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Environment Article
UMass study ranks Delaware first, Louisiana last for work environment

Delaware ranked first and Louisiana last in a University of Massachusetts study that attempted to measure the quality of worker treatment, based on factors including job opportunities, job quality and workplace fairness.

After Louisiana, the next-lowest states were Texas and Arkansas. Three states, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah, were tied for fourth-worst.

The "Decent Work in America" study, released in October by UMass Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute, was based on a "work environment index" drawn from 2004 data. The data covered factors including average pay; job opportunities; employee benefits; percentage of low-income workers; fair treatment between genders; and ability for employees to unionize.

Those factors were used in ranking states on a scale of 1 to 100 for job opportunities, job quality and workplace fairness. Those three numbers were averaged to determine an overall score, with Delaware posting an 89 and Louisiana a 31.

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