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UK unveils radical overhaul of EU trade deal in N. Ireland

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British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would introduce legislation reforming the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol 'in the coming weeks'
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The UK government Tuesday announced its intention to drastically overhaul post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland, arguing the plan was needed to end political paralysis in the territory but risking a trade war with the EU.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would introduce legislation reforming the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol “in the coming weeks” — unless Brussels caves on its insistence that the pact cannot be rewritten.

The protocol was agreed as part of Britain’s 2019 Brexit divorce deal with the European Union, recognising Northern Ireland’s status as a post-conflict territory that shared the UK’s new land border with an EU member.

Its requirement for checks on goods arriving from England, Scotland and Wales has infuriated pro-UK unionists in Northern Ireland, who claim the protocol is undermining their place within the UK and are refusing to join a new power-sharing government in Belfast.

“Our preference remains a negotiated solution with the EU, and in parallel with the legislation being introduced, we remain open to further talks,” Truss told parliament.

But she added: “To respond to the very grave and serious situation in Northern Ireland, we are clear there is a necessity to act to ensure the institutions can be restored as soon as possible.”

Truss denied Britain was breaching international law by effectively abrogating a key element of the Brexit deal, arguing that the government had tried to implement the protocol “in good faith” but had been stymied by EU inflexibility.

– Protecting the peace –

The government’s “first priority” remains upholding a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland, Truss said, rejecting opposition fears the EU could retaliate by imposing swingeing tariffs at a time of surging inflation for the UK public.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday described the plan as an “insurance” policy, after holding talks in Belfast with leaders of Northern Ireland’s main parties.

The largest pro-British party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said it would not share power with pro-Irish rivals Sinn Fein until the protocol is reworked.

Its hard line came nearly two weeks after Sinn Fein won a historic victory in elections for the devolved Stormont assembly, which entitled the party to the role of first minister in a joint executive with the DUP. 

Responding to Truss in parliament, DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said the government’s announcement was a “good start” that could help restore the Stormont executive. But he insisted progress on an actual bill was needed in “days, not weeks”.

Keeping the border open with neighbouring Ireland, an EU member, was mandated in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, given the frontier was a frequent flashpoint for violence.

But it means checks have to be done elsewhere, to prevent goods getting into the EU single market and customs union by the back door via Northern Ireland.

– Green or red – 

Under the new plan, the UK intends unilaterally to create a “green channel” for British traders to send goods to Northern Ireland without making any customs declaration to the EU.

The EU would have access to more real-time UK data on the flow of goods, and only businesses intending to trade into the single market via Ireland would be required to make declarations.

The EU would need to trust the UK to monitor the flow, and Truss vowed “robust penalties” for any companies seeking to abuse the new system. But trust has been at a premium of late.

“This is an international treaty, it’s international law, we can’t just pretend it doesn’t exist,” Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said Monday in Brussels.

The UK plan would also harmonise tax policy between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has been unable to benefit from recent tax breaks announced in London given its position in the EU single market.

And it would seek to end oversight of the protocol by the European Court of Justice — another red line for Brussels.

Truss said the bill would remove regulatory barriers to goods made to UK standards being sold in Northern Ireland, with businesses able to choose between meeting UK or EU standards in a new “dual regulatory regime”.

The United States, which was a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, has expressed alarm at suggestions the UK could suspend or scrap the protocol.

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Why aren’t more people buying their cars online?

A 2021 Carfax survey found that only 8% of buyers want to buy their next new or used car online.

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The Covid-19 pandemic drove us into quarantine and lockdowns, and if you happened to be in the market for a new or used car, you probably weren’t schlepping to a dealership to make the purchase in-person. Rather, online transactions increased, and some say that’s the direction automotive retail we’ll continue to go.

According to a study by Capital One Auto Navigator, 56 percent of car dealers stepped up their use of digital tools in response to the pandemic. A Think with Google article said 63 percent of auto purchasers would consider ordering their next car online.

Besides Tesla’s online-only sales, online car sales have been around for some time, with various outlets including Cardoor.ca, Canadadrives.ca, Clutch.ca, Carnex.ca, Carvana and Vroom. But the pandemic served “as a catalyst to accelerate this transformation,” said Jessica Stafford, Senior Vice President, Consumer Solutions, Cox Automotive.

