Iowa and Minnesota may be separated by a common border, but they are light years apart on a new survey of exactly where employees are happiest in America.

The results of an Oxfam America survey on 'Best and Worst States to Work in America 2022' show the North Star State in the top 20 and the Hawkeye State in the bottom 20.

To come up with the rankings, Oxfam looked at current state policies in three areas:

  • Wages (ratio of the state minimum wage in relation to the cost of living for a family of four)
  • Worker Protections (mandates for equal pay, paid sick, and family leave)
  • Workers' Right to Organize (public employees’ rights to collective bargaining and wage negotiation)
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Under those criteria, Minnesota is the 18th best place to work in America.

The wage policy ranking is 19th with a state minimum wage of $10.33, which is 26.6% of the cost of living for a family of four.

Minnesota is 21st in Worker Protection and in the top ten in Right to Organize.


  1. Oregon
  2. California
  3. Washington
  4. New York
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Connecticut
  7. New Jersey
  8. Colorado
  9. Illinois
  10. Vermont

At the other end of the spectrum, Iowa is 39th overall with Wage Policies and Worker Protection rankings at number-35.

The state has a minimum wage of $7.25, which is 19.1% of the cost of living for a family of four.

Iowa ranked slightly higher in Right to Organize at 32nd overall.


  1. North Carolina
  2. Mississippi
  3. Georgia
  4. Alabama
  5. Texas
  6. South Carolina
  7. Kansas
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Utah
  10. Idaho

South Dakota checked in right in the middle at 27th overall.

The state's minimum wage is $9.95, which is 29.4% of the cost of living for a family of four. That puts South Dakota at number 14 in Wages.

The Mount Rushmore State didn't fare so well in Worker Protection (37th) and Right to Organize (32nd).

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The money raised through Dining for Kids and the 2022 Cure Kids Cancer Radiothon stays in the Sioux Falls area.

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