bad signs, for some of these companies, including some of the energy companies, this was not necessarily the case. In fact, the recorded losses do not necessarily signal failing businesses, as 11 of the 15 companies reviewed experienced an increase in revenues from 2013 to 2014.

In some instances losses resulted from one-time events such as costs associated with acquisitions or with eliminating a money-losing operation, actions which could turn into profits in future years. In still other cases, large-scale mishaps accounted for the bulk of losses.

Five of the companies losing the most money invested substantially acquiring other businesses in 2014. Pharmaceutical company Actavis, plc, for example, lost $1.6 billion in 2014, some of which was attributable to costs associated with its acquisition of Allergan, another in its series of strategic acquisitions.

Target Corp., which reported losing $1.64 billion in 2014, took a $4.1 billion charge when it closed its money-losing operation in Canada.

Transocean was found to be 30% at fault for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, which killed 11 workers and caused one of the largest oil spills ever. This accounted for the bulk of the company’s reported loss. Transocean, nonetheless, increased its dividends for shareholders in 2014. Five of the companies losing the most money increased their dividends from 2013 to 2014.

While the pharmaceutical companies overall took writedowns either to cover acquisition or similar transaction expenses, in one instance the loss followed complications with a particular product. In the fourth quarter of last year Vertex Pharmaceuticals withdrew Incivek from the U.S. market after patients reported serious skin reactions.

To identify the 15 publically-traded companies recording the largest losses in 2014, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed net income losses in the most recent fiscal years among companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500. When available, the net income attributable to shareholders was used. We also reviewed company websites and financial documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. One-year stock price change was measured over the period between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015 from Google Finance.

These are the 15 companies which lost the most money in 2014.

  • 15. Amazon.com Inc.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $241.0 million
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $89.0 billion
    > Industry: Online retail
    > 1 yr. stock price change: +38.8%

    Amazon.com posted a net loss of $241 million in its fiscal 2014, the 15th largest loss among the 500 large U.S. companies reviewed. The online retailer had total revenue of roughly $89.0 billion last year, an exceptionally large figure compared to other companies losing the most money. Companies with the largest net income gains, on the other hand, disproportionately have among the largest revenues. Even Amazon’s net income gain of $274 million in its fiscal 2013 was meager compared to the total revenue of $74.5 billion that year. Despite the company’s poor results — on paper — Amazon.com has been growing dramatically for years. Amazon.com has many of the hallmarks of tech startup companies — rapidly growing with little to no profits. But although it is still behaving like a startup — investing in its growth rather than profits — it is a 10-year old retail behemoth. Because many on Wall Street view this as CEO Jeff Bezos’ long-term strategy of favoring expansion over short-term gains, the stock price has shot up nearly 200% over the past five years. Amazon has never paid a dividend to its shareholders.

  • 14. Equinix Inc.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $260.7 million
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $2.4 billion
    > Industry: Technology
    > 1 yr. stock price change: +42.0%

    Equinix, an interconnection and data center company, was founded in 1998 around the time that Internet-based commercial activity was beginning to take off. The company’s primary product, the Equinix Platform, aims to provide faster connectivity at lower prices across disparate networks around the world. Equinix operates in 15 countries around the world. As of the end of last year, Equinix had 3,866 employees, most of whom were based in the Americas. After posting profits in 2013 and 2012, the company posted a loss of $260.7 million in 2014. Despite the loss, Equinix reported 2014 annual revenues of $2.4 billion, up 14% from the year before. The company’s cash, cash equivalents, and investments were about $1.1 billion, also up from 2013. The net loss is largely attributable to increased spending on expansion projects, losses from debt extinguishment, and a year-over-year increase in operating expenses. Equinix did not pay a dividend to shareholders in 2014, but declared a $1.69 per share cash dividend in March 2015.

  • 13. Salesforce.com, inc.

    > Fiscal 2015 net income loss: $262.7 million
    > Fiscal 2015 revenue: $5.4 billion
    > Industry: Technology
    > 1 yr. stock price change: +37.9%

    Salesforce.com reported revenues of $5.4 billion for the 12 months ending January 2015, up from the previous fiscal year. Most of the revenue comes from customers subscribing to Salesforce.com’s cloud computing services. The company posted large losses in each of the last three fiscal years. In the most recent fiscal year, the company posted a net loss of $262.7 million, even larger than the previous year’s loss of $232.2 million. According to the company, aggressive and costly hiring and acquisitions — although largely responsible for the company’s rapid growth — also accounted for the net losses. Over the past four years, Salesforce.com has spent billions acquiring smaller companies. CEO Marc Benioff has also been praised in recent years for taking on social issues. Most recently, Benioff publically opposed Indiana’s “religious freedom” law, and is also reported to be reviewing his own employees’ salaries to ensure gender pay equality. Salesforce.com did not pay shareholders a dividend in 2014.

  • 12. Mallinckrodt public limited company

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $319.3 million
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $2.5 billion
    > Industry: Pharmaceutical
    > 1 yr. stock price change: +68.9%

    Mallinckrodt, a pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor, is one of the older companies on this list, founded in 1840. The company reported modest net income in its fiscal 2013 and 2012 but a net loss of $319.3 million in 2014 — the 12th largest loss among companies in the S&P 500. The company’s fiscal 2014 revenue of $2.5 billion grew from the previous year, however. Like many other companies posting the largest losses, Mallinckrodt’s current lack of profits is due in part to expenses related to major acquisition investments. Mallinckrodt acquired Cadence Pharmaceuticals and Questcor Pharmaceuticals in 2014 for $1.4 billion and roughly $5.8 billion, respectively. Most recently, the company acquired Ikaria in an all-cash $2.3 billion deal. The company did not pay a dividend to its shareholders in 2014.

  • 11. Juniper Networks, Inc.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $334.3 million
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $4.6 billion
    > Industry: Technology
    > 1 yr. stock price change: 8.0%

    Juniper Networks develops and sells a range of network devices, including IP routers and Ethernet switches, as well as security and support services. The Sunnyvale, California-based company reported a net loss of $334.3 million in its fiscal 2014, a stark change from the $439.8 million net income reported in the previous year. Juniper Network’s fiscal 2014 revenue of $4.6 billion was down slightly from its fiscal 2013 revenue. Juniper remains optimistic despite the revenue declines, and the current stock price has risen significantly in recent weeks. The company has been losing market share in its main IP routers business to Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent. Alcatel-Lucent was recently acquired by Nokia, which is one of Juniper’s major distribution partners. Juniper paid a 20 cent per share annual dividend to shareholders in 2014. It did not pay a dividend in 2013. The company declared a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share, or 40 cents annually, for 2015.

  • 10. Endo International plc

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $721.3 million
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $2.9 billion
    > Industry: Pharmaceutical
    > 1 yr. stock price change: +38.6%

    Specialty pharmaceutical company Endo International, lost a hefty $721.3 million in 2014. The Dublin-based company manufactures both branded and generic medications, including pain relief drugs such as Lidoderm, Voltaren Gel, and Percocet. As of February 20, 2015, Endo had 5,062 employees. Like many similar companies, Endo has a number of new drugs awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. In March 2014, the FDA approved Aveed, an injectable treatment for low testosterone. This March, Endo began marketing Natesto, a nasal gel for testosterone replacement, which the FDA approved in May 2014. Endo’s legal bill in 2014 was $1.31 billion, an increase of $831.2 million from 2013, when the company lost $685.3 million. In 2014, Endo negotiated the sale of its men’s health and prostate treatment businesses to Boston Scientific. Endo did not pay a dividend to its shareholders in 2014.

  • 9. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $738.6 million
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $580 million
    > Industry: Pharmaceutical
    > 1 yr. stock price change: +92.1%

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a Boston-based biotechnology company, which focuses on specialty markets such as cystic fibrosis treatments for patients under the age of six. The company lost $738.6 million in 2014. In addition, it is conducting early-stage research in oncology and neurology. Vertex was founded in 1989 and as of December 31, 2014, had about 1,830 employees. Vertex revenues dropped sharply from $1.2 billion in 2013 to $580 million in 2014. In the fourth quarter of last year the company withdrew Incivek from the U.S. market after patients reported serious skin reactions. Revenues from Incivek fell from $1.2 billion 2013 to $580 million in 2014. With the withdrawal of incivek, Vertex is concentrating on its CF medications for patients over age six, and a separate medication for CF patients 12 and older. Vertex does not pay a dividend to its shareholders.

  • 8. Genworth Financial, Inc.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $1.2 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $9.6 billion
    > Industry: Finance
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -49.3%

    Genworth Financial is one of the nation’s leading providers of insurance, retirement plans, and homeowners mortgage insurance. Last year, the company increased its benefits and policy reserves by $1.7 billion and took a goodwill impairment charge of almost $850 million that contributed to turning its $560 million 2013 profit into the $1.2 billion 2014 loss. The Richmond, Virginia-based company’s premium and other revenue increased to $9.6 billion in 2014 from $9.4 billion in 2013. With reserve and impairment increases, though, expenses rose $2.5 billion, more than wiping out the $162 million revenue boost. The tax effect of the increases in reserve and impairment charges reduced Genworth’s loss by $228 million. In addition to offering products in the U.S., Genworth sells mortgage insurance and related products in Canada, Australia, and some European countries. Genworth does not pay a cash dividend to its shareholders.

  • 7. Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $1.2 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $21.4 billion
    > Industry: Energy
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -31.6%

    Mining company Freeport-McMoRan is a large producer of copper, gold, cobalt and silver among other metals. As of December 31, 2014, proven and probable recoverable mineral reserves totaled 103.5 billion pounds of copper, 28.5 million ounces of gold, and 282.9 million ounces of silver. The company’s estimated proved oil and natural gas reserves totaled 390 million barrels of oil equivalents. Formerly known as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, the company changed its name to Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in July 2014. At December 31, 2014, it employed about 35,000 workers. The company reported a profit of $2.7 billion in 2013. In 2014, however, the company posted a $1.3 billion loss due to a writedown of $3.7 billion of the value of oil and gas properties, and a goodwill impairment charge of $1.7 billion. Both came as a result of the drop in crude oil and natural gas prices. The company also struggled with declining copper prices, which dropped because of lower demand from China. Freeport-McMoRan paid an annual dividend of $1.25 per share in 2014, unchanged from 2013. In 2013, however, the company declared an additional $1 per share dividend.

  • 6. Actavis plc

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $1.6 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $13.1 billion
    > Industry: Pharmaceutical
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -42.7%

    Actavis reported revenues of $13.1 billion in 2014, an increase of $4.4 billion from 2013. Its net loss, however, more than doubled to $1.6 billion from $750.4 million. The Irish pharmaceutical company produces generic and branded medications as well as over-the-counter products, women’s health treatments and oncology drugs Actavis wrote off $189.9 million last year as an impairment charge on assets held for sale. In November 2014, Actavis incurred transaction costs of $17.8 million when it reached an agreement to acquire Allergan. The deal closed in March 2015. Actavis plans to change its name to Allergan. Actavis sells its products in Ireland — where it was founded in 1983 — as well as internationally. It has manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States, and Asia. At the end of 2014, Actavis had about 21,600 employees. Actavis does not pay cash dividends to its shareholders.

  • 5. Target Corp.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $1.6 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue:$72.6 billion
    > Industry: Retail
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -28.7%

    Target reported a $1.6 billion loss in its fiscal 2014 (which ended January 31, 2015) on revenues of $72.6 billion. Target operated 1,934 stores, 1,801 in the United States and 133 in Canada as of the end of 2014. At the end of its fiscal 2014, Target announced plans to leave Canada. The closing of the Canadian stores resulted in a $4.1 billion charge for discontinued operations against Target’s income, resulting in the loss. Target, which was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, had approximately 347,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees as of January 31, 2015. During its peak sales period — from Thanksgiving through the end of December — Target employs about 447,000 workers. In fiscal 2013, Target reported a profit of just under $2 billion on revenues of $73.3 billion, and in fiscal 2012 the discount retailer had profits of just under $3 billion on revenues of $72.0 billion. For its 2014 fiscal year, Target paid shareholders $1.99 per share in dividends, up from $1.65 in 2014.

  • 4. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $1.8 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $18.5 billion
    > Industry: Energy
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -5.4%

    Because of the significant drop in oil prices last year, oil and gas exploration company Anadarko Petroleum reported a loss of $1.8 billion for 2014. The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko was founded in 1959 and had about 6,100 employees as of December 31, 2014. The company’s weak year-end report was the result of lower crude oil prices and natural gas liquids sales. The company’s 2014 loss included a $4.4 billion contingent loss related to a settlement of environmental claims against the Kerr-McGee Corporation, which Anadarko acquired in 2006. In 2014, Anadarko paid shareholders dividends totaling 99 cents per share for the year, up from the 54 cents per share it paid in 2013.

  • 3. Transocean Ltd.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $1.9 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $9.2 billion
    > Industry: Energy
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -56.1%

    Switzerland-based Transocean is a global oil and gas offshore contract driller It performs contract drilling services in regions of the world it describes as “technically demanding” with its mobile offshore drilling fleet and associated equipment. As of December 31, the company had about 13,100 employees. Transocean operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing one of the largest oil spills ever recorded. In September, a Louisiana court found Transocean was negligent and 30% at fault for the disaster. The company wrote off in excess of $4 billion as a result of the ruling and asset impairments. Transocean paid an annual dividend of $3.00 per share in 2014, up from $2.24 in 2013. For 2015, the annual dividend was cut to 60 cents per share.

  • 2. Ensco plc

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $3.9 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $4.6 billion
    > Industry: Energy
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -47.2%

    Ensco plc, one of the largest providers of offshore drilling services, reported a $3.9 billion loss in 2014 due primarily to a $3 billion writedown of goodwill. The company’s goodwill valuation typically takes into account commodity prices, which fell in the fourth quarter of 2014. The London-based Ensco owns the second largest rig fleet in the world, operating in about 20 countries. The company recorded a loss of $1.2 billion in 2014 from “discontinued operations,” largely on account of the sale of one of the six rigs Ensco announced it would sell. In June 2014, Carl Trowell became Ensco’s CEO and president, succeeding Dan Rabun who retired after eight years as CEO. Ensco’s losses followed the decline in oil prices in 2014, which in turn led to a drop in drilling activity. Ensco, despite the loss, increased its annual dividend to $3.00 a share in 2014, up $1.00 from 2013. Ensco relies heavily on offshore oil and natural gas exploration, which account for a major portion of its revenues. During 2014, five customers accounted for nearly half of Ensco’s revenues. Its largest customer, BP, provided 16% of its revenues.

  • 1. Apache Corp.

    > Fiscal 2014 net loss: $5.4 billion
    > Fiscal 2014 revenue: $13.9 billion
    > Industry: Energy
    > 1 yr. stock price change: -21.6%

    Oil and natural gas producer Apache Corp. lost a colossal $5.4 billion in its fiscal 2014, as its revenues plunged 10.9% from 2013 largely due to falling oil prices. Apache wrote off $2.4 billion of assets which lost value because of the drop in oil prices. Despite the loss, Apache in 2014, raised its annual dividend to $1.00 per share from 80 cents in 2013. At the end of 2014, Apache had 4,950 employees. Apache’s principal operations are in the Anadarko basin in western Oklahoma and in the Texas panhandle, the Gulf Coast, and parts of Western Canada. It also has operations in Egypt. Its losses followed a more than 50% drop in crude oil prices during the year, which also affected other oil producing companies. Apache’s long-time CEO G. Steven Farris abruptly resigned in January, a month before the company’s earnings report was released, and about a week after the company said it was laying off 5% of its staff, or about 250 employees.

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

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TIME Fast Food

These Are the States With the Most McDonald’s

The state of Ohio ranks at the top

McDonald’s, with almost 16,000 outlets, is the largest fast-food hamburger chain in the United States. Many of the states where McDonald’s iconic Golden Arches dominate the landscape are also, coincidentally, states with the highest rates of obesity and deaths due to heart disease.

