Every month, a major financial magazine compiles their latest poll, which they call “American Dream Index”. In this poll they measure how prosperous the middle class is. They also measure which states in our country best support the American Dream.
Several different economic factors are taken into consideration in this monthly index, which measures employment, bankruptcies – both personal and commercial. Additional factors include business startup activity, building permits, claims for unemployment insurance and layoffs.
The national average was adjusted to reflect 100 in January. In the February index, New Jersey was ranked slightly under the average at 95.5. Surrounding states were:
New York 96.7
The lowest rating was Alaska, at 80.7. This was probably due to falling oil prices. Nevada had the highest score at 108.8
Many states rose in the ranks last month due to the fact that businesses are starting to hire, anticipating tax cuts and less regulation. This brings an increase in hiring and construction. Also reflected are a reduction in unemployment insurance claims.
So – what does all of this mean? Well, for many people the American Dream begins with owning your own home. Now that the economy is improving in many areas of the country, more people are becoming able to achieve the American Dream.
Interest rates are slowly increasing, but that doesn’t make a great impact on the amount of a mortgage payment. With increasing wages, new hiring and an improving economy, homes are becoming more affordable.