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Some states are doing better than others when it comes to economic growth

Date posted:  10/7/14 08:45:00 AM Colorado is one of the strongest states in the nation for economic growth.

Don't look now, but a growing number of Americans believe the U.S. economy isn't getting any better. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index revealed the gauge of economic outlook fell from 45 in August to 41.5 in September, the weakest total since October 2013.

Only 20 percent of respondents stated the economy was on its way up, the smallest number since October. That was when the federal government experienced a partial shutdown, making Americans especially nervous about the outlook of the economy.

Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates, told Bloomberg slow wage growth is cutting into the belief that the economy will get better.

"Confidence still is subpar, marked by deep and persistent concerns about the national economy overall," Langer said. "Stagnant incomes and lingering weakness in the job market are real challenges."

Some states are in better shape than others
However, not every state is feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy. Ranking each state on eight economic measures, Business Insider revealed the top states for economic health. The source ranked states according to growth exhibited in: the unemployment rate, the number of nonfarm payroll jobs, gross domestic product, average wages, working age (18 to 64 years old) population, value of international exports, house prices and auto sales.

The state with the best overall health was Colorado. The Centennial State finished in the top 10 states in five of the eight metrics used by Business Insider. In the other three, it finished inside the top 15, showing there was no real weak point to the Colorado economy.

Business Insider reported Colorado was helped by a diverse economy. It posted a 2.8 percent growth in nonfarm payroll jobs from June 2013 to June 2014 and saw its gross domestic product increase 3.8 percent year over year in 2013. The state also added 66,300 nonfarm payroll jobs in a 12-month span ending in June 2014. The working age population grew 1.2 percent growth from 2012 to 2013.

Colorado's economic growth can largely be found in the Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins metro areas. Other parts of the state have notched growth at a slower rate, according to Colorado Public Radio.

Other states with strong economic potential
California finished second on the list and was fueled by a growth in annual wages. Worker pay increased 0.9 percent in 2013. The average annual wage of a California resident was $57,121 in 2013.

Texas, Arizona and Utah rounded out the top 5 cities for economic growth, according Business Insider. Texas posted a 3.3 percent increase in nonfarm payroll jobs as the working age population grew by 1.3 percent.

Arizona, despite being at the center of the housing bubble burst, finished fourth, boosted by improved auto sales. Arizona had an 18.8 percent increase in per-dealer auto sales in 2013, the best improvement of any state form the year before.

Utah, similar to Texas, came in at No. 5 behind sizable population and employment growth. Utah recorded a 1.5 percent increase to its working-age population between 2012 and 2013, the second highest in the nation. The state also added 45,000 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014, a 3.5 percent increase.

Five states that are in poor condition

Business Insider reported the five worst states for economic growth were Alaska, Vermont, New Mexico, Maine and Rhode Island.

Alaska, last on the list, was one of the few states that lost nonfarm payroll jobs from June 2013 to June 2014. Residents in the state also noticed a decrease in wages, which dropped 0.41 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Out of the bottom five states, wages in Vermont dropped the farthest at 1.1 percent.