The circumstantial evidence may be there, but no studies demonstrate a direct link between McDonald’s specifically and adverse health outcomes. Academic research does, however, show high concentrations of obesity and other negative health outcomes where there are clusters of fast food restaurants of any type.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 states with the highest concentration of McDonald’s restaurants, measured as outlets per 100,000 residents from restaurant reviewer and data compiler Menuism. Six of the 10 states also reported the highest obesity rates in the country. At the other end of the scale, four of the 10 states with the lowest concentration of McDonald’s outlets had among the lowest obesity rates.

While there are of course other fast food chains in the country, the association between McDonald’s and many negative health outcomes is often stronger than it is with other chains. Of the 10 states with the greatest concentration of major fast food restaurants, excluding McDonald’s, three have among the lowest obesity rates in the country and none are among the 10 highest.

Fast food consumption may lead to negative health outcomes. However, the concentration of fast food stores does not account for consumption levels. There are also many other factors, such as low income, high poverty rates, and distance from sources of fresh fruits and vegetables, which contribute to negative health outcomes. The states with the highest obesity rates share a number of these factors. They have some of the lowest household incomes in the country and, correspondingly, some of the highest poverty rates.

Academics who have authored separate studies on fast food restaurants and negative health outcomes differ in their conclusions.

Dr. Lewis Morgenstern, a professor of neurology and director of the stroke program at the University of Michigan Hospital, led a study into the relationship between the concentration of fast food restaurants in a neighborhood and strokes in that neighborhood.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St. Morgenstern said “we don’t really know, in most of these studies, including the one that I did, that anybody in these neighborhoods who had a stroke ever ate a french fry.” He added, “In the neighborhoods where fast foods are, people tend to have more strokes, but whether it’s some aspect of the neighborhood or the people that live in the neighborhood or the fast food itself, we have no idea.” Obesity, he noted, is a risk factor for strokes.

The author of a separate study had a somewhat alternative view. “Fast food seems to be something that is an indulgence for us,” said Daniel Kruger, professor of health education and health behavior at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Consuming fast food may be ok in moderation, but eating too much of it can result in a range of adverse health outcomes.

Kruger’s study found a high local concentration of fast food outlets is itself a risk factor. “The main point of our study was that people have a lot more of these fast food restaurants around them, and they’re going to have higher obesity,” he said. Kruger explained how the high frequency of fast food restaurants like McDonald’s is often representative of a poor landscape, in which multiple factors can lead to poor health.

While Kruger cited a study that suggested some fast food outlets serve less nutritious food than others, like Morgenstern, he would not single out McDonald’s or any other chain.

“I don’t think that we can blame the company at this point,” Morgenstern said. “It would be nice if they helped in the research to try to figure out whether the products that they sell are related to negative health, but I don’t think we know that at this point. We need more research.”

To identify the states with the greatest concentration of McDonald’s restaurants, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed location data for McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC which is a division of Yum! Brands, Subway, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Chick-fil-A from Menuism. Population data, income, and poverty statistics are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey (ACS). Also from the ACS, we included educational attainment rates, self-reported obesity rates, and the percentage of the population without health insurance. We also considered the percentage of the population with low access to major food stores from the USDA’s Food Atlas.

These are the states with the most McDonald’s outlets per 100,000 residents.

  • 10. Kentucky

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 5.94
    > Obesity rate: 33.2% (5th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 25.2% (15h highest)
    > Median household income: $43,399 (5th lowest)

    There are nearly six McDonald’s restaurants per 100,000 Kentucky residents, the 10th-highest ratio in the country. As in other states with relatively high numbers of McDonald’s stores, Kentucky is also home to more than 100 Wendy’s locations, or 3.5 stores per 100,000 residents — the 4th highest rate nationwide. Fast food tends to be far more affordable than other restaurant fare, and residents in low-income states are perhaps more likely to visit a McDonald’s. A median household in Kentucky earned $43,399 in 2013, less than all but a handful of other states. Residents were also not as educated as the average American — less than 23% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, one of the lowest educational attainment rates in the country. A high prevalence of fast food restaurants is often representative of a poor food landscape, in which many people struggle to access healthy foods. Nearly 46% of Kentucky residents reported consuming fruits less than once daily, the seventh-highest percentage nationwide. Roughly one-third of Kentucky residents were obese, one of the highest obesity rates in the country.

  • 9. Indiana

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 5.97
    > Obesity rate: 31.8% (9th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 27.3% (4th highest)
    > Median household income: $47,529 (17th lowest)

    Indiana has about 270 Burger Kings locations, or 4.1 per 100,000 residents. While this is the highest concentration of Burger Kings in the country, there are nearly 400 McDonald’s restaurants or about 6 per 100,000 residents, in the state. Subways are even more common, with more than 10 per 100,000 residents, making Subway more common in Indiana than in all but three other states. Without examining individual consumption habits, it is difficult to tie a high concentration of McDonald’s outlets to negative health outcomes. However, as in nearly every other state with the most McDonald’s restaurants, Indiana’s obesity rate of nearly 32% was among the highest nationwide. Also, 27.3% of residents reported consuming vegetables less than once daily, the fourth-highest percentage in the country.

  • 8. Tennessee

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.05
    > Obesity rate: 33.7% (4th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 25.4% (14th highest)
    > Median household income: $44,297 (9th lowest)

    Tennessee’s roughly 6.5 million residents have access to numerous Burger King, Wendy’s and Taco Bell restaurants, each of which has more than 200 locations in the state. McDonald’s has nearly twice as many locations, 393, or 6.05 per 100,000 Tennesseans, the eighth-largest concentration in the country. As in other areas with relatively high numbers of McDonald’s stores, and particularly those in the Southern United States, Tennessee residents had low incomes and reported relatively poor health outcomes. A typical household in the state earned $44,297, one of the lowest median annual household incomes in the nation. And nearly 34% of residents were obese, the fourth-highest obesity rate in the country.

  • 7. Missouri

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.10
    > Obesity rate: 30.4% (16th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 25.2% (15th highest)
    > Median household income: $46,931 (14th lowest)

    There are 6.1 McDonald’s restaurants per 100,000 Missouri residents. The frequency of Taco Bells in the state is also more than any other state, and the frequency of Pizza Huts is the sixth-highest. Missouri’s 30.4% obesity rate in 2013 was among the higher rates. As in other states with high numbers of fast food restaurants, Missouri residents reported relatively poor eating habits. Almost 44% of residents reported consuming fruit less than once a day, the 9th highest percentage nationwide. This may be due to relatively poor access to healthy foods, and low incomes. The median household earned an annual $46,921, one of the lowest figures. And about 60% of food programs in Missouri reported an increase in the number of clients in 2014 compared to 2013. Missouri residents also reported poor health outcomes, with a relatively high rate of cardiovascular deaths, 281 per 100,000 residents, the 10th-highest in the nation.

  • 6. Arkansas

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.21
    > Obesity rate: 34.6% (3rd highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 28.6% (3rd highest)
    > Median household income: $40,511 (2nd lowest)

    McDonald’s provides famously inexpensive food, and lower-income Arkansas residents may frequent the restaurant and other fast food locations. Arkansas had the second-lowest median household income in the country in 2013, $40,511, and the third-highest poverty rate, 19.2%. There are 6.2 McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents in the state, the sixth-highest concentration in the country. In addition, there are 3.4 Taco Bells and 2.6 KFCs per 100,000 residents — each the second-highest ratios nationwide. About 34.6% of Arkansas residents were obese, the third-highest rate in the nation. Arkansas also has 9.3 Subways per 100,000 residents, one of the higher concentrations in the country. Although a significant portion of Subway ingredients, including bell peppers and tomatoes, are grown at Triple M Farms in Hamburg, Arkansas, relatively high percentages of state residents reported consuming fruit or vegetables less than once a day.

  • 5. Louisiana

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.30
    > Obesity rate: 33.1% (6th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 32.5% (the highest)
    > Median household income: $44,164 (8th lowest)

    There are 6.3 McDonald’s restaurants and 4.1 Burger Kings per 100,000 residents in Louisiana, the fifth- and second-highest rates, respectively, in the country. Louisiana had the fourth-highest poverty rate in the country at 19.1% and the eighth-lowest median household income, $44,164. Louisiana also had some of the lowest educational attainment rates in the country in 2013. About 83.1% of residents had at at least a high school diploma, and 22.5% had at least a college degree, each the fourth-lowest rates in the country. The prevalence of fast food restaurants is often representative of poor food landscape, in which residents often do not have easy access to healthy foods. This, in turn, can increase the likelihood of negative health outcomes. About one-third of Louisiana residents were obese, a rate exceeded by only five other states. Further, the state’s residents had among the highest rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, Louisiana’s death rates from heart disease and cancer are among the highest in the country.

  • 4. Maryland

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.33
    > Obesity rate: 28.3% (22nd lowest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 22.8% (25th lowest)
    > Median household income: $72,483 (the highest)

    Maryland residents are exceptionally wealthy compared to other states with the most McDonald’s locations. The median household in Maryland earned $72,483 in 2013, the highest income in the nation. Residents were well educated, with more than 37% of adults having attained at least a bachelor’s degree, the third-highest rate in the country. There were three Starbucks stores per 100,000 Maryland residents, the eighth-highest proportion and exceptionally high compared to other states with the most McDonald’s. McDonald’s, as well as many other fast food restaurants, is popular among customers looking for inexpensive food, but high incomes in Maryland have not prevented numerous fast food restaurants from opening throughout the state. Chick-fil-A, KFC, and Wendy’s are all also quite common. Unlike most states with large numbers of McDonald’s restaurants, Maryland residents reported relatively healthy habits and outcomes, with better-than-average fruit and vegetable consumption, and an obesity rate of 28.3% — one of the lower percentages in the country.

  • 3. Kansas

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.36
    > Obesity rate: 30.0% (19th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 22.2% (19th lowest)
    > Median household income: $50,972 (24th lowest)

    An estimated 26.4% of Kansas residents had little access to grocery stores in 2010, the ninth-highest percentage in the country. This might help explain the prevalence of fast food restaurants in the state. Fast food chains thrive in Kansas. The state leads the nation with 39 major fast food chain restaurants for every 100,000 residents. McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway, and Pizza Hut are all among the most common in Kansas compared to other states. About 30% of Kansas residents were obese, tied with Pennsylvania and ahead of 30 other states. Kansas, a major U.S. beef producer, supplies McDonald’s.

  • 2. Michigan

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 6.38
    > Obesity rate: 31.5% (11th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 23.2% (23rd highest)
    > Median household income: $48,273 (20th lowest)

    Michigan has about 6.4 McDonald’s restaurants per 100,000 residents. The state is one of the most popular for fast food chains. In addition to McDonald’s, Michigan is in the top 10 for the number of Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC and Subway locations per 100,000 residents. McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants are often frequented by customers looking for affordable food. As in many other states with the most McDonalds, Michigan had a relatively high poverty rate of 16.8%. High concentrations of fast food restaurants are also tied to relatively poor health outcomes. Michigan’s obesity rate, 31.5%, was higher than all but 10 states, and its heart disease death rate was higher than all but seven states.

  • 1. Ohio

    > McDonald’s locations per 100,000 residents: 7.10
    > Obesity rate: 30.4% (16th highest)
    > Pct. consuming vegetables less than daily: 26.0% (12th highest)
    > Median household income: $48,081 (19th lowest)

    Ohio has more McDonald’s restaurants, 7.1 per 100,000 residents, than any other state and almost twice as many as Burger King’s 3.7 locations per 100,000 residents. There are far fewer McDonald’s outlets than Subways, which has 10.9 shops per 100,000 residents, more than in any other state. Ohio has the second-highest concentration of all major fast food restaurants. Only 15 states had an obesity rate higher than Ohio’s 30.4% in 2013. Ohio also has among the highest cardiovascular and cancer death rates, 274.6 per 100,000 and 207.7 per 100,000 respectively. Ohio has one of the two McDonald’s still serving pizza that were introduced more than 30 years ago. McPizza is still sold at a McDonald’s outlet in Pomeroy, Ohio. The other McDonald’s that sells pizza is about an hour away, in Spencer, West Virginia. In all other outlets, McDonald’s abandoned pizzas about 10 years after they were introduced because of their longer cook times.

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

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TIME Companies

These Are the Largest Employers in Your State

The nation's largest retailer Wal-Mart easily tops the list by employing the most people in 20 states

It is essential for a state’s economy to have a diverse array of companies. Still, the impact each of the companies has on a state’s economy varies considerably.

In each state, there is one company that employs the most people. As a state’s largest employer, the company may have a disproportionately large impact on its economy as well as on the surrounding region. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from a range of sources in order to identify the largest employers in each state.

There is a large variation in the number of workers that the largest employers in each state employ. In Maine, the largest employer — Hannaford Bros. — employs only 8,000 workers. By contrast, in Texas, the largest employer — Wal-Mart — employs more than 156,000 workers.

Click here to see the largest employer in each state.

Wal-Mart is the only company to claim the top employer spot in more than one state. In fact, the nation’s largest retailer employed the most people in 20 states.

Educational and medical institutions also frequently top a state’s list of employers. The most common largest employer across the 50 states, after Wal-Mart, was the state’s university system. Educational services dominated statewide employment in 13 of the states. The largest employer in 11 states was health care and social assistance institutions.

The largest employer in each state also tended to serve and employ people from the surrounding region, if not across the nation. The total headcount for these large employers often far exceeded the statewide headcount.

To determine the largest employer in each state, 24/7 Wall St. looked at employment figures for nonprofits and private and publicly held companies based on company press releases, government data, business journals, and local media reports. We excluded military bases and other federal and state government employers, with the exception of state universities, which were included.

These are the largest employers in each state.

  • 1. Alabama

    Wal-Mart employed nearly 34,000 Alabama residents as of February 2015, more than any other company in the state. Of the 138 retail stores Wal-Mart operates in Alabama, 99 are supercenters. According to the company, the average wage for full-time hourly associates was $12.57 an hour.

  • 2. Alaska

    Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport is the largest employer in Alaska with more than 9,000 employees. The airport ranks second in the nation for landed weight of cargo aircraft, and is the largest and most used floatplane base globally.

    ALSO READ: Companies Profiting From War

  • 3. Arizona

    Excluding state and local government employment, Wal-Mart was the largest employer in Arizona with 32,373 employees as of the beginning of this year. As in most states where Wal-Mart is the top employer, there are well over 100 Wal-Mart locations throughout the state, 79 of which are supercenters. The average hourly wage of a Wal-Mart employee in the state was less than $13.00 last year.

  • 4. Arkansas

    Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, Wal-Mart is also the largest employer in the state, with 50,000 employees. Wal-Mart has about 2.2 million employees worldwide, operating nearly 11,000 stores in 27 countries. Wal-Mart’s net sales in its 2014 fiscal year were $473.1 billion.

  • 5. California

    With 10 campuses and five medical centers, the University of California System is the largest employer in California with nearly 200,000 employees. The UC System enrolled more than 238,000 students in this school year and contributes an estimated $32.8 billion to California’s gross state product.

  • 6. Colorado

    With 27,500 employees, University of Colorado is the largest employer in Colorado. The school has campuses in Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver and a medical campus in Anschutz. Nearly 32,000 students were enrolled at the university as of 2013.

  • 7. Connecticut

    United Technologies is the largest employer in Connecticut with 22,000 employees. The company’s Pratt & Whitney subsidiary, which recently announced it would expand its Middletown Connecticut production facility, produces and sells large commercial aircraft engines.

  • 8. Delaware

    Located in Newark, Christiana Care Health System, in the ambulatory health care services sector, is the largest employer in Delaware with more than 10,500 employees. The nonprofit hospital network also serves states in the surrounding region, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey.

    ALSO READ: 15 Cities With the Most High-Tech Jobs

  • 9. Florida

    There were nearly 95,000 Wal-Mart employees at 343 retail locations in Florida as of February, by far the highest headcount of any company in the state. Full-time Wal-Mart employees were paid an average hourly wage of just over $13.00 at the end of last year. Florida’s minimum wage is $8.05 an hour. While Wal-Mart wages tend to be quite low, the company recently announced it would invest $1 billion this year to raise wages.

