SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. state of Washington was ranked as the best state for workers, according to a report released by aid organization Oxfam America Wednesday.
The organization ranked all 50 states as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico during the COVID-19 pandemic, basing its findings on worker protections, healthcare and unemployment. No state or territory scores above 80 overall in the range of 0 to 100. Washington scored 76.41, with its highest score in worker protections, said the report.
The organization also gave Washington state high marks for its paid family and medical leave program, which began paying benefits earlier this year and provided some of the most progressive benefits in the country. “COVID-19 is not only a health crisis but an economic one. This has dramatically impacted everyone in our state, businesses and workers alike, particularly those most vulnerable,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement.
Inslee argued that the crisis has shined a light on the importance of strong worker protections and the far-reaching impacts of income inequality, noting that the state will continue to ensure that workers and families have what they need during the pandemic. He also expressed his belief that his state can recover a strong economy without sacrificing workers’ health and safety.”I recognize this work is not done. We continue to hear every day of challenges faced by workers as more return to their workplaces and job sites,” said the governor. “I remain committed to doing this work until the crisis is over, and beyond.”
New Jersey with a score of 72.17 and California with 72.03 are two other best-ranking states after Washington. The tailender Alabama scores 17.76. Oxfam also ranked Washington the No.1 state to work in 2018.