When I’m driving in heavy traffic and feeling cranky about it, sometimes it feels good to cut someone off and think, “At least I’m doing better than that guy!” Well, in the heavy traffic that is the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, Maryland is doing better than 35 states and the District of Columbia with a rate of 6.5 percent — the lowest we’ve seen in three years — according to January figures just released.
Let’s not even worry about North Dakota, whose unemployment rate is 3.2 percent — they’re doing better than the national average pre-recession! Instead, let’s think about Rhode Island, tied for 49th place with a rate of 10.9 percent. Come on, Rhode Island! How many people ya got there ya can’t get everybody a job?! And can you believe Nevada? They came in dead last at 12.7 percent! By all rights, there ought to be more career options there than anywhere, with everything they’ve legalized!
Actually, maybe the kind of schadenfreude you get from picking on those doing the absolute worst is a little heavy on the schaden, a little light on the freude. In terms of our traffic analogy, it would be like having a laugh at the guy with a smoking engine in the breakdown lane. And we all know works best is feeling superior to the person directly in your rear-view. For us that’s Louisiana, with a rate of 6.9 percent. Ha! Louisiana, you poor sucker!
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