  • 10. Georgia

    With nearly 51,000 employees, Wal-Mart is the largest employer in Georgia. The company operated more than 200 stores in the state, 150 of which are supercenters.

  • 11. Hawaii

    The University of Hawaii employs approximately 28,500 workers, making it the state’s largest employer. The university spans 10 campuses and enrolls more than 60,000 students.

  • 12. Idaho

    St. Luke’s Health System is the largest employer in Idaho with 12,761 employees across 12 major facilities. St. Luke’s is the only nonprofit health system based in Idaho, and it cares for more than 163,000 patients each year.

  • 13. Illinois

    Wal-Mart employed 51,137 people in Illinois in 197 locations as of the end of last year, a higher headcount than any other employer in the state. The minimum hourly wage for roughly 500,000 Wal-Mart workers nationwide will increase to $9 beginning in April. The increase will likely raise the average hourly wage of $13.08 at the end of 2014 for Illinois Wal-Mart associates.

    ALSO READ: 10 Retailers Closing the Most Stores

  • 14. Indiana

    With more than 60,000 employees, Indiana University and its associated medical center is the largest employer in the state. The university has eight campuses throughout Indiana. The 3,098-bed medical center had 2,111 physicians as part of its employee count.

  • 15. Iowa

    With approximately 22,500 employees at its campuses, hospitals, and clinics, the University of Iowa is the largest employer in the state. In January, the AIB College of Business announced it would become the University’s new Des Moines campus.

  • 16. Kansas

    The University of Kansas employs roughly 13,500 people and is the largest employer in the state. At the end of February, KU’s men’s basketball team won its 11th straight Big 12 conference title.

  • 17. Kentucky

    Wal-Mart employed nearly 28,000 Kentucky residents, more than any other employer in the state. The retailer had more than 100 locations across Kentucky as of February.

  • 18. Louisiana

    The largest employer in Louisiana is Wal-Mart, which employed 34,633 people at 127 locations across Louisiana as of the end of last year. The nation’s largest retailer announced earlier this year it would invest $1 billion to raise wages for its associates. The investment will likely help raise the current average wage of $12.73 an hour of Louisiana Wal-Mart workers. While the economic effects of the wage increase remain to be seen, Louisiana lawmakers have argued that increasing the minimum wage would have a detrimental impact on business.

    ALSO READ: States With the Highest Gas Prices

  • 19. Maine

    Hannaford Bros., a supermarket chain based in the Northeast, is Maine’s largest employer with more than 8,000 workers. Hannaford is owned by the Delhaize Group, one of the largest food retailers in the world.

  • 20. Maryland

    The University System of Maryland is the largest employer in Maryland with 38,640 employees spread over 11 schools and one research institution. USM is the 12th largest university system in the country. More than 152,000 students were enrolled as of the fall semester.

  • 21. Massachusetts

    The University of Massachusetts, with more than 28,000 employees, is the largest employer in the Bay State. UMass has campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell and a medical school in Worcester. It has more than 54,000 undergraduate and 17,000 graduate students.

  • 22. Michigan

    The University of Michigan System, including its three campuses and health system, is the largest employer in Michigan with 45,397 employees. Ann Arbor — the university’s main campus — enrolls nearly 30,000 undergraduates and is one of the country’s top 30 universities, according to U.S. News and World Report.

    ALSO READ: The Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women

  • 23. Minnesota

    With more than 33,000 employees, the Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Minnesota. In addition to three campuses in Minnesota, it also operates clinics and hospitals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Georgia.

  • 24. Mississippi

    Wal-Mart employed 23,430 people in Mississippi, more than any other company in the state. As the largest employer in the state, the company’s recently announced wage increase may have a substantial impact on Mississippi’s economy. In its coverage of the announcement, Mississippi Public Broadcasting claimed the increase would improve personal incomes for thousands of state residents.

  • 25. Missouri

    With more than 40,000 employees in Missouri, Wal-Mart is the state’s largest employer by a large margin. The company had 154 locations across the state, 109 of which were supercenters.

  • 26. Montana

    Wal-Mart employed 4,533 people in Montana at the end of last year, a relatively low headcount compared to other states — especially in states where Wal-Mart was the top employer. Yet, the retailer employed more state residents than any other company.

  • 27. Nebraska

    The University of Nebraska is the largest employer in Nebraska with more than 13,000 employees. The university is the state’s only public university.

    ALSO READ: 10 Disappearing Middle Class Jobs

  • 28. Nevada

    MGM Grand Las Vegas is the largest employer in Nevada with more than 50,000 employees. The hotel and casino is one of 24 global destinations operated by MGM Resorts International.

  • 29. New Hampshire

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is the largest employer in New Hampshire with 9,300 employees. The hospital claims to support a total of 18,000 jobs throughout the region. Dartmouth-Hitchcock is also a major research institution. It received $140 million in funding in 2013.

  • 30. New Jersey

    Wakefern Food Corporation, a subsidiary of ShopRite is the largest employer in New Jersey with more than 35,000 employees. According to its website, Wakefern is the country’s largest retailers’ cooperative.

  • 31. New Mexico

    The University of New Mexico is the largest employer in New Mexico with more than 15,000 employees. Founded in 1889, the University of New Mexico is located in Albuquerque. Rio Rancho, located closeby, is home to an Intel research facility, another large economic driver and employer in the state.

  • 32. New York

    The State University of New York, spread over 64 campuses, employs 89,871 residents and is New York’s largest employer. SUNY has 459,550 students, including 418,917 undergraduates and 40,633 graduate students. Among the undergraduates are 239,791 students enrolled at community colleges, also part of the SUNY system.

    ALSO READ: Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment

  • 33. North Carolina

    Wal-Mart’s 210 locations across North Carolina employed more than 49,000 people at the end of 2014, more than any other company in the state. Full-time associates had an average hourly wage of $12.87. The University of North Carolina System was also a large employer in the state.

  • 34. North Dakota

    Sanford Health is the largest employer in North Dakota. Sanford operates 43 hospitals and 225 clinics. Among its 11,964 employees, it employs 1,360 physicians who have 81 specialty areas in medicine. It serves patients in both Dakotas and seven other states.

  • 35. Ohio

    Nearly 47,000 Ohio residents were employed at Wal-Mart’s 175 locations across the state, a higher headcount than any other employer in Ohio. With such a large presence in the state, Wal-Mart’s recently announced wage increase will likely have among the largest economic impacts in Ohio.

  • 36. Oklahoma

    Wal-Mart employed 31,096 people in Oklahoma at the end of last year, more than any other employer in the state. The company purchases millions of dollars worth of supplies throughout the region. The company claims to have helped generate an additional 18,438 jobs in the region, as a result.

  • 37. Oregon

    With more than 18,000 employees, Providence Health & Services is Oregon’s largest employer. The nonprofit health system operates in four additional states, employing a total of more than 71,000 workers. Across all locations, the system provides services to roughly 20,000 people daily.

    ALSO READ: States Where the Rich Are Getting Richer

  • 38. Pennsylvania

    The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a vertically integrated health care provider, is the largest employer in Pennsylvania with 60,000 employees. UPMC provides health insurance in addition to medical care. In its 2014 fiscal year, UPMC admitted more than 287,000 patients.

  • 39. Rhode Island

    The Lifespan system of hospitals is one of three health systems in Rhode Island. An estimated 13,635 state residents were employed throughout the system’s four hospitals, more than at any other company in Rhode Island. According to the company’s most recent annual report, Lifespan is the largest and its hospitals are among the most visited in Rhode Island.

  • 40. South Carolina

    South Carolina’s 104 Wal-Mart locations had a total of 26,829 employees at the end of last year. No other company in the state employed more residents. To supply its stores in the state, Wal-Mart spent $1.1 billion in its most recent fiscal year, which the retailer claimed helped support an additional 20,488 jobs in the area. The average wage of a Wal-Mart worker in South Carolina was $12.76 an hour in November 2014.

  • 41. South Dakota

    Avera Health employs more than 13,000 people at its more than 300 locations across South Dakota, a larger headcount than any other employer in the state. As South Dakota is a relatively small state, the company’s workforce makes up nearly 3% of employees statewide, one of the largest proportions employed by one company compared to other states.

  • 42. Tennessee

    Wal-Mart employs more people in Tennessee than any other company in the state, with a statewide workforce of 38,569 at the end of last year. The vast majority of the state’s 141 locations are supercenters. The average wage for Wal-Mart workers in the state was $12.71 an hour.

    ALSO READ: The Best (and Worst) States for Business

  • 43. Texas

    The nation’s largest employer — Wal-Mart — is also the largest employer in Texas, with a headcount of 156,195 across its 563 Texas locations. The company’s Texas workforce accounted for 12% of its national headcount, and no state had more Wal-Mart employees than Texas. As a result, the recently announced wage hike for Wal-Mart associates will have a disproportionately large impact on the state’s workforce.

  • 44. Utah

    Intermountain Healthcare is Utah’s largest employer with approximately 33,000 employees. The nonprofit health system operates 22 hospitals.

  • 45. Vermont

    As in many other states, the largest employer in Vermont is a large university. Together with its affiliated medical center, previously known as Fletcher Allen Health Care, the University of Vermont employed roughly 11,800 people, more than any other employer in the state. The institution is located in Burlington, the state’s largest city.

  • 46. Virginia

    Nearly 40,000 Virginia residents were employed by Wal-Mart at the end of last year, more than any other company in the state. State lawmakers turned down six proposals to raise Virginia’s minimum wage in the most recent legislative session. Wal-Mart, however, announced it would raise wages for 500,000 of its workers, a move that will likely impact a number of employees in Virginia.

  • 47. Washington

    Aeronautics defense company Boeing is Washington’s top employer with 80,241 employees in the state. Boeing has become known primarily for its commercial jets, but it is also one of the world’s largest arms producers. Microsoft, the state’s next largest employer, had a total statewide headcount of roughly half that of Boeing’s.

    ALSO READ: America’s Most Happy (and Miserable) States

  • 48. West Virginia

    West Virginia’s 44 Wal-Mart locations employed 10,855 state residents at the end of 2014, more than any other employer in the state. According to West Virginia’s MetroNews, Wal-Mart has been the state’s largest private employer since 1998.

  • 49. Wisconsin

    University of Wisconsin System is the largest employer in Wisconsin with more than 39,000 employees. Across all of its schools, the system serves roughly 180,000 students each year.

  • 50. Wyoming

    More than 4,000 Wyoming residents worked at a Wal-Mart at the end of last year. While this was a relatively low headcount compared to other states, no other company employed more people in the nation’s least populous state. The average wage of Wyoming Wal-Mart workers was $13.36 an hour as of November 2014.

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Companies

These Are the Companies Profiting the Most From War

The big North American and European defense corporations have secured their place among the top 10 arms dealers

Worldwide military expenditure shrunk in 2013 for the second consecutive year, falling by 1.9% to $1.75 trillion. The 100 largest arms-producers sold a combined $402 billion worth of arms and military services in 2013, also down — for the third consecutive year.

However, not all countries are spending less. Military spending in North America and in Western and Central European countries has continued to decline, while other countries such as Brazil and Russia have increased their arms investments.

Despite the global drop, weapons producers generated massive profits from arms sales, and U.S. and European companies continued to dominate the top 10 global companies in terms of arms deals. Lockheed Martin was the global leader with $36 billion in arms sales in 2013, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

These are the companies profiting the most from war.

In fact, the top 10 companies tend to change very little. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Dr. Samuel Perlo-Freeman, senior researcher at the SIPRI arms and military expenditure program, explained that since the 2000s, the big North American and European defense corporations have secured their place among the top 10 arms dealers. Only the last two positions in the top 10 tend to see any major competition.

Yet, Russian companies have been growing rapidly, and if the trend continues, Perlo-Freeman said, Russian Almaz-Antey may breach the top 10 in the coming years. Further, although data on Chinese companies is currently unavailable, it is very likely several would be in the top 20 arms dealers.

U.S. companies still dominate the arms market by a large margin, with six among the top 10 arms sellers. In the top 100 arms-producing companies, 39 are based in the United States, and U.S. companies accounted for more than 58% of total arms sales among the top 100. U.S. company arms sales in the top 10 alone made up 35% of total arms sales among the top 100. By contrast, Western European companies, which make up the rest of the top 10 arms producers, accounted for just 28% of the total top 100 arms sales.

National governments, especially the U.S., are almost always the primary customers of these companies. Governments are often the only customers that can afford the extremely high costs of these products. An F-35 fighter jet purchased in 2018 from Lockheed Martin and delivered in 2020, for example, would cost roughly $100 million.

While cuts in U.S. military expenditure have created some uncertainty for U.S. arms market players, business is still very good in the country. According to Perlo-Freeman, several companies based in Europe, such as BEA and Finmeccanica, operate subsidiary holdings in the U.S. to access the U.S. market.

Even when a national government is not a customer of a domestic or international arms-producer, its leaders are involved in the transaction. “Top politicians, presidents, [and] prime ministers are very often directly involved in promoting major arms deals on behalf of their domestic industry,” Perlo-Freeman said. National leaders, who have an interest in who possesses some of the world’s most destructive instruments, often oversee the arms deals very closely. While these transactions are highly regulated, “for most countries, [politicians] are more interested in promoting the success of their industries,” Perlo-Freeman said.

To identify the 10 companies profiting most from war, 24/7 Wall St. examined the 10 companies with the most arms sales based on SIPRI’s “The SIPRI Top 100 Arms-Producing Companies, 2013.” Arms sales, including advisory, planes, vehicles, and weapons, were defined by sales to military customers as well as contracts to government militaries. We also considered the company’s 2013 total sales and profits, the total number of employees at the company, as well as nation-level military spending, all provided by SIPRI.

These are the companies profiting the most from war.

  • 10. Thales

    > Arm sales 2013: $10.4 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $18.9 billion
    > 2013 profit: $800 million
    > 2013 employment: 65,190

    Thales Group edged into the top 10 of international arms sales, moving ahead of L-3 Communications with 2013 arms sales of $10.4 billion, up from $8.9 billion in 2012. L-3’s arms sales fell from $10.84 billion in 2012 to $10.3 billion in 2013. Based in Paris, Thales has outlets in 56 countries with a total headcount of more than 65,000 employees. In addition to defense, Thales helped modernize the London Underground in 2014, increasing the capacity of the system’s Northern Line by 20%. More than a decade ago, Thales launched its inflight entertainment and connectivity unit now used by nearly 100 international airlines.

  • 9. Finmeccanica

    > Arm sales 2013: $10.6 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $21.3 billion
    > 2013 profit: $100 million
    > 2013 employment: 63,840

    Finmeccanica reported nearly $10.6 billion in arms sales in 2013, down considerably from the previous year, when the company sold $12.5 billion worth of military equipment. While arms sales comprised a majority of total revenue for six companies on this list, they comprised only half of the Finmeccanica’s overall 2013 sales of $21.3 billion. The Italian aerospace giant has been struggling in recent years, posting losses each year since 2011. The company is currently undergoing massive restructuring. Mauro Moretti, the conglomerate’s recently government-appointed CEO, said in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year that he anticipates substantial job cuts, shrinking sales figures, and even a possible name change.

    ALSO READ: 15 Cities With the Most High-Tech Jobs

  • 8. United Technologies

    > Arm sales 2013: $11.9 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $62.6 billion
    > 2013 profit: $5.7 billion
    > 2013 employment: 212,000

    United Technologies is the lowest ranking U.S. supplier of the world’s top 10 arms selling companies. Based in Connecticut, UTC’s arms sales slipped from $12.1 billion in 2012 to $11.9 billion in 2013 even as its total sales rose from $57.7 billion in 2012 to more than $62.6 billion in 2013. The company’s Pratt & Whitney subsidiary, which produces and sells large commercial aircraft engines used in more than 25% of the world’s passenger fleet, recorded $14.5 billion in total net sales in 2014. Pratt & Whitney’s military engines are used by 29 armed forces worldwide. United Technologies’ Sikorsky helicopters are used by all five branches of the U.S. armed forces and Sikorsky products are used in more than 40 countries. Sikorsky generated $7.5 billion in net sales in 2014. Sikorsky manufactures military and commercial helicopters and supplies helicopter and aircraft services and parts. UTC is exploring spinning off Sikorsky to create a stand-alone public company.

