Which states have the highest employee engagement score?

Be honest – are you happy in your job? Whether it’s good pay, a positive workplace environment, or a short commute, there are plenty of reasons to feel positive and happy as you work. You can even track all that in something called an employee engagement score.

happiest workers

But which states are home to the happiest workforce? A new study by business comparison site Comparisun reveals the US’ happiest workforces.

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The states with the happiest workers

Does the state you live in contribute to how happy you are in your job? Looking state-wide averages for factors, the study reveals which states have workforces which are the happiest in their jobs.

The factors that were taken into consideration include:

  • Hours worked
  • Per capita income
  • Employee engagement score
  • Average commute time
  • Effective total state and local tax rates
  • Unemployment rate.

Montana came out as the state with the happiest workers, with positive scores across each of the factors. Workers in the state benefit from one of the lowest average commute times and effective tax rates. All of the factors gave them a combined workforce happiness score of 73 out of 100.

North Dakota comes in a very close second with an overall happiness score of 70 out of 100. Working slightly longer hours than Montana, the state boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the US.

Utah workers rank as the third happiest in the US. Employees in the state benefit from working the lowest amount of hours on average in the whole of the US, helping them secure their happiness score of 67 out of 100. The state also ranks 6th best for unemployment rates and effective tax rates.

Employee Engagement Score across the USA

New York comes out on top as the state with the unhappiest workers. With the longest average commute time overall and the lowest employee engagement score, the state scores an overall happiness score of 35 out of 100.

Illinois workers aren’t much happier, only scoring one more point in their overall score. With the highest effective tax score, and the second-lowest employee engagement score, and a rather high unemployment rate, it’s easy to see why workers in Illinois aren’t the happiest on average in their jobs.

New Jersey is named as the state with the third unhappiest workforce in the US. Workers in the state join New York workers in being the least engaged with only a 29% engagement score, and their average commute time is the third-longest in the US. The overall happiness score sits at just 39 out of 100.

Highest and lowest Employee engagement score in the USA

As mentioned above, Utah residents work the lowest amount of hours, working 37.3 per week, while Alaskan residents work the longest, averaging 41.6 hours a week.

North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate at 2.7%, whereas Mississippi has the highest at 8.8.%

South Dakota has the shortest average commute time of 17 minutes (of their hours worked), with New York having the longest at 33 minutes.

Washington has the highest per capita income at $51,872, while Michigan workers earn an average per capita income of $16,433; this is nearly 3 times less than Washington.

Alaska sees the lowest effective tax rates at 5.7% with workers in Illinois having 14.9% tax rates.

Alabama has the highest employee engagement rate at 37%. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts all see employees with the lowest engagement rate of 29%.

You can see the full state list for yourself by clicking here.

Employee engagement score

Employee engagement score



About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver