Colorado economy

Colorado has the nation’s fifth-best state economy, tying for first in lowest unemployment rate and ranking second in highest GDP growth, according to a new report.

Washington, Utah, Massachusetts and California took the first four state economy rankings, while West Virginia, Alaska and Mississippi brought up the rear, with Louisiana in last place.

The report, “2018’s Best & Worst State Economies,” released by personal finance website WalletHub, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key indicators of economic performance and strength.

States surrounding Colorado received mixed rankings: Wyoming was 40th overall; Nebraska 36th; Kansas 39th; Oklahoma 44th; and New Mexico came in 42nd.

The data set included GDP growth, median annual household income, startup activity, share of jobs in high-tech industries, unemployment rate, highest state government surplus, building permit activity, highest educational attainment of recent immigrants, and highest change in non-farm payrolls, according to the report.

Colorado has the nation’s fifth-highest median annual household income but doesn’t do so well with exports, ranking 49th in exports per capita.

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For the report’s three overall “key dimensions,” Colorado ranked third in the nation for economic health, eighth for economic activity, and fourth for innovation potential.

According to WalletHub, data used to create the rankings came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Deloitte, United Health Foundation, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, the American Legislative Exchange Council, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Renwood RealtyTrac, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the National Science Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.