  • 7. Airbus Group

    > Arm sales 2013: $15.7 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $78.7 billion
    > 2013 profit: $2.0 billion
    > 2013 employment: 144,060

    Airbus Group, formerly known as EADS, reported revenue of 59.3 billion euros in 2013, up from 56.5 billion euros in the previous year. Arms sales comprised just 20% of the company’s total sales of nearly $78.7 billion in 2013. Airbus Group is a major producer of commercial aircrafts, as well as helicopters and defense and space products. The company was recently awarded a contract with the South Korean government to supply several light helicopters. Airbus Group spans multiple European countries and overall employed 144,060 workers as of 2013. Several current and former executives of the group are mired in a legal dispute over insider trading.

    ALSO READ: States With the Highest Gas Prices

  • 6. General Dynamics

    > Arm sales 2013: $18.7 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $31.2 billion
    > 2013 profit: $2.4 billion
    > 2013 employment: 96,000

    General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) 2013 arms sales dropped by nearly 11% from 2012 to $18.7 billion. Nonetheless, the company turned a $332 million 2012 loss into a $2.4 billion profit in 2013. According to the aerospace and defense company, it provides a “broad range of products and services in business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems and munitions; communications and information technology systems and solutions; and shipbuilding.” GD’s aerospace division, among other things, designs and manufactures Gulfstream business-jet aircraft. The combat systems group designs and manufactures military vehicles — including battle tanks — and weapons systems and munitions. The information systems and technology unit, offers information technology and mobile communications services to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities.

  • 5. Northrop Grumman

    > Arm sales 2013: $20.2 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $24.7 billion
    > 2013 profit: $2.0 billion
    > 2013 employment: 65,300

    Northrop Grumman is one of six companies based in the U.S. selling the most military equipment. Also, 82% of the company’s $24.7 billion total sales came from arms deals in 2013, one of the higher proportions. The U.S. government is Northrop Grumman’s primary customer for both arms and non-arms sales, accounting for $21.3 billion, or 86% of total 2013 sales. Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman was awarded a $113.3 million contract from the U.S. Navy. Despite mostly supplying the U.S. government, the company still has a substantial and growing international presence. The company recently identified at least four international markets it aims to target for global expansion: Europe, Australia, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

  • 4. Raytheon

    > Arm sales 2013: $21.9 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $23.7 billion
    > 2013 profit: $2.0 billion
    > 2013 employment: 63,000

    Like other U.S. based defense companies, the vast majority of Raytheon’s business comes from the U.S. government. The company sold nearly $16.1 billion worth of arms to the U.S. government in 2014, or 70% of its total sales. This proportion has actually fallen each of last two years. Meanwhile, international sales accounted for 29% of Raytheon’s total 2014 sales, up from 27% in 2013. According to SIPRI, economic downturns and the resulting austerity measures, especially in the U.S., have prompted a number of companies to more aggressively seek international markets for military deals. These deals are subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations as well as other U.S. and foreign regulations.

    ALSO READ: The Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women

  • 3. BAE Systems

    > Arm sales 2013: $26.8 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $28.4 billion
    > 2013 profit: $275 million
    > 2013 employment: 84,600

    BAE Systems is one of the top 10 defense contractor suppliers to the U.S. with 31,500 employees in the U.S. in addition to 33,300 in the United Kingdom and another 19,800 in other parts of the globe including Saudi Arabia and Australia. About 36% of BAE’s sales came from its land and armaments business: development, ongoing support and maintenance of armored vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers and munitions. Total BAE sales grew 2% from 2012 to 2013 as the resumption of the company’s Typhoon combat aircraft deliveries more than made up for lower U.S. sales.

  • 2. Boeing

    > Arm sales 2013: $30.7 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $86.6 billion
    > 2013 profit: $4.6 billion
    > 2013 employment: 168,400

    Based in Chicago, Boeing is the largest aerospace company in the world. It had sales of $86.6 billion in 2013, the third highest compared to the 100 companies reviewed by SIPRI. Unlike most U.S. arms dealers, only 35% of Boeing’s sales came from arms deals, one of the lowest such proportions. Boeing is known primarily for its airplanes, with more than 10,000 commercial jetliners in use worldwide, or approximately 48% of the global fleet, according to the company. The company is also a major provider of satellites and satellite components to NASA. Boeing is a major employer in a number of states. Worldwide, the company had a total 2013 headcount of 168,400 — also the fourth highest number of employees among the 100 largest arms dealers.

    ALSO READ: The Best (and Worst) States for Business

  • 1. Lockheed Martin

    > Arm sales 2013: $35.5 billion
    > Total sales 2013: $45.5 billion
    > 2013 profit: $3.0 billion
    > 2013 employment: 115,000

    Lockheed Martin’s 2013 arms sales totaled $35.5 billion, more than any other company in the world. The company posted total sales of $45.5 billion in 2013, 78% of which were arms sales. In its most recent financial report, Lockheed Martin reported a slight increase in both sales and U.S. government deals, which accounted for 79% of its $45.6 billion net sales in fiscal 2014. The F-35 stealth fighter is the company’s most profitable program, generating more than half of all sales from the company’s aeronautics division in 2014. Lockheed Martin’s advanced development program, known as Skunk Works, has recently announced a working concept for a compact fusion reactor. The department claims it may have a prototype of the elusive nuclear energy device within five years.

    CORRECTION: Due to a data processing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly reported total 2013 profits of $300 billion for BAE Systems. In fact, BAE Systems had a total profit of $275 million in 2013.

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the 15 Cities With the Most High-Tech Jobs

The San Jose metro area in Calif. contributed 47.5% of economic output in 2013, the highest among large U.S. cities

The United States’ GDP of $16.3 trillion in 2014 was the highest in the world, due in large part to the strength of U.S. industries. However, all industries are not equal in terms of their contribution to economic output.

While the U.S. economy is among the world’s strongest, however, other countries continue to invest in education, technology, innovation, and other industries that invigorate economies, and the U.S. is falling behind. The percentage of U.S. workers employed in what the Brookings Institution calls “advanced industries” has fallen from 11.6% in 1980, to 8.7% in 2013. While this was a slight improvement from 8.4% in 2010, the need for a resurgence in the nation’s most important industries is more pressing than ever.

The Brookings Institution identified 50 advanced industries. To be considered advanced, an industry’s research and development spending must exceed $450 per employee, and the proportion of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) workers must be above the national average, or more than 21% of all employees. Mark Muro, senior fellow and policy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, explained that companies within these advanced industries “patent a lot, generate innovations that flow through the economy, export heavily,” and partly as a result, “pay well and tend to have long supply chains.”

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the metropolitan areas with the highest percentages of workers employed in advanced industries. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area leads the nation with 30% of its workforce employed in such jobs. These are the cities with the most high-tech jobs.

Click here to see the cities with the most high tech jobs.

Advanced industries contribute considerably more to economic output than other industries, and these industries accounted for even larger shares of economic output in the 15 areas with the highest concentrations of advanced jobs. While advanced industries accounted for 17.7% of all U.S. economic output in 2013, they contributed more than the national share in all but one of the 15 metros on our list. In the San Jose metro area, advanced industries accounted for 47.5% of economic output, the highest such contribution among large U.S. cities.

Average wages among workers in these industries also tend to be far higher than in other types of jobs. Nationwide, the average wage for an advanced industry worker was $89,300 in 2013 versus the average for all workers of $50,130. Earnings among both cohorts were far higher in the 15 metro areas with dense concentrations of advanced industries. Average wages among advanced industry workers in eight of the 15 areas were well above $100,000 in 2013.

Advanced industry jobs’ wages also grow faster than all wages. In fact, average wages in advanced industries have risen nearly five times as fast as those in the overall economy since 1975.

According to Muro, the strength of advanced industries also lies in the range of educational requirements for workers. While wages tend to be far higher across the board in these industries, many of these jobs do not require especially high levels of education. Muro said, “as a whole, these 50 [advanced] industries are surprisingly accessible.” Brookings estimates that fully half of jobs available in the advanced industry do not require a bachelor’s degree.

The diversity of both workers and the types of advanced industries is essential for the prosperity of these areas. As Muro explained, such diversity creates “regional ecosystems,” in which “firms are surrounded by a web of relationships that allow them to compete efficiently.” Companies seek out these areas. “If regions didn’t matter, these industries would be distributed equally across the country,” Muro said.

In fact, advanced industries are clustered in specific locations. The West Coast, for example, where four of the most densely concentrated advanced industries are located, is a major hub for innovation and technology. According to Muro, the West Coast has developed both its advanced manufacturing and high-end services, computer system design software, and research and development activities. In addition, many of these cities have very high qualities of life and have become “centers for migration among millennials.”

To identify the 15 metro areas with the most high-tech jobs, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of workers in each of the country’s 100 largest metro areas employed in advanced industries from the Brookings Institution’s February 2015 report, “America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter.” The contribution to gross metropolitan output (GMP), an area’s most dominant industry within the advanced industry classification, average wages for advanced workers, and total workforce also came from the Brookings report. We also looked at educational attainment rates, poverty rates, and the percentage of area residents with health insurance from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey (ACS). Unemployment rates are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and are as of November 2014, the latest period for which non-preliminary data are available.

These are the cities with the most high-tech jobs.

  • 15. Salt Lake City, UT

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 11.1%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 16.5%
    > Annual avg. wage: $48,780
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    More than 11% of Salt Lake City’s workforce was employed in advanced industries in 2013, the 15th highest share among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. According to the Brookings Institution, advanced industries are characterized by “deep involvement with technology research and development and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers.” The area is one of three urban regions with densely concentrated advanced industries in Utah, a testament to the state’s diversified high-tech economy. The average venture capital deal was worth more than $9 million in the state in 2013, the seventh highest among states. In Salt Lake City, venture capital tech start-up investments totalled $275 million during the first nine months of last year, one of the largest such investments compared to other metro areas, according to the Associated Press. Investment in technology is a major contributor to the prosperity of advanced industries.

    ALSO READ: 10 Retailers Closing the Most Stores

  • 14. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 11.3%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 20.5%
    > Annual avg. wage: $40,180
    > Largest advanced industry: Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing

    Most of Ogden-Clearfield residents working in advanced industries were employed in motor vehicle parts manufacturing. Aerospace product manufacturing was a close second, employing 3,570 area residents. Activity in the region’s advanced industries accounted for 20.5% of the area’s total economic output in 2013, one of the highest contributions. However, the presence of such industries did not raise wages as much as in other large metro areas. The overall average wage in the Ogden area was $40,180 in 2013, nearly the lowest compared to other large metro areas. Among advanced industry workers, the average wage was $60,580. This was also one of the lowest wages compared to wages among advanced industry workers in other cities, although it was higher than the national average wage of $50,130.

  • 13. Raleigh, NC

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 11.7%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 23.4%
    > Annual avg. wage: $51,630
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    As in most areas with high concentrations of advanced industries, Raleigh metro area residents were very well educated. Nearly 44% of adults in the area had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013, the sixth highest proportion among large metro areas. The presence of large universities nearby such as Duke University, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina helped raise educational attainment rates and likely contributed to the high density of advanced industries. The largest advanced industry was computer systems design and related services, with 14,780 employees in 2013. From 2010 to 2013, employment in the area’s advanced industries grew at an annualized rate of 5.2%, the 16th fastest growth rate and nearly double the growth rate for the nation. Raleigh’s unemployment rate of 4.3% in November was also one of the lowest rates among large metro areas. The regional growth is good news for the nation as a whole. At the beginning of the year, President Barack Obama called Raleigh the newest U.S. high-tech manufacturing hub.

  • 12. Provo-Orem, UT

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 12.0%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 23.2%
    > Annual avg. wage: $39,940
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    Over the first nine months of 2014, there were nine venture capital tech startup investments in the Provo metro worth a total of $462 million, according to the Associated Press. The level of investments in the area, as in other regions in Utah, is beginning to rival the levels in traditionally dominant tech centers such as Silicon Valley and the Boston region. The contribution to total economic output from the area’s advanced industries grew at an annualized rate of 7.2% between 2010 and 2013, nearly twice the comparable national growth rate, and the 12th fastest among large metro areas. Similarly, employment in advanced industry grew 5.9% per year, the 13th fastest among large metro areas. The unemployment rate of 3.0% in November was nearly the lowest nationwide. While the regional economy is very strong, wages remain relatively low. The average wage among all residents was less than $40,000 in 2013, nearly the lowest. The average wage among advanced industry workers was $70,990, also lower than wages of such workers in other areas.

  • 11. Austin-Round Rock, TX

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 12.1%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 24.9%
    > Annual avg. wage: $53,510
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    The economic output from advanced industries in the Austin-Round Rock metro area has grown at a healthy pace since at least the 1980s. Between 1980 and 2013, the industry’s economic output grew at an annualized rate of 9.9%, three times the comparable national growth rate and the highest rate among large metro areas. The economic output of all industries in the Austin area grew at an annualized rate of 5.7% between 1980 and 2013, also the fastest such growth rate among all large metros. Computer systems design and relatedservices employed 21,690 area residents in 2013, the most compared to other types of advanced industries. Companies operating in these fields had a large pool of well educated residents in the area. More than 41% of area adults had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013, the eighth highest attainment rate. The region is also home to the University of Austin, a large research institution and a major employer, with 21,000 employees.

  • 10. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 12.3%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 21.2%
    > Annual avg. wage: $58,850
    > Largest advanced industry: Scientific Research and Development Services

    In 2013, 12.3% of the workforce in the San Diego-Carlsbad metro area was employed in advanced industries, the 10th highest share among large metro areas. By contrast, 8.7% of the nation’s workforce was employed in such industries. The largest advanced industry in the area is involved with scientific research and development services. The area is home to the University of California San Diego, one of the area’s largest employers and a major research institution. Communications firm, Qualcomm, is headquartered in San Diego and is also among the region’s largest employers. Like most metro areas with high shares of advanced jobs, San Diego workers are on the whole relatively well compensated. The average wage was $58,850 in 2013, 12th highest among large metro areas and well above the average national wage of $50,130 that year.

  • 9. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 12.8%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 38.4%
    > Annual avg. wage: $63,880
    > Largest advanced industry: Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services

    The average wage among advanced industry workers in the Houston metro area was $121,220 in 2013, fourth highest compared to their peers in other large metro areas. The high wages in the industry helped raise the average overall annual earnings to nearly $64,000, seventh highest among large metro areas. Advanced industries tend to contribute more to economic output than other industries, and this was especially true in the Houston area. Advanced industries accounted for 38.4% of total GMP in 2013, the third highest advanced industry contribution among large metro areas. The largest industry within the advanced sector was architectural, engineering and other services followed by oil and gas extraction. The University of Texas presides in Houston, as well as one of Lockheed Martin’s engineering facilities. Both are among the region’s largest employers.

    ALSO READ: The Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women

  • 8. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 13.3%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 22.8%
    > Annual avg. wage: $67,370
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    As in other cities with prominent advanced industries, Boston metro area residents are relatively well educated. Nearly 45% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013, the fifth highest share among large metro areas. Perhaps as a result, residents were also well paid. The average wage among all workers was $67,370 in 2013, the sixth highest average wage reviewed. Higher earnings among advanced industry workers helped raise the average wage as well as the percentage of households with especially high incomes. Ten percent of area households had incomes of at least $200,000 in 2013, the sixth highest share among large metro areas and twice the national proportion. Like Massachusetts as a whole, Boston area residents also had exceptionally high health insurance coverage. Just 4.2% of residents did not have health insurance in 2013, nearly the lowest among large metro areas.

