Midwest leads in employment ratios

Nebraska has the highest employment-to-population ratio in the country. West Virginia and Mississippi lag the nation.

Midwesterners are a hard-working bunch. Or at least they are most likely to be in the workforce.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Midwestern states have the highest worker-to-population ratios, the share of a population that currently hold jobs.

No state has a higher share than Nebraska, where 68.1% of the population is employed. More than two-thirds of the population is also at work in North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Washington, D.C., according to BLS data.

On the flip side of the coin, Southern states tend to have the lowest share of employed residents. Just over 52% of the population is employed in West Virginia and Mississippi, the two states on the lower end of the spectrum.

Over the last year, two-thirds of states saw their employment-to-population ratios rise by statistically significant margins. Connecticut and D.C. both notched gains of at least 3 percentage points, and nine other states saw their figures rise by at least 2 percentage points.

Three states Maine, South Carolina and Wisconsin saw their employment-to-population ratios decline over the last year.