Considering the impact of COVID on the workforce, the desire to work from home, the importance of having a work-life balance, and the unique political factors within states, is it feasible to find a job you love while residing in a desirable, safe area with a robust job market?

Recently, CNBC did its annual study of America's best places to live and work in 2023. They based their rankings on several factors, including crime rates, environmental quality, healthcare, childcare facilities, anti-discrimination laws, and worker rights in every state.

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Maybe a surprise to some, but not for those of us who live here; New Jersey ranks very high on the list of best states in America to live and work.

As a teaser, New Jersey is one of the three states that received a grade of A- or higher, joining Vermont and Maine.

#65. Cape Elizabeth, Maine
luisa2506 // Shutterstock // Maine
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Vermont and Maine have distinct characteristics that set them apart from New Jersey. New Jersey stands out for its proximity to major urban centers, diverse economy, high population density, and cultural diversity, while Vermont focuses on sustainability and embraces a rural lifestyle, and Maine cherishes its maritime heritage, self-reliance, and resourcefulness.

This makes it even more impressive that the Garden State holds such a high ranking.

Now, let's take a closer look at the top ten states, with a particular focus on New Jersey.

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Unsplash / Connecticut
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#10 Connecticut receives a 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score of 233/350 (Top States Grade: B)

Tie #8 Massachusetts receives a 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score of 240/350 (Top States Grade: B)

Tie #8 According to CNBC, Colorado's 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score is 240/350 (Top States Grade: B)

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unsplash / Washington
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#7 Washington's 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score is 242/350 (Top States Grade: B)

#6 Oregon receives a 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score of 248/350 (Top States Grade: B+) from CNBC.

#5 According to CNBC, Hawaii's 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score is 263/350 (Top States Grade: B+)

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unsplash / Minnesota
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#4 Minnesota's 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score is 269/350 (Top States Grade: B+), as reported by CNBC.

#3 New Jersey's 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion score is 282/350 (Top States Grade: A-), according to CNBC.

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unsplash / Jersey Shore
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We can take pride in our Garden State as fellow New Jersey residents. Here, we enjoy broad protections against discrimination and strong guarantees of reproductive freedom, making us one of the most inclusive states in America. It's reassuring that our state is ranked among the safest with a low violent crime rate, as reported by FBI crime data.

According to the report, our weakness is the challenges we face with air quality.

#2 Maine excels with the lowest crime rate in the country, readily available childcare and health care, and broad protections against discrimination. However, it faces a challenge with air quality. According to CNBC, its 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion Score is 288/350 (Top States Grade: A-).

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unsplash / Vermont
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#1 Vermont offers stress-free living, excellent air quality, accessible childcare, and strong voting rights. Its 2023 Life, Health, and Inclusion Score is 327/350 (Top States Grade: A+), highlighting its strengths in health care. Worker protections are strong, though less robust than in other areas.

The data backs up what we already know: New Jersey is a great place to live and work—check out the full CNBC report for all the details.

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