  • 7. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 13.4%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 21.7%
    > Annual avg. wage: $47,350
    > Largest advanced industry: Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing

    Unlike most areas with strong advanced industries, residents of the Palm Bay metro area do not have especially high wages. The average wage among all residents was $47,350 in 2013, one of only five top 15 metro areas where wages were lower than the national figure of $50,130. While many of the areas with the most advanced jobs reported especially high annual GMP growth rates from 2010 to 2013, the Palm Bay metro area reported a decline in economic output of 1.5% over that period, nearly the worst decline. Audio and video equipment manufacturing companies were the largest advanced industry employers in the area. Advanced industries also contributed largely to economic output in 2013, accounting for nearly 22%.

  • 6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 13.7%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 19.9%
    > Annual avg. wage: $68,370
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    No large metro area had a higher percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree than the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria region, where nearly 49% of adults held such a degree as of 2013. Strong educational attainment likely contributed to the strong advanced industry presence. Computer systems and design companies were the most prominent advanced employers, employing nearly 200,000 people in the area in 2013, one of the higher nominal figures. The prevalence of high-paying advanced industry jobs helped raise incomes for all residents. The average wage for all residents of nearly $70,000 in 2013 was nearly the highest nationwide and considerably higher than the national figure of $50,130. Nearly all the areas with dense concentrations of advanced industry jobs have at least some manufacturing presence. In the Washington metro area, however, advanced industry activity is nearly all service-related.

  • 5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 14.0%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 24.7%
    > Annual avg. wage: $80,960
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area is one of three top California metros for advanced industry presence. In 2013, 14% of the San Francisco metro area’s workforce was employed in research and development and STEM worker intensive professions, the fifth highest share among large metro areas. Area residents in such positions had high wages, even among advanced industry workers in other areas. The average wage among advanced industry workers in the area was $157,700 in 2013, second only to the comparable figure in the San Jose metro area. The presence of the University of California, which is one of the largest employers in the Bay Area as well as a contributor to the area’s well-educated population, also accounts in part for the advanced industries. More than 45% of area adults had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013, the fourth highest proportion among large metro areas. By contrast, less than 30% of adults nationwide were college educated.

    ALSO READ: 10 Disappearing Middle Class Jobs

  • 4. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 14.8%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 24.8%
    > Annual avg. wage: $53,300
    > Largest advanced industry: Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing

    Unlike nearly all of the nation’s densest concentrations of advanced industry activity, the Detroit metro area is located east of the Mississippi. And while most other areas reviewed tended to have especially strong computer and engineering-related industries, the Detroit area’s advanced industry is found primarily in motor vehicle parts manufacturing. Advanced industries accounted for nearly one-quarter of all of the region’s economic output in 2013, the ninth highest contribution from advanced industries among large metro areas. While advanced industries tend to require higher levels of education, the auto industry is frequently an exception. Detroit metro area adults were less likely than most Americans to have at least a bachelor’s degree in 2013. Yet, the area still benefited from the presence and growth of advanced industry jobs. Advanced industry jobs in Detroit grew at an annual average rate of 7.4% between 2010 and 2013, the third fastest growth rate among large metro areas. Economic output from advanced industries in the area grew 7.0% annually, the 13th fastest such growth rate among large metros.

  • 3. Wichita, KS

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 15.5%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 27.4%
    > Annual avg. wage: $44,410
    > Largest advanced industry: Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

    Most of the areas with high concentrations of advanced jobs have a very diverse array of advanced industry jobs. However, Wichita is exceptional as its economy is almost exclusively dependent on the aerospace product and parts manufacturing sector. The sub-industry had nearly 30,000 employees in the area, while the second, third, fourth, and fifth largest sub-industries classified as advanced each had between just 1,000 and 3,000 employees. Advanced industry jobs in Wichita have grown and continue to contribute substantially to economic output. The industry’s average wage of less than $74,000 in 2013, however, was lower than the national wage figure for advanced industries.

    ALSO READ: Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment Rates

  • 2. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 16.0%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 32.6%
    > Annual avg. wage: $63,180
    > Largest advanced industry: Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing

    Like a number of other metro areas with densely concentrated advanced industries, the Seattle region is on the West Coast, a hotbed for what the Brookings Institution calls “regional economic ecosystems.” These areas tend to attract innovative businesses and young, educated Americans, among other boons for local economies. Like the Wichita area, Seattle’s advanced industries are dominated by aerospace product and part manufacturing. However, other firms in advanced industries, such as software publishers and computer systemsdesign companies are also very prominent. Each sub-industry employs tens of thousands of workers in the region. The advanced industries accounted for nearly a third of all economic output in the area, a higher share than in all but a handful of metro areas.

  • 1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

    > Advanced industries, share of employment: 30.0%
    > Advanced industries, share of output: 47.5%
    > Annual avg. wage: $101,640
    > Largest advanced industry: Computer Systems Design and Related Services

    In 2013, 30% of San Jose metro area workers were employed in advanced industry jobs, by far the highest among all large metro areas and more than three times the national share of 8.7%. The region is home to Silicon Valley, a technology sector powerhouse, both in terms of output and wages. The computer systems design and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing industries were the first and second largest advanced industries in the area. Activity in these industries is driving the considerable labor growth rates in the region. Advanced industry employment grew at an annualized rate of 4.1% between 2010 and 2013, well above the comparable national rate of 2.7%. The area’s total employment grew by 3.6% each year over that period as well, the fourth fastest such rate among large metro areas. Workers were also exceptionally well paid. The average annual wage in 2013 for all area workers and for those employed in advanced industries was $101,640 and $183,950, respectively, both by far the highest nationwide.

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the American Cities With the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment

More than 23% of the Yuma metro area’s workforce was unemployed in Nov. 2014

Approximately 8.7 million U.S. jobs were lost during the Great Recession between 2007 and 2009. While all those jobs have been recovered, the nation’s unemployment rate remains above the level at the onset of the Recession and the recovery has not been consistent across the nation.

24/7 Wall St. examined the 25 lowest and 25 highest unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lincoln, Nebraska led the nation with an unemployment rate of just 2.1% in November, while the Yuma, Arizona metro area had the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 23.1%.

The Great Recession was accompanied by a steep decline in housing prices across the country. According to Martin Kohli, chief regional economist at the BLS, the best job markets weathered the housing crisis relatively well, while the areas with the highest unemployment rates were among the hardest hit when the bubble burst.

Click here to see the metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates

Click here to see the metro areas with the highest unemployment rates

In the metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates, housing prices fared better than the national average. On the other hand, median home prices in all of the worst job markets declined at a greater rate. In 10 of the 25 worst job markets, median home prices have fallen by at least 50% from their peak.

Many residents in the areas with struggling housing markets are unable to move away because of their home, which can contribute to a higher unemployment rates. According to Kohli, when homes are worth less than than the mortgage, homeowners cannot look for work in other areas because they cannot afford to sell their home.

In addition to resilient housing markets, residents in many of the best job markets are well educated. While 29.6% of American adults had completed at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, the rate was higher in a majority of the cities with lowest unemployment rates.

A major factor contributing to the high educational attainment rates is the presence of a major university. Thirteen of the metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates were also home to at least one large university. Kohli observed these universities contribute to higher educational attainment rates and are large employers in their own right.

Geographical location was also a distinguishing feature among the best and worst metro area job markets. Many of the areas with the lowest unemployment rates were clustered around the midwest and central United States, sites of the recent oil and gas development. The percentage of the workforce employed in the agricultural, forestry, fishing, and hunting, and mining industry exceeded the national share of 2.0% in 15 of the 25 best job markets.

According to Kohli, while the oil and fracking boom has subsided somewhat, the impact from the growth in the oil industry had a widespread effect. “Many areas in the country saw substantial job growth related to energy exploration,” he said, “and that generated additional demand for hotels and lodging services and a variety of other things in these areas.”

Interestingly, the metro areas with the worst job markets also had disproportionately high percentages of workers employed in the agricultural, forestry, fishing, and hunting, and mining industry. However, while the workers in many of the best job markets were far more likely to work in mining, the workers in some of the worst job markets, especially in inland California, were far more likely to be employed in agricultural positions, Kohli explained.

Fourteen of the 25 metro areas with the highest unemployment rates were located in inland California or Arizona, where there are high concentrations of farm jobs. However, the region’s ongoing severe drought conditions have taken a heavy toll on area economies. Most farming operations require enormous quantities of water, and when drought pervades agricultural output suffers and with it jobs.

To identify the best and worst job markets in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) with the highest and lowest unemployment rates as of November 2014 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Labor force changes also came from the BLS. Median household incomes, poverty rates, educational attainment rates, the percentage of households receiving SNAP benefits (food stamps), and the proportions of households earning less than $10,000 and more than $200,000 annually all came from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) and are for 2013, the latest period available. Workforce composition also came from the ACS. Quarterly median home prices since 2004 came from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

These are the cities with the highest (and lowest) unemployment rates.

  • 24. Madison, WI

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.4%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 13.4%
    > 2013 median household income: $59,466
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 42.4%

    In November 2014, 3.4% of Madison Wisconsin’s workforce was unemployed, tied for the 24th lowest rate nationwide. By contrast, the national unemployment rate in November was 5.8%. As in many other metro areas with relatively low unemployment rates, Madison residents are well educated. More than 42% of adults in the area held at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, one of the higher rates compared with other metro areas.

    ALSO READ: The States Where the Rich are Getting Richer

  • 24. Dubuque, IA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.4%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 13.7%
    > 2013 median household income: $51,735
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 26.6%

    Strategically located at the junction of three states — Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin — Dubuque serves as a commercial, industrial, cultural, and educational hub. Like most U.S. metro areas, and strong metro job markets in particular, Dubuque’s largest employers are in the education and health sectors: the community school district, Mercy Medical Center, the University of Wisconsin Platteville, and Finley Hospital. Dubuque is also home to a major John Deere manufacturing plant and a large IBM facility. Dubuque’s 3.4% unemployment rate in November improved 0.2 percentage points from one year earlier.

  • 24. Rapid City, SD

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.4%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 14.5%
    > 2013 median household income: $48,641
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 24.5%

    A typical household in Rapid City earned less than $49,000 in 2013, lower than the national median household income of $52,250. However, the area’s job market is very strong, with an unemployment rate of just 3.4% in November. The low unemployment rate is due in large part to jobs generated by the regional oil boom. In 2013, 4.6% of Rapid City’s working population was employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and mining, one of the highest rates and more than twice the comparable national rate of 2.0%. As Kohli explained, regional oil booms can boost job growth in a variety of sectors in addition to the mining industry.

    ALSO READ: The Best (and Worst) States for Business

  • 24. Morgantown, WV

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.4%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 19.2%
    > 2013 median household income: $47,051
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 32.5%

    Morgantown, the county seat of Monongalia County, had a modest 0.1 percentage point improvement in its unemployment rate from November 2013, as its labor force grew 2.0% over the same period. More than 31% of workers were employed in the education and health services industry, the highest share among industries in the area and among the higher such proportions nationwide. The concentration in the sector was led by Ruby Memorial Hospital and the Ruby Day Surgery Center.

  • 24. Burlington-South Burlington, VT

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.4%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 10.5%
    > 2013 median household income: $62,022
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 43.3%

    The strong job market in the Burlington-South Burlington metro area may have helped raise the health insurance coverage rate. Just 6.2% of Burlington area residents did not have health insurance in 2013, less than half the comparable national rate and one of the lowest figures among all metro areas. The Burlington-South Burlington metro area was home to the University of Vermont, which contributed to relatively high educational attainment rates and stimulated the region’s economy.

  • 21. State College, PA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 19.8%
    > 2013 median household income: $53,207
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 41.7%

    Unlike most metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates, nearly one in five residents in the State College area lived in poverty in 2013, one of the highest poverty rates nationwide. The healthy economy may also have helped keep State College safe. There were 92.7 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people in the area in 2013, one of the lowest crime rates.

    ALSO READ: America’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) States

  • 21. Amarillo, TX

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 16.0%
    > 2013 median household income: $49,207
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 23.4%

    Amarillo’s unemployment rate improved by 0.9 percentage points from November 2013 to November 2014, aided by a one percentage point drop in the city’s labor force. Government is a major employer in the city of Amarillo, which makes up a large portion of the metro area, through the local school district and city government. The city is also the home to Pantex, a key Department of Defense supplier, and to a major Tyson Foods facility.

  • 21. St. Cloud, MN

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 13.6%
    > 2013 median household income: $55,513
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 24.0%

    Along with a strong job market, St. Cloud residents are better-off financially than most Americans. The metro area’s median household income of $55,513 in 2013 was higher than the national figure of $52,250. Most metro areas with low unemployment rates weathered the housing crisis considerably better than most regions. However, in St. Cloud, median home prices fell 18.5% from the 2007 peak to the first quarter of last year, worse than the national home price drop during that time of 15.9%.

    ALSO READ: The Worst Paying Jobs for Women

  • 17. Fort Collins, CO

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 14.3%
    > 2013 median household income: $59,052
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 43.3%

    Fort Collins’s unemployment rate dropped 1.8 percentage points from November 2013, despite a 2.2 percentage point increase in the city’s labor force over the same period. The city is home to Colorado State University as well as many high tech companies, including Hewlett Packard, Intel, and AMD among others.

  • 17. Boulder, CO

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 13.9%
    > 2013 median household income: $71,604
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 58.5%

    Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 41 miles northwest of Denver. Home to the main campus of the University of Colorado, 58.5% of adults in the Boulder metro area had at least a bachelor’s degree, the highest percentage of any U.S. metro area and nearly twice the national figure. A relatively high 9.2% of households had annual incomes of $200,000 or more in 2013, ninth highest in the country.

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  • 17. Idaho Falls, ID

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 11.2%
    > 2013 median household income: $50,439
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 24.5%

    The November unemployment rate in most metro areas with strong job markets had not changed substantially from the previous year. The unemployment rate of 3.2% in Idaho Falls, however, improved 1.4 percentage points from the year before, slightly faster than the comparable national improvement. In addition, while most of the strongest job markets had high proportions of very wealthy households, 1.5% of households in Idaho Falls earned at least $200,000 in 2013, one of the lowest proportions nationwide.

  • 17. Salt Lake City, UT

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 12.4%
    > 2013 median household income: $61,520
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 31.2%

    As the capital of Utah, it is not surprising that state government heads the metro area list of largest employers in the Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City’s unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage points from November 2013 to November 2014, as its labor force contracted 0.5 percentage points. The metro area’s household income of $61,520 was roughly $9,000 higher than the national median income of $52,250 in 2013. Areas with low unemployment rates generally have relatively low violent crime rates. However, the violent crime rate in Salt Lake City was 356.6 per 100,000 residents, not much lower than the national rate of 367.9 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

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  • 16. Billings, MT

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 12.9%
    > 2013 median household income: $52,583
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 26.8%

    Billings is less than a half day drive to the Bakken Formation, the source of the regional oil boom. Nearly 4.0% of Billings’ workforce is employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and mining industry, one of the higher shares nationwide. Partly as a result of the strong economy and job market in the area, median home prices remained roughly unchanged since 2007. By contrast, home prices across the country fell 15.9% over a similar period.

  • 14. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.0%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 10.3%
    > 2013 median household income: $67,194
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 39.3%

    The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area straddles the Mississippi River, but its major employers are not river-based and significantly diversified. Concentrations of government jobs can be found in St. Paul, the capital of Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic and Target stores are also major employers in the area. The area’s unemployment rate dropped 1.1 percentage points in the year ending November 2014, even though the labor force grew 0.9 percentage points over that time.

  • 14. Provo-Orem, UT

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 3.0%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 13.7%
    > 2013 median household income: $60,051
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 37.7%

    In addition to an unemployment rate of just 3.0%, Provo-Orem metro area residents had relatively high incomes and benefited from an exceptionally low violent crime rate. A typical household earned more than $60,000 in 2013, one of the highest median household incomes nationwide. There were also 70.2 violent crimes reported per 100,000 area residents in 2013, a lower rate than in all but five other metro areas reviewed.

