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New Data Reveals which State has the Worst Employers for Work/Life Balance

  • A new ranking has revealed where has the worst employers for a work/life balance, according to worker reviews - with West Virginia placed top

  • The study analyzed Glassdoor data for over 1.3 million companies to identify where has the fewest employers rated at least 4.5 stars for work/life balance

  • While some states are better for work/life balance, some job sectors are too - with the food and retail sector performing worst

  • A recruitment expert, Darren Shafae, explains which red flags you should look out for when job hunting  - including a lack of employee reviews

A new ranking has revealed which states have the worst employers for a work/life balance, based on employee reviews - with West Virginia crowned top.

The study, conducted by resume specialists ResumeBlaze, looked at the number of companies rated 4.5 stars and above for work/life balance in each state and scaled this against the total number of jobs listed in each area on Glassdoor.

Despite unemployment rates being at a half-century low (according to figures from the Federal Reserve), some people will still be looking to switch jobs before the festive season hits – and employer ratings is a key concern for many.

West Virginia came out as the worst state for work/life balance, with just 9% of companies rated 4.5 stars and above – almost a third (31%) below the national average (13%).

Work/life balance refers to the harmony between the responsibilities of your professional live and your personal life (such as family, social activities, and hobbies), with a healthy balance key to maintaining good mental and physical health.

The second worst state to work in for those seeking this harmony is Kansas with just 9% of companies rating 4.5 and above, while New Mexico is named the third worst with 10%.

On the other end of the scale, Washington is named the state with the best employers for work/life balance with 20% of companies rated 4.5 stars and up – 122% more than in West Virginia.

California is named the second-best state for work/life balance with 18% of companies rated 4.5 stars and above, and the third-best state for employees seeking a good balance between their personal and professional life is Massachusetts with 17%.

As well as looking at which states have the lowest-rated employers for work/life balance, the analysis also looked at which job sectors are the worst for this harmony – with the retail and food services sector named worst with just 2% of employers rated 4.5 stars and above.

The second and third worst job sectors are the military and protective services with 5% of companies rated well for work/life balance, and operations with 11%.

Interestingly, the job sector with the highest proportion of high-quality employers in this area is the legal sector with 19% - a 46% increase compared to the national average.

Speaking on the findings, Darren Shafae, Founder of ResumeBlaze, said: “Those who are looking for a new job will almost definitely turn to employee reviews to judge the quality of a company - and those who are poorly rated are less likely to have enthusiastic applicants than those with glowing reviews”. “Even if the employee reviews look good from the outside, there are some ‘red flags’ you should look out for when job hunting, which can help you decide which companies are worth your time, and which aren’t. Here are 5 potential red flags:

  • Vague Job Descriptions: If the job posting lacks specific details about the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations, it may be a sign that the employer is not fully transparent or doesn't have a clear idea of what they want.

  • Unusual Requests: Be wary of employers who request personal or financial information unrelated to the job application process. Scammers may try to exploit job seekers for identity theft or fraud.

  • High Turnover Rate: Research the company's history and turnover rate. Frequent turnover can be a sign of a toxic work environment or poor management.

  • Too Good to Be True: Be cautious of job postings that promise extremely high salaries, rapid promotions, or benefits that seem too generous for the role. If it sounds too good to be true, it might be a scam or a misleading opportunity.

  • Lack of Benefits or Perks: If the company offers little to no benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, or professional development opportunities, it may not prioritize employee well-being and growth.”

“Remember that red flags are not definitive proof of a bad employer or job opportunity, but they should prompt you to investigate further and proceed with caution. Trust your instincts and conduct thorough research before making any decisions.”


Study conducted by ResumeBlaze. Data gathered from Glassdoor company reviews.



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