A 2022 study from Cox revealed that 81 percent of car shoppers felt that learning about their car online “improved the overall buying experience.” That included locating a dealer, looking up prices, finding vehicle specs, financing qualifications, investigating insurance products, and more.

“Amazon has trained consumers to be accustomed to being able to order whatever they need, not considering where it came from so long as they receive it in a timeframe that suits them, the price is within their budget, and the item is returnable,” she said. “This macro trend is now influencing car purchasing behavior with consumers open to receiving their cars from somewhere beyond their local market, as long as other conditions are favorable. In fact, many consumers now expect this, and are willing to pay a premium for some of these services.”

Cox’s data reveals buyers who complete more than 50 percent of the car shopping journey online were the most satisfied among all buyers. Reinforcing this view, Vog App Developers is expecting web-based apps for car consumers to become more the norm. That’s confirmed in this piece by Semetrical, that said nearly half of consumers are using their mobile devices to research their new car. 

Unfortunately, the industry isn’t keeping up. OSF Digital reported that almost eighty per cent of dealerships’ websites lacked the functionality for proper vehicle searches, and just over five per cent had 360-view photographs of their stock.

Michael Carmichael, president and CEO of UpAuto.ca, said that though there’s a big push from auto makers and dealers to develop the online funnel, “there is very little demand. It’s the biggest solution looking for a problem.” He believes “the emotional tie to an auto purchase is reduced dramatically. People want to come to see the car themselves and they want a relationship with the seller.” 

On the one hand, the online factor “plays a big role in an educational perspective — people doing their homework, [getting] information, and lots of pictures, and detail.” 

On the other hand, however, there are too many drawbacks: “How does my child seat fit in the back? What if it’s a smoker’s car? You can return it, but who wants to go through that hassle? It’s a lot of money,” says Carmichael.  

And he may be right: according to a 2021 Carfax Canada survey, only eight percent of Canadian buyers of new or used vehicles want to buy their next vehicle online. 

One challenge he has faced is attempted digital fraud — two attempts in recent weeks — an issue he says is rampant. “There still has to be a signature, and someone has to validate that you are who you say you are,” noting that as a lingering problem with online sales. By the end of 2021, digital fraud had been twice the problem in Canada than anywhere else in the world.

Sam Lee, Carnex.ca’s finance manager, sees things differently. 

“Purchasing a vehicle online is very straightforward,” he said. “It includes the vehicle’s imperfections and often, a good return policy. “What I see is the best model would be a hybrid system,” or more of an omnichannel approach. “In-person dealerships are time-consuming with pushy salespeople.”

EpicVin has delivered vehicle history reports for car buyers and displays used cars online, while working with hundreds of dealerships. Alex Black, its Chief Marketing Officer, says that photographs of cars have improved over time, as sellers have become more marketing savvy. 

“Nowadays, using the VR technologies, one can even create a model of a perfect car and to order it. So we can definitely say that the world of technologies introduced significant changes in the online car selling process.” On this point, the US Automotive Dealership Benchmark Study saw a direct correlation of sales to VR availability.

Zach Klempf, founder and CEO of Selly Automotive, is an automotive market contributor who has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, and other outlets. 

“For the part of the industry where there is more wear and tear on the car, it gets hard to sell that entirely online,” he explained. “But if it’s a commodity like a brand new Camry or Corolla under warranty, no major incidents, there is a market for it. Some consumers go into dealerships 

and completely change their mind on the car they want to buy once they see it and physically drive it.”

But things are looking a bit shaky for the online car industry, with volatile economic factors, noted Geoff Cudd, the CEO and founder of Find the Best Car Price. “With a diminishing supply of vehicles for sale, and the highest interest rates seen in years, the average price of a car is out of reach for the typical buyer. This is hurting all dealerships, but especially the online dealerships who overpaid to acquire vehicles from customers and they are now being forced to downsize in order to stay afloat.”  

Betakit in January confirmed as such, reporting that layoffs have been increasing in the market. 

Clutch and Canada Drives recently announced staff cuts, citing poor economic conditions. A representative from Clutch blamed a variety of factors, including “rising rates, supply chain disruptions, and volatile pricing.” 