  • 13. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.9%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 12.7%
    > 2013 median household income: $55,382
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 33.4%

    Omaha-Council Bluffs may be the home of Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, but his company, Berkshire-Hathaway, does not appear on the city’s list of top 100 employers. Instead, the list is led by Offutt Air Force Base, with health care employers taking four of the next five slots. The fifth is the local public school system as nearly one-quarter of Omaha-Council Bluffs’ workforce is employed by the educational services and health care industry. The area’s median household income was just $55,382, versus the national median of $52,250.

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  • 12. Odessa, TX

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.8%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 14.6%
    > 2013 median household income: $55,710
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.8%

    The Odessa metro area is one of just 13 metro areas in the country where the unemployment rate was less than 3.0% this past November. Nearly 13% of the area’s workforce was employed in the agriculture, forestry, and mining industry, many times the national share of 2.0% in these jobs and one of the highest shares among metro areas. While jobs are readily available compared to other areas, many employment opportunities likely do not require very much education. Less than 14% of area adults held at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, nearly the lowest rate nationwide and less than half the comparable national educational attainment rate of nearly 30%. Odessa also had a reported violent crime rate of more than 800 incidents per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the country.

  • 11. Sioux Falls, SD

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.7%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 9.0%
    > 2013 median household income: $55,952
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 32.3%

    Like several other metro areas with especially strong job markets, Sioux Falls is among the areas that thrived as a result of the regional oil boom. Large drilling sites are not far from the metro area. However, the financial sector employed more than 13% of the workforce, more than twice the share nationwide and third highest among all metro areas. Sioux Falls’ economic growth has been primarily due to its location along major north-south and east-west interstate highways, according to The Economist.

    ALSO READ: Cities Where Crime is Plummeting

  • 8. Rochester, MN

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.6%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 7.9%
    > 2013 median household income: $62,645
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 35.3%

    The Rochester metro area had a poverty rate of 7.9% in 2013, nearly the lowest rate nationwide. Largely due to Rochester’s unemployment rate of just 2.6%, the median household income was $62,645 in 2013, one of the higher figures in the nation. In addition, like most strong job markets, more than one-third of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, also one of the higher proportions.

  • 8. Grand Forks, ND-MN

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.6%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 15.4%
    > 2013 median household income: $50,891
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 27.4%

    Education and health services are a major reason for low unemployment in Grand Forks, employing a large share of the workforce. The metro area is also home to Grand Forks Air Force Base, a driver for the local economy, such as the retail trade sector, which employs about 13.6% of the workforce. Grand Forks’ unemployment rate improved 0.4 percentage points from November 2013 to November 2014. While Grand Forks shed payroll jobs during the recession, it had recovered all those jobs and more since the recession ended.

    ALSO READ: Companies Cutting the Most Jobs

  • 8. Iowa City, IA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.6%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 15.6%
    > 2013 median household income: $52,220
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 48.6%

    Iowa City’s unemployment rate of 2.6% improved by 0.1 percentage points from a year ago, even though the region’s labor force jumped 3.3% over the same period. Iowa City is the home of the ACT testing service, which provides standardized tests for college-bound high schoolers, and is the seventh largest employer in the region. The University of Iowa is the area’s largest employer, along with related health care organizations such as the university’s hospital. Education and health-related industries employed 41% of Iowa City’s workforce, the second highest such share in the country, topped only by Ithaca, NY.

  • 5. Logan, UT-ID

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.5%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 14.6%
    > 2013 median household income: $47,377
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 35.9%

    The Logan metro area’s labor force grew 1.6% over the year through November of last year, and the unemployment rate dropped slightly over that period. The area is home to Utah State University, which is also a major employer in the region. In addition, like many other metro areas with strong job markets, a major source of oil and natural gas is located nearby.

    ALSO READ: 10 States With the Worst Taxes for the Average American

  • 5. Ames, IA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.5%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 23.5%
    > 2013 median household income: $50,279
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 48.2%

    Ames residents are among the best educated — as measured by high school graduation rate — of all metro areas. At the same time, the area is one of only a few strong job markets with a median household income lower than the national median. As with most of the top 28 regions, the Ames metro area’s education, health and social service industry employed a larger proportion of the workforce than the national share in 2013 — 38% compared with 23%, nationally. Of the area’s top eight employers, six are in those fields, led by Iowa State University, Mary Greeley Medical Center, and McFarland Clinic.

  • 5. Bismarck, ND

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.5%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 8.3%
    > 2013 median household income: $64,626
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 30.5%

    The unemployment rate in Bismarck rose by 0.3 percentage points from November 2013 to November 2014. The only other strong metro area job market to show an increase was the Burlington metro area. Bismarck’s labor force grew by 3.9% during that time. The area boasted the 21st highest household income of all metros, at $64,626, nearly 24% higher than the national average of $52,250 in 2013. Also, just 5.6% of households used food stamp benefits, the fourth lowest rate among all metro areas.

  • 4. Midland, TX

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 9.3%
    > 2013 median household income: $71,442
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 27.3%

    Located at the heart of the regional oil boom, Midland residents have enjoyed sustained economic growth for nearly a decade. Nearly 19% of the area’s workforce was employed in the agriculture, forestry and mining industry, the third highest share compared to other metro areas. Housing prices in the area were at their peak at the beginning of last year, while most other metro area housing markets were still far behind 2007 levels. The median household income of $71,442 in 2013 was also nearly the highest nationwide. Despite the strong job market and healthy economy, nearly 24% of residents did not have health insurance in 2013, one of the highest rates in the country.

    ALSO READ: Cities Where Crime is Soaring

  • 2. Mankato-North Mankato, MN

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 16.7%
    > 2013 median household income: $53,047
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 28.8%

    The Mankato metro area is located along where the Minnesota River meets the Blue Earth River in the southern third of the state. As a college town — hosting a major campus of the University of Minnesota — Mankato’s economy is focused on education and healthcare. The area’s unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point from November 2013 to November 2014 even as its labor force grew 2.7%. In addition to a low unemployment rate, only 6.6% of the area’s population did not have health insurance in 2013, the 13th lowest rate in the country.

  • 2. Fargo, ND-MN

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 13.9%
    > 2013 median household income: $51,961
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 35.3%

    Just 2.2% of Fargo’s workforce was unemployed in November, down slightly from the year before. The region’s labor force also grew 3.8% over that period, among the fastest growth rates nationwide. As in other metro areas in and around North Dakota, Fargo’s healthy economy is largely due to the regional oil and natural gas boom.

  • 1. Lincoln, NE

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 2.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 15.5%
    > 2013 median household income: $52,300
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 36.3%

    Lincoln boasts the lowest unemployment rate of any metro area in the country, down 0.9 percentage points from one year earlier when it had the seventh lowest unemployment rate of all metro areas. Lincoln’s improvement came despite a 2.5% increase in the labor force over the same period. Government — not counting education — employs the second-largest share of the workforce in Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska. The area’s education sector, including the University of Nebraska, is also a major driver of employment in the area. B&R Stores, an 18-unit food store chain, is the area’s largest private employer.

    Click here to see the metro areas with the highest unemployment rates

  • 24. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.0%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 18.2%
    > 2013 median household income: $53,220
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 20.1%

    While less than 6.0% of the nation’s workforce was unemployed in November, 8.0% of the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area’s workforce was out of work, tied for the 24th highest unemployment rate compared with all metro areas. As in other weak job markets, and particularly those in California, the Riverside area was hit especially hard by the housing crisis. As of the first quarter of last year, home values had fallen 51.4% from their peak in 2007. The national decline in median home prices during that time was less than 16%.

  • 24. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.0%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 21.2%
    > 2013 median household income: $39,058
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 11.3%

    More than one in five workers in the Lake Havasu City-Kingman metro area was employed in the arts, entertainment, recreation and accommodation and food services industry, the fourth highest share compared to other metro areas and more than twice the share nationally. The high concentration of these traditionally low-paying jobs is due in part to the area’s reliance on tourism. A typical household earned less than $40,000 in 2013, one of the lowest median household incomes compared with other U.S. metro areas.

    ALSO READ: The Richest County in Each State

  • 22. Danville, IL

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 19.3%
    > 2013 median household income: $45,089
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.9%

    While Danville had one of the highest unemployment rates among metropolitan areas as of November, it also recorded the fourth best yearly improvement in unemployment, with its unemployment rate dropping 4.1 percentage points from November 2013. Danville faces a significant education gap, with just 86.2% of its adult residents holding a high school diploma or higher and just 13.9% holding at least a bachelor’s degree, both among the lowest educational attainment rates compared to all metro areas.

  • 22. Rockford, IL

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 15.5%
    > 2013 median household income: $48,027
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 21.0%

    Rockford’s unemployment rate improved 3.3 percentage points from November 2013 to November 2014, fifth best of all metropolitan areas. Very few socioeconomic measures seem to be positive for Rockford. Its violent crime rate of 711.1 incidents per 100,000 residents was in the bottom quintile of all metro areas. Nearly 23% of Rockford’s workforce was employed by the manufacturing industry, one of the highest such proportions in the nation. Employment in the industry fell dramatically in 2009 and 2010, and has made only a modest recovery since.

    ALSO READ: The Best States to Grow Old In

  • 22. Redding, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 20.1%
    > 2013 median household income: $40,332
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 17.3%

    Just slightly over one of six Redding adults had a bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2013 — 318th out of 358 metros. The residents’ low educational attainment may have contributed to the area’s high unemployment rate. At the same time, the median household income was $40,332, 317th out of 358 metro areas. In 2013, 16.5% of residents did not have health insurance.

  • 19. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 34.3%
    > 2013 median household income: $35,098
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 16.2%

    Like many metro areas with relatively high unemployment rate, McAllen faces the challenge of low educational attainment. Just 61.5% of McAllen area residents had completed at least high school, the lowest rate of any of the 358 metro areas. Only 16.2% of residents had a bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2013, also one of the worst rates. The weak education among residents pervaded other aspects of McAllen’s economic life. The metro had the highest rate of households receiving food stamps, the highest rate of individuals without health insurance and the highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line. Only three metro areas had a lower median household income in 2013.

  • 18. Dalton, GA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 21.8%
    > 2013 median household income: $37,659
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 12.2%

    Dalton is home to many of the nation’s floor covering manufacturers and therefore suffered as home building slowed with the recession. The metro’s unemployment rate, which had been below 5% from 2004 until the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, jumped to double digit rates and only recently has begun to recover. The jobless rate improved a full percentage point from November 2013 to November 2014. The region remains impoverished: 19.5% of households received food stamps, 23.1% of individuals had no health insurance, and 21.8% of individuals lived below the poverty line.

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  • 17. Salinas, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.5%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 17.9%
    > 2013 median household income: $57,052
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 22.2%

    The hometown of Nobel Prize author John Steinbeck, Salinas had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country in November 2014 despite improving 0.6 percentage points from November 2013. In the same period, the area’s labor force grew 0.6%. Salinas had one of the highest shares of agricultural jobs. In fact, it is one of seven metro areas with the highest unemployment rates to have a relatively high concentration of agricultural jobs, suggesting the lingering drought in California may have contributed to the high unemployment.

  • 16. Longview, WA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.8%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 14.5%
    > 2013 median household income: $48,417
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 15.6%

    Longview’s unemployment rate shot up with the onset of the Great Recession, more than doubling from 6.3% in 2007 to 14.1% two years later. The area currently has the third highest share of other services jobs and the lowest share of jobs in the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food service industry. Only 15.6% of adult residents had at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, nearly the lowest attainment rate of all metro areas.

    ALSO READ: 9 Cars That Disappeared in 2014

  • 16. Yakima, WA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 8.8%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 20.8%
    > 2013 median household income: $41,917
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 15.5%

    While the national job market and the vast majority of metropolitan areas improved from November 2013 to November 2014, this was not the case in Yakima. The metro area’s unemployment rate of 8.8% rose 1.6 percentage points, one of the largest increases in the country. As in many other areas with high unemployment rates, Yakima residents struggle with poverty. Nearly 21% of area residents lived in poverty in 2013, one of the highest rates. More than 15% of the workforce was employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining industry, considerably higher than the national share of just 2.0%.

  • 14. Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 9.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 20.6%
    > 2013 median household income: $45,978
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.7%

    The Vineland metro areas had the 10th lowest college attainment rate in the country, at 13.7% of adults. The region has struggled with relatively high unemployment rates for roughly five years. In an effort to stimulate the local economy in 2006, portions of Vineland were designated Urban Enterprise Zones. Sales taxes are reduced for retailers in these zones. Despite the metro area’s otherwise difficult labor struggles, the retail trade sector employed almost 14% of the area’s workforce, the 49th highest share among 358 metros.

    ALSO READ: States With the Best (and Worst) Schools

  • 13. Bakersfield, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 9.6%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 22.8%
    > 2013 median household income: $46,879
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 14.4%

    The Bakersfield metro area is located in the San Joaquin Valley, a major source of agricultural products for both California and the rest of the nation. More than 17% of the area’s workforce was employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining industry, nearly the highest such share in the country. The drought afflicting California and surrounding areas has not helped Bakersfield’s economy. Nearly one in 10 area workers were unemployed, and nearly 23% of residents lived in poverty, both among the highest rates nationwide in 2013.

  • 12. Stockton-Lodi, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 10.7%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 19.9%
    > 2013 median household income: $51,432
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 17.2%

    Like most areas with struggling job markets, roughly one in five Stockton-Lodi metro area residents lived in poverty in 2013, one of the highest rates nationwide. There were also more than 700 violent crimes reported in Stockton per 100,000 residents in 2013, one of the highest rates nationwide. As of the first quarter of last year, the median home price in the Stockton metro area had fallen nearly 80% from the peak of well over $1 million in the second quarter of 2006.

    ALSO READ: The Poorest County in Each State

  • 12. Modesto, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 10.7%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 22.1%
    > 2013 median household income: $47,962
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 16.0%

    The Modesto metro area’s unemployment rate of 10.7% in November had actually improved 1.4 percentage points from the previous year, a slightly faster improvement than the national change. As in many areas in California, however, Modesto was hit especially hard by the housing crisis and is a long way from full recovery. The median home price fell more than 80% from its peak in the first quarter of 2006, nearly the worst housing price decline among all metro areas.

  • 12. Madera, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 10.7%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 23.6%
    > 2013 median household income: $39,758
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.0%

    Twenty-three percent of Madera’s workforce was employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industry in 2013, the highest such proportion nationwide. As in most California metro areas with the highest unemployment rates, the bulk of the sector’s employees were agricultural workers, and with the severe drought conditions throughout the region, Madera’s workforce is far from healthy. Nearly 11% of workers were unemployed, and nearly 24% of residents lived in poverty in 2013, both among the highest rates. In addition, nearly 19% had no health insurance, one of the higher rates in the country.

  • 9. Fresno, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 11.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 28.8%
    > 2013 median household income: $43,925
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 19.8%

    Poor educational attainment rates among Fresno residents partly contributed to the region’s high unemployment rate of 11.2%. Less than three-quarters of adults had completed at least high school, and less than one in five adults held at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, both among the lowest proportions nationwide. Fresno’s poverty rate of nearly 29% was also one of the worst in the country. Like many California metro areas, Fresno relies heavily on agriculture, and the industry has suffered from the drought afflicting the region. Nearly one in 10 members of the workforce was employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industry, one of the higher proportions in the country.

    ALSO READ: The Worst States to Grow Old In

  • 8. Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 11.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 18.0%
    > 2013 median household income: $52,127
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 23.5%

    Nearly 28% of workers in the Atlantic City-Hammonton metro area were employed in the arts, entertainment, recreation and accommodation and food services industry in 2013, the second highest such proportion nationwide. Many of these workers were likely employed in the various casinos and resorts in the region. Alongside Atlantic City’s shrinking popularity as a tourist destination, however, its labor force shrank by nearly 4% from November 2013 to November 2014, nearly the largest decline. Widespread casino closings in the area account in part for the downturn. And while a shrinking labor force can open job opportunities, the metro area’s unemployment rate of 11.3% in November had increased slightly from the year before.

  • 7. Hanford-Corcoran, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 11.7%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 21.4%
    > 2013 median household income: $45,774
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 12.9%

    With severe drought conditions afflicting California and the surrounding region, the high concentration of farm jobs in the Hanford-Corcoran area — 17.5% of the workforce — can largely account for the poor economic climate. More than 21% of residents lived in poverty, one of the highest rates, and less than 13% of area adults held at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, among the lowest rates nationwide. These weak economic indicators can also partly explain the high unemployment rate of nearly 12% in November.

    ALSO READ: States Where the Middle Class is Dying

  • 6. Yuba City, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 12.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 18.7%
    > 2013 median household income: $46,773
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 17.0%

    The Yuba City metro area’s economy is especially weak. While unemployment rates fell across the nation and in most metro areas, Yuba City’s November unemployment rate of 12.1% increased 4.5 percentage points from the year before, nearly the worst increase in the country. The area’s labor force also shrank by 1.5% over that period, one of the worst declines. As in many other poor metro job markets, median home prices in the area fell by nearly 58% from their peak in 2006, one of the larger drops among all metro areas.

  • 5. Merced, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 12.2%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 25.2%
    > 2013 median household income: $40,687
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.5%

    Poor educational attainment rates frequently account in part for high unemployment rates. While nearly 30% of adults nationwide held at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, only 13.5% of Merced residents did so, one of the lowest educational attainment rates. The poor job climate has also likely made getting out of poverty more difficult for many people. More than one in four area residents lived in poverty in 2013, one of the highest poverty rates nationwide. Merced’s housing market was also obliterated during the period leading up to the national crisis. Median home values in the beginning of last year had plummeted 94% from their peak in the middle of 2006.

  • 4. Visalia-Porterville, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 12.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 30.1%
    > 2013 median household income: $39,422
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.3%

    Like many other weak job markets in California, Visalia-Porterville residents were relatively poor. A typical household earned less than $40,000 in 2013, one of the lowest median household incomes nationwide. Partly as a result, nearly 26% of households in the area relied on food stamps in 2013, nearly the highest such rate nationwide. While such government subsidies likely helped in providing relief for many families living in poverty — the poverty rate of 30.1% was nearly twice the national rate of 15.8% — it also reflects a weak economy. More than 12% of the area’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, versus the national November unemployment rate of 5.8%.

    ALSO READ: States With the Highest (and Lowest) Gas Taxes

  • 4. Ocean City, NJ

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 12.3%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 9.4%
    > 2013 median household income: $60,560
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 33.7%

    Unlike the vast majority of other metro areas with poor job markets, Ocean City metro area residents were relatively well-off financially and benefited from a low poverty rate and strong educational attainment rates. The median household income of $60,560 in 2013 was among the higher figures, and the poverty rate of less than 10% was substantially better than the national rate of nearly 16%. And while less than 30% of American adults had completed at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, nearly 34% of Ocean City adults had done so, an exceptionally high proportion given the high unemployment rate of 12.3% in November.

  • 2. El Centro, CA

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 22.7%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 22.1%
    > 2013 median household income: $43,310
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 12.7%

    El Centro is one of only two metro areas where more than one in five workers were unemployed in November. As in many other California metro areas, El Centro’s job market has a relatively high concentration of agricultural positions. While 2.0% of the U.S. workforce worked in the agricultural, forestry, fishing and mining industry, 8.7% of El Centro’s workforce were employed in the sector, one of the higher proportions. In addition, the metro area has yet to make anywhere close to a full recovery from the housing crisis. As of the beginning of last year, the area’s median home price had fallen 56.3% from the peak in 2007. By contrast, median home prices across the country fell 15.9% over a similar period.

    ALSO READ: The Easiest (and Hardest) Jobs to Keep

  • 1. Yuma, AZ

    > 2014 November unemployment rate: 23.1%
    > 2013 poverty rate: 17.8%
    > 2013 median household income: $41,666
    > 2013 pct. with bachelor’s degree: 13.9%

    More than 23% of the Yuma metro area’s workforce was unemployed in November of last year, the highest unemployment rate among all U.S. metro areas. Compared to the previous November, the unemployment rate had also increased 9.3 percentage points, by far the worst change in the nation and over a period when unemployment across the nation improved. Less than 14% of adults in the area had completed at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, one of the lowest educational attainment rates nationwide and a partial explanation for the metro area’s abysmal job market. Despite the increase and poor job climate, the size Yuma’s labor force remained flat from November 2013 to November 2014.

    Click here to see the metro areas with the lowest unemployment rates

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

    Read next: Employers Add 295,000 Jobs as Economy Keeps Rolling

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TIME Careers & Workplace

These Are the Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women

Women in these cities earned less than three-quarters of the median earnings of men

Sunday was International Women’s Day, meant to celebrate achievements among women, and promote greater equality around the world. The United States is doing well in some areas, but continues to struggle to close the gender wage gap. In 2013, the median annual earnings of men were $48,520. Women earned just 78.8% of men’s pay, or about $10,000 less. This difference has remained basically unchanged over at least the last seven years in the U.S.

Women earn less than men in every part of the United States, although the gender pay gap varies considerably across the country. Women’s median pay in Fresno, California was slightly lower than the typical pay of men, while in Provo-Orem, Utah women earned less than 60% of what men earned, the worst pay gap nationwide. Women in the 10 areas with the worst gender pay gaps earned less than three-quarters of the median earnings of men. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed America’s 100 most populous metropolitan areas to find the regions with the smallest and widest gender wage gaps.

Click here to see the best paying cities for women

Click here to see the worst paying cities for women

A small pay gap does not mean women are well paid, just as a large difference between men and women’s earnings does not necessarily mean women have low earnings. In fact, only three of the metro areas with the smallest pay gaps had overall median earnings that exceeded the national median of $42,498, meaning both men and women were not particularly well paid.

In half of the 10 areas where women earned the least compared to men, residents had relatively high wages overall. This may actually have exacerbated the pay gap, because women in these areas were not necessarily paid more than women in other cities. Women workers in nine of the 10 metro areas with the largest pay gaps had median earnings lower than women across the nation. The median earnings of women in the one exception — the Bridgeport metro area — were relatively high at $51,837, but this figure was far lower than the median earnings of Bridgeport men.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Institute For Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), explained there is simply less room for wage discrimination when earnings are so low overall. “If you are a high earner, your earnings are very high,” Hegewisch said. Since women are underrepresented among top earners, areas with high median earnings are often more vulnerable to pay discrimination, she added.

Nationwide, women did not have higher median earnings than men in any of the occupations reviewed by the Census. However, different jobs tend to have different gender pay gaps. Among community and social service workers in three of the 10 metro areas with the lowest pay gaps, female workers earned more than their male counterparts.

Female scientists in five of the 10 areas with the smallest pay gaps also had higher median earnings than men, compared with the national pay gap of 86.1% in the science professions. On the other hand, women working in legal occupations — the occupation with the worst pay gap — were paid roughly half of what men were in 2013. And the pay gap among such professionals was even more pronounced in all but two of the metro areas with the worst gender wage gap.

How well-represented women are in a particular occupation is also a factor. If women are better represented they tend to be better paid relative to men, and the opposite is also true.Women working in transportation and construction jobs, for example, made up a small fraction of the workforce and were also paid far less than men. On the other hand, women made up a majority of community and social service workers nationwide, and were paid nearly the same as men.

Hegewisch explained that while making up a minority of the workforce in a particular occupation is frequently a disadvantage for women, it can actually be an advantage for men in the same situation. According to Hegewisch, male nurses, for instance, are often favored for advancements and job openings due in large part to the rarity of men in the profession.

There might be some rationale for paying women less than men In areas where women are less educated than men. However, women and men had approximately the same levels of education in all of the best and worst paying metros for women. In some cases, women had far lower median earnings despite being better educated than men. Women in the Baton Rouge metro area, for example, were more likely than men to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Yet, women in the area had lower median earnings than men, even in occupations requiring high levels of education.

To identify the worst-paying metropolitan statistical areas for women, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed women’s median earnings as a percent of men’s median earnings in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. Median earnings by metro area and by sex came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). A high percentage reflects a small gender pay gap, while a low percentage reflects a large pay discrepancy. We also considered median earnings for specific sectors, sub-sectors, and occupations, as well as median household income. We also reviewed data on the percentage of women and men in specific sectors. Educational attainment rates by gender also came from the American Community Survey.

These are the best (and worst) paying cities for women.

  • 10. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 85.6%
    > Median earnings for men: $42,039
    > Median earnings for women: $35,987

    Women are paid less than men in every U.S. metro area. In the Little Rock region, however, women’s median earnings equalled 85.6% of male median earnings, the 10th smallest gender pay gap. In some occupations, such as building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, women and men were paid roughly the same in 2013. Female health technologists in Little Rock actually had higher median earnings than men in similar jobs. Unlike many other metro areas with relatively small gender pay gaps, however, male health practitioners, including workers in other technical health occupations, earned approximately double what women did, despite making up a minority of the occupation’s workforce.

    ALSO READ: The Worst Paying Jobs for Women

  • 9. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 86.0%
    > Median earnings for men: $41,369
    > Median earnings for women: $35,562

    Women’s median earnings working in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance jobs in the Las Vegas metro area were roughly equal to men’s earnings. The metro was the only large area in the country where there was no pay gap in this occupation. Unlike most areas, women and men also made up roughly equal shares of the occupation’s workforce. In computer and mathematical occupations, women’s median earnings in 2013 was 119.2% of men’s earnings, the third highest such share compared to large metro areas. Women in the region were also paid more than men in health practitioner occupations, jobs with especially wide gender pay gaps nationwide. In addition, women working in art and entertainment jobs, a dominant sector in the Las Vegas area, were also paid more than men for similar jobs.

  • 8. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 86.4%
    > Median earnings for men: $52,279
    > Median earnings for women: $45,177

    Women working in law enforcement earned nearly 79% of what men earned across the country. In the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks metro area, however, the median earnings of female law enforcement workers were equal to just over half of what men earned in similar jobs, nearly the worst such occupational gender pay gap among large metro areas. Women also earned just half of what men earned in personal care and service occupations — the worst gap among such jobs even though women make up the majority of the occupation’s workforce. The gender wage gap was narrower in other occupations, driving the area’s relatively small gender pay gap. In sales and related occupations, for example, women’s median earnings were 79.6% of men’s earnings, nearly the best such occupational wage gap in large metro areas.

  • 7. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 86.4%
    > Median earnings for men: $51,903
    > Median earnings for women: $44,853

    Albany metro area residents were relatively well educated, with more than a third of both men and women having at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013, higher than the respective national rates. However, women in the area were paid more fairly in relatively low-paying occupations requiring low levels of education than in higher paying, higher-skilled jobs. The median earnings of female food preparation and serving related workers, for example, were $22,235, only slightly lower than the median earnings of their male counterparts. Women in education jobs, which require higher levels of education, had median earnings 73.7% of what men earned, one of the lowest such shares among large metro areas. Women also made up a majority of education occupations in the area.

  • 6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 86.4%
    > Median earnings for men: $40,079
    > Median earnings for women: $34,644

    Women represented just 5.2% of fire fighting and prevention workers in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area. They had median earnings of $31,009, however, in line with the median earnings of men working similar jobs. Women working in art-related jobs were also paid on par with men in the occupation, although median earnings for both sexes were lower than the comparable national figures. In community and social service occupations, women made up a majority of the workforce, and also had higher median earnings than men in similar jobs. This helped narrow the overall pay gap in the area.

    ALSO READ: 10 Disappearing Middle Class Jobs

  • 5. Tucson, AZ Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 86.8%
    > Median earnings for men: $41,994
    > Median earnings for women: $36,467

    In computer and mathematical occupations, architectural and engineering jobs, and science fields, women comprised a minority of workers, and they were also paid far less fairly than women working in those fields across the country. Relatively equal pay in other occupations made up for those disparities, contributing to the metro’s fifth-best overall gender pay ratio of 86.8%. The median pay for women in buildings and grounds occupations, for example, was $21,226, 95.7% of what men earned in similar jobs, one of the highest such shares. Additionally, women in legal professions had median earnings of $48,104, lower than the national median earnings for women in the field but also 77.3% what men earned. While this figure is not especially high compared to ratios in other occupations, it was substantially better than the comparable national ratio of 52.6% in legal professions.

  • 4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 87.5%
    > Median earnings for men: $32,187
    > Median earnings for women: $28,152

    The median earnings of McAllen metro area residents were $31,065 in 2013, the lowest among the 100 largest metro areas. Both sexes also had some of the lowest educational attainment rates, at 15.3% for men, and 17.0% for women, both roughly half the percentage of Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree. As Hegewisch explained in an interview with 24/7 Wall St., there may be less opportunity and less room for discrimination in areas with such low incomes. The gender pay gap was small overall in McAllen, and women were paid especially well compared to men in several jobs, such as community and social service occupations. However, women were paid much less fairly in other higher paying jobs. Median earnings for women working in business and financial jobs, for instance, were $36,419 — 70.5% of male median earnings, one of the worst such gaps.

    ALSO READ: Cities Wit the Highest (and Lowest) Unemployment

  • 3. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 88.4%
    > Median earnings for men: $51,634
    > Median earnings for women: $45,634

    The Sacramento metro area is one of four California metro areas on the list of 10 areas with the smallest gender pay gaps. Women fared especially well in architecture and engineering occupations and in science professions — both male-dominated fields — with median earnings equal to or greater than the earnings of male workers. The median earnings of female personal care providers were $23,657, higher than the comparable national income and greater than the median earnings of men. Men earned less than the respective national income for the occupation.

  • 2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 88.7%
    > Median earnings for men: $45,916
    > Median earnings for women: $40,749

    Professional female scientists working in the Los Angeles metro area made up a majority of the science-related workforce and had higher median earnings than their male counterparts. Similarly, in office and administrative support occupations, women made up more than two-thirds of workers, although this was less than the national average composition. The median earnings of female office and administrative support workers were $37,256, higher than both the median male earnings and the comparable female median earnings nationwide. LA women also fared well in transportation jobs, a male-dominated occupation. While women in the area comprised just 11.2% of the transportation workforce, their median earnings were nearly $36,000 in 2013, considerably higher than the national figure and 105.4% of the men’s median earnings, the eighth highest percentage compared to other large metro areas.

    ALSO READ: The States Where the Rich are Getting Richer

  • 1. Fresno, CA Metro Area

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 89.6%
    > Median earnings for men: $39,697
    > Median earnings for women: $35,557

    Women working in Fresno made nearly ninety cents for every dollar a man made, the smallest gender pay gap among the 100 largest U.S. metro areas. Overall, earnings were not especially high, with a typical resident earning $37,424 in 2013, versus the national median of $42,498. And while women tended to have higher college attainment rates than men in the area, all residents were far less likely than most Americans to have completed at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013. While women made up a minority of workers in computer and mathematical occupations, as well as in the architecture and engineering professions, their median earnings were higher than their male counterparts. However, in both fields, women in Fresno did not earn more than men in similar jobs nationwide. The gender pay gap would have been even smaller if median earnings for women in legal occupations were higher. Women in such jobs earned less than 40% of what men did, an exceptionally wide gap compared to other areas with the lowest pay gaps.

    Click here to see the worst paying cities for women

  • 10. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 73.2%
    > Median earnings for men: $49,726
    > Median earnings for women: $36,386

    The median earnings of women working in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area were $36,386 in 2013, 73.2% of the earnings of men working in the area, the 10th worst gender pay gap among large metro areas. By contrast, women across the country earned 78.8% of what men earned. The area’s women were slightly more likely than the men to have at least a bachelor’s degree, although this was clearly not an advantage. The severity of the area’s pay gap varied widely by occupation. Women working in the installation, maintenance, and repair occupations had earnings on par with their male peers. On the other hand, in the legal professions and architecture and engineering positions women earned 44.4% and 59.1% of the male earnings, respectively. These pay gaps were the widest compared to other occupations in the area, and were also among the worst versus comparable figures in other metro areas.

    ALSO READ: The Best and Worst States for Business

  • 9. Colorado Springs, CO

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 72.7%
    > Median earnings for men: $50,614
    > Median earnings for women: $36,800

    Women in Colorado Springs held 72.3% of education positions, and yet, their earnings equalled just 70.1% of the comparable male earnings in the field. Female health practitioners in the area were paid even more unfairly. The median earnings of men working in the profession were $130,659 in 2013, well more than double the comparable figure for women. The 43.8% wage gap in the field was nearly the worst among the 100 largest metro areas. Worse yet, the median earnings of women working in science occupations were less than 42% of their male peers’ earnings. This was nearly the worst such occupational pay gap among large metro areas, despite the fact that more than two-thirds of the area science positions were held by women.

  • 8. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 71.9%
    > Median earnings for men: $72,097
    > Median earnings for women: $51,837

    While the median earnings of women in Bridgeport were equal to less than 72% of the median for men, they were still relatively well-off financially. The median earnings of women were $51,837 in 2013, considerably higher than the median for all Americans of $42,498. Still, the pay gap in several occupations was especially wide in Bridgeport. Women working in management positions, for example, earned 53.1% of what their male peers earned, nearly the widest gap among large metros. No large metro area had a worse pay gap among business and financial sector occupations, in which Bridgeport women earned less than 58% of what men made in the profession. Men and women in the area both had exceptionally high college attainment rates, at 46.3% and 44.7%, respectively. As Hegewisch explained, pay discrepancies are often higher among highly educated populations.

  • 7. Tulsa, OK

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 71.6%
    > Median earnings for men: $45,316
    > Median earnings for women: $32,468

    Median earnings in the Tulsa metro area were $39,615, one of the lower figures among large metro areas. While gender pay gaps tended to be smaller in areas with low overall earnings, discrepancies between male and female earnings in most Tulsa occupations were exceptionally bad. In business and financial occupations, where women outnumbered men, female median earnings equalled 68.4% of the male median earnings, nearly the worst such gap for this occupation. In art-related jobs, women tended to earn less than 70% of what their male counterparts earned. By contrast, nationally, women in similar occupations earned 90% of what men earned.
  • 6. Baton Rouge, LA

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 71.4%
    > Median earnings for men: $51,821
    > Median earnings for women: $36,994

    While people working in community and social service occupations across the country were paid relatively equally regardless of sex, women working these jobs in Baton Rouge had median earnings nearly $25,000 less than the comparable figure for men. Only the Provo-Orem metro area had a wider gender pay gap among workers in these occupations. And while female dominated occupations tended to have relatively smaller pay gaps, women outnumbered men in Baton Rouge’s community and social service jobs, as well as health technologists and technicians, and still earned far less than men in both fields. In addition, median earnings for women in sales and related occupations were less than 49% of male earnings, nearly the widest such gap. Median earnings for women working in education jobs were 97.9% of male median earnings, the second highest such share in large metro areas. Female median earnings were even higher than men’s earnings in the art professions in the area, at 117.2%, the fourth highest such figure reviewed.

    ALSO READ: America’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) States

  • 5. Bakersfield, CA

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 71.3%
    > Median earnings for men: $44,704
    > Median earnings for women: $31,853

    Despite making up a minority of the workforces in computer and mathematical occupations, as well as in architecture and engineering jobs, the median earnings of female professionals in Bakersfield working in these fields were roughly equal to or greater than their male peers’ earnings. Also, while metro areas with overall low median earnings tended to have smaller gender wage gaps, Bakersfield’s workforce had median earnings of $39,615 in 2013, one of the lower income figures. Still, women earned 71.3% of what their male peers earned, the fifth widest wage gap. Discrepancies between men and women’s pay were most severe in art-related occupations, where the median earnings of men were $75,720, more than $50,000 greater than the comparable figure for women. Women earned 33% what men earned doing the same job, the lowest percentage among female workers in the arts compared to all large metro areas.

  • 4. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 71.0%
    > Median earnings for men: $45,081
    > Median earnings for women: $32,017

    In community and social service occupations, as well as in education jobs, where women made up the majority of the Youngstown area workforces, the median earnings of female workers were greater than or close to equal the male earnings. In architecture and engineering, on the other hand, median earnings for women workers were half of the median earnings of males, nearly the worst occupational wage gap in the field among large metro areas. While women in the area had slightly better educational attainment rates than men, all area residents were far less likely than most Americans to have attained at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013.

    ALSO READ: States Smoking the Most Smuggled Cigarettes

  • 3. Dayton, OH

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 70.6%
    > Median earnings for men: $49,729
    > Median earnings for women: $35,097

    Unlike other large metro areas with the widest gender pay gaps, female managers working in Dayton earned closer to what men did than women working such jobs nationwide. And for area women working in computer and mathematical jobs, median earnings actually exceeded male earnings. However, female workers in other occupations were not so fortunate. In health diagnosing and practitioner occupations, where women made up more than three-quarters of the workforce in Dayton, median earnings for women were equal to 37.2% of male median earnings, nearly the lowest such pay share in large metro areas.

  • 2. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 68.6%
    > Median earnings for men: $51,689
    > Median earnings for women: $35,445

    Women in the Ogden metro area were paid especially unfairly in art-related fields and protective service occupations, such as firefighters. Median earnings among women in the two occupations were 55.9% and 42.8% of male earnings, respectively, some of the worst occupational pay gaps in large metro areas. Women in the area had more than 80% of health care support jobs and had median earnings of $25,148. While this was lower than earnings nationally for the same jobs, women working in these fields earned considerably more than men in similar jobs. This was exceptional, however, as area women fared worse than women nationally in nearly every other occupation in the metro. The pay gap among workers in building and ground cleaning and maintenance occupations, for example, was worse than in every other large metro area, with women’s median earnings equal to just 36.3% of male earnings in 2013.

    ALSO READ: Cities Where No One Wants to Drive

  • 1. Provo-Orem, UT

    > Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s: 59.8%
    > Median earnings for men: $52,170
    > Median earnings for women: $31,209

    The median earnings of working women in the Provo metro area were $31,209 in 2013, less than 60% of median earnings for men, by far the worst pay gap among large metro areas. Unlike other metro areas with large gender pay gaps, men had a far higher educational attainment rate than women, with 41.6% of men holding at least a bachelor’s degree, versus less than 34% of women. Women who had better education still were not guaranteed fair pay. For example, women in legal occupations, which generally require relatively high levels of education, earned roughly one-third of what men did in the same jobs, nearly the worst such pay gap in large metro areas. Median earnings of women working in education fields were equal to less than 62% of median male earnings, the worst pay gap among the 100 largest metro areas. The majority of Utah residents are members of the Mormon Church. Some women’s rights groups have observed that the disparate treatment of men and women in Utah metro areas may be due in part to views held by the Church.

    Click here to see the best paying cities for women

    For the original list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Retail

These Are the States Smoking the Most Smuggled Cigarettes

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Great variation of cigarette taxes between states creates net inflows of smuggled cigarettes for some, while others report net outflows

Tobacco consumption in America has declined consistently since the surgeon general’s office published its first report in 1965. However, more than 18% of adults still identified as smokers in 2013, and in many states, demand for tobacco is high enough to justify large-scale smuggling operations. In New York, a nation-leading 58% of the cigarette market was smuggled in 2013. The share is so high that it hardly fits the description of an underground market.

Cigarette taxes vary greatly between states, and therefore, so do cigarette prices. According to the recent Tax Foundation report, “Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2013,” this creates arbitrage opportunities for smugglers — that is, the profiting from asset price differences. As a result, some states have net inflows of smuggled cigarettes, while others report net outflows. Based on smuggled cigarettes consumed as a percentage of total cigarettes consumed in 2013, these are the states with the highest cigarette smuggling rates.

Click here to see the states smoking the most smuggled cigarettes

Smuggling can take a variety of forms, from casual smuggling, when individuals purchase cigarettes at a discount across state lines for personal consumption, to commercial smuggling, which could mean large-scale criminal organizations. The severity of these crimes varies considerably, and depending on state regulations, many acts of smuggling go completely unnoticed. For our purposes, cigarette smuggling is defined broadly as an avoidance of cigarette taxes.

A state’s cigarette tax is the largest contributor to the smuggling rate. The tax rate on cigarettes in all but two of the nine states where smuggling is most common exceeded the national average rate of $1.44 per pack. In New York, the tax rate is $4.35 per pack, the highest in the nation. Neighboring Vermont, Pennsylvania, as well as nearby New Hampshire, all had much lower tax rates, as well as net outflows of contraband tobacco.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Scott Drenkard, economist and manager of state projects at the Tax Foundation, as well as the author of the Tax Foundation’s report, explained that in states that have much higher taxes than other states, and not very much separation geographically, the likelihood of smuggling increases dramatically. The problem, according to Drenkard, “is that we have a price prohibition on these products because we’ve taxed them at such high rates in some states.” As in the 1920s, “when you have prohibition you’re going to have bootlegging [and] you’re going to have arbitrage,” Drenkard said. “You have the same economic engines at work that create these black markets.”

In addition to the high tax rate variance between states, there is the added opportunity for smugglers to buy cigarettes in Indian reservations where tobacco is often far less expensive. New York, New Mexico, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Washington are all near Indian reservations that likely influence the smuggling rate considerably.

While smuggling cigarettes was extremely lucrative for many smugglers, large-scale or small, smoking cigarettes was relatively uncommon in all of these states. The percentage of adults who identified as smokers in 2013 exceeded the national smoking rate of 18.2% in only two of the nine states reviewed. According to Drenkard, many states have increased excise taxes in order to generate revenue and bolster failing budgets. State reserves as a percent of general fund expenditures in fiscal 2014 — also known as a rainy-day fund — did not exceed the average for the nation in seven of the nine states with the highest smuggling rates.

For Drenkard, levying such so-called “sin taxes” is extremely problematic. For one, “it makes long-term planning for your budget very difficult, [especially] if you have such a large portion of your revenue coming from an activity that you’re actively trying to discourage.” Many of these states have generated relatively large shares of revenue from a tobacco tax. In 2012, state and local tax revenues accounted for at least 2.5% of total revenue in five of the nine states. By contrast, the national average tobacco tax contribution to revenue was 2.2%.

To identify the states smuggling the most cigarettes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed smuggled cigarettes consumed as a percent of total cigarettes consumed in 2013 from the Tax Foundation’s February 2015 report, “Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2013.” Only states with smuggling rates greater than 25% were considered. For the Tax Foundation, a positive percentage is a measure of inflow, while a negative percentage indicates an outflow of smuggled cigarettes. Tax rates, smuggling rates from 2006, and percentage point change data also came from the Tax Foundation. Local tax rates, state and local tax revenue figures, and tax burdens are from the Tax Policy Center and are as of the most recent period available. The percent of adults who smoked in 2013 is from the Kaiser Foundation. Rainy-day funds, or reserves as a percentage of general fund expenditures in fiscal year 2014 were provided by Pew Charitable Trusts.

These are the states selling the most contraband cigarettes.

9. Utah
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 27.3%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $1.70 (14th highest)
> Smoking rate: 10.3% (the lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): 14.5 (6th highest)

More than 27% of all cigarettes consumed in Utah in 2013 were smuggled into the state, the ninth highest percentage among all states. The share of smuggled cigarettes consumed has also risen by 14.5 percentage points since 2006, the sixth largest surge nationwide. The increase is largely due to the state’s cigarette tax of $1.70 per pack, which was not only one of the highest such tax rates in 2013, but it had also increased 145% since 2006 — also one of the largest tax rate changes. As in many other states where smuggling cigarettes is common, criminals often buy cigarettes at a discounted price in nearby states and resell them in Utah. Neighboring Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming, where cigarettes are taxed at less than $1.00 per pack, all reported net outflows of smuggled cigarettes. The high cost of tobacco may also have helped discourage smoking altogether. Roughly one in 10 Utah adults were smokers in 2013, the lowest smoking rate compared to other states.

ALSO READ: The Cities Where No One Wants to Drive

8. Texas
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 27.4%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $1.41 (22nd highest)
> Smoking rate: 15.9% (5th lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): 12.6 (8th highest)

While the cigarette tax rate of $1.41 per pack in Texas was slightly lower than the national average rate of $1.44 per pack, the tax rate rose 244% between 2006 and 2013, the third highest increase nationwide. The spike may be especially shocking to Texas residents, who are perhaps more accustomed to relatively low taxes. Texas residents paid just 7.5% of their average personal income in state and local taxes in 2011, nearly the lowest nationwide. Tobacco smuggling is on the rise. More than 27% of all cigarettes consumed in the state were smuggled in 2013, up nearly 13 percentage points from 2006, a larger increase than in all but a handful of states. While Texas’ smuggling rate was among the highest in the country, the smoking rate was not especially high. Less than 16% of Texas adults smoked in 2013, one of the lowest smoking rates in the country.

7. Wisconsin
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 31.2%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $2.52 (7th highest)
> Smoking rate: 18.7% (21st lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): 18.1 (3rd highest)

Cheaper cigarettes in comparatively low tobacco tax states are within reach of Wisconsin residents and businesses. Indiana and Missouri, for example, which both reported net outflows of smuggled cigarettes, and have lower tax rates, are less than a day’s drive from Wisconsin. With a 2013 cigarette tax rate of $2.52 per pack — the seventh highest rate nationwide — many people in Wisconsin likely purchase tobacco elsewhere. In 2013, more than 31% of all cigarettes consumed in Wisconsin were smuggled into the state, also the seventh highest share compared with all states. Despite the smuggling problem, however, Wisconsin’s tax revenue from tobacco grew by 115.8% between 2002 and 2012, higher than the national growth rate of 93.6%. By 2012, tobacco tax revenue accounted for more than 4% of total state revenue, the third highest proportion nationwide.

6. California
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 31.5%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $0.87 (18th lowest)
> Smoking rate: 12.5% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): -3.1 (23rd highest)

The high frequency of cigarette smuggling did not prevent local and state tobacco tax revenues from growing substantially in most other states. California’s revenue from tobacco taxes shrank by nearly 19% between 2002 and 2012, however, nearly the largest decrease in the nation. The state’s exceptionally low cigarette tax rate of $0.87 per pack in 2013 — unchanged from 2006 — likely accounts in part for the decline in revenue. The state’s nation-leading sales tax of 7.5% is likely a greater factor contributing to smuggling opportunities. More than 31% of all cigarettes consumed in California were smuggled in 2013, the sixth highest share nationwide. Yet, Californians are among the the least likely to pick up smoking, with 12.5% of adults reporting a smoking habit, nearly the lowest smoking rate.

ALSO READ: Cities Where Crime is Plummeting

5. Rhode Island
> 2013 consumption smuggled: 32.0%
> 2013 cigarette tax rate: $3.50 (2nd highest)
> Smoking rate: 17.4% (16th lowest)
> Pct. point change smuggling rate (2006-2013): -11.2 (6th lowest)

In 2006, more than 43% of all cigarettes consumed in Rhode Island were smuggled into the state, the highest share nationwide at that time. By 2013, smuggling had become less common, dropping by 11.2 percentage points, one of the larger drops in the nation. The state’s cigarette tax increased by 42% over that period as well, to $3.50 per pack, the second highest such tax rate in the country. Rhode Island adults were less likely to be smokers than most Americans. Yet, 4.6% of the state’s total revenue in 2012 came from tobacco taxes, the second highest share in the country and more than double the national tobacco tax contribution of 2.2%. Smuggling cigarettes is perhaps further encouraged by Rhode Island’s sales tax rate, which at 7.0% at the beginning of 2014 was second only to California. The proximity of New Hampshire, which reported the largest net outflow of smuggled cigarettes nationwide, and does not have a sales tax, likely presents even more opportunities to bootleg tobacco.

For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

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