New York Times reported that Carvana took a quarterly loss of more than a half-billion dollars, and laid off four thousand staff. In the past year, used car values have dropped 20 percent, leaving dealers to offload stock for far less than they paid, according to the Times. Cox Automotive said that 2023 sales will likely be half of the year before.

It looks like in-person shopping is here to stay, at least in the foreseeable: “There is still a general resistance by dealerships to complete the entire transaction online. Most dealers still push for an in-person meeting where they are more confident that the sales process will result in additional sales of high-margin items for the dealership,” said Cudd.

The Covid-19 pandemic drove us into quarantine and lockdowns, and if you happened to be in the market for a new or used car, you probably weren’t schlepping to a dealership to make the purchase in-person. Rather, online transactions increased, and some say that’s the direction automotive retail we’ll continue to go.

According to a study by Capital One Auto Navigator, 56 percent of car dealers stepped up their use of digital tools in response to the pandemic. A Think with Google article said 63 percent of auto purchasers would consider ordering their next car online.

Besides Tesla’s online-only sales, online car sales have been around for some time, with various outlets including Cardoor.ca, Canadadrives.ca, Clutch.ca, Carnex.ca, Carvana and Vroom. But the pandemic served “as a catalyst to accelerate this transformation,” said Jessica Stafford, Senior Vice President, Consumer Solutions, Cox Automotive.

A 2022 study from Cox revealed that 81 percent of car shoppers felt that learning about their car online “improved the overall buying experience.” That included locating a dealer, looking up prices, finding vehicle specs, financing qualifications, investigating insurance products, and more.

“Amazon has trained consumers to be accustomed to being able to order whatever they need, not considering where it came from so long as they receive it in a timeframe that suits them, the price is within their budget, and the item is returnable,” she said. “This macro trend is now influencing car purchasing behavior with consumers open to receiving their cars from somewhere beyond their local market, as long as other conditions are favorable. In fact, many consumers now expect this, and are willing to pay a premium for some of these services.”

Cox’s data reveals buyers who complete more than 50 percent of the car shopping journey online were the most satisfied among all buyers. Reinforcing this view, Vog App Developers is expecting web-based apps for car consumers to become more the norm. That’s confirmed in this piece by Semetrical, that said nearly half of consumers are using their mobile devices to research their new car. 

Unfortunately, the industry isn’t keeping up. OSF Digital reported that almost eighty per cent of dealerships’ websites lacked the functionality for proper vehicle searches, and just over five per cent had 360-view photographs of their stock.

Michael Carmichael, president and CEO of UpAuto.ca, said that though there’s a big push from auto makers and dealers to develop the online funnel, “there is very little demand. It’s the biggest solution looking for a problem.” He believes “the emotional tie to an auto purchase is reduced dramatically. People want to come to see the car themselves and they want a relationship with the seller.” 

On the one hand, the online factor “plays a big role in an educational perspective — people doing their homework, [getting] information, and lots of pictures, and detail.” 

On the other hand, however, there are too many drawbacks: “How does my child seat fit in the back? What if it’s a smoker’s car? You can return it, but who wants to go through that hassle? It’s a lot of money,” says Carmichael.  

And he may be right: according to a 2021 Carfax Canada survey, only eight percent of Canadian buyers of new or used vehicles want to buy their next vehicle online. 

One challenge he has faced is attempted digital fraud — two attempts in recent weeks — an issue he says is rampant. “There still has to be a signature, and someone has to validate that you are who you say you are,” noting that as a lingering problem with online sales. By the end of 2021, digital fraud had been twice the problem in Canada than anywhere else in the world.

Sam Lee, Carnex.ca’s finance manager, sees things differently. 

“Purchasing a vehicle online is very straightforward,” he said. “It includes the vehicle’s imperfections and often, a good return policy. “What I see is the best model would be a hybrid system,” or more of an omnichannel approach. “In-person dealerships are time-consuming with pushy salespeople.”

EpicVin has delivered vehicle history reports for car buyers and displays used cars online, while working with hundreds of dealerships. Alex Black, its Chief Marketing Officer, says that photographs of cars have improved over time, as sellers have become more marketing savvy. 

“Nowadays, using the VR technologies, one can even create a model of a perfect car and to order it. So we can definitely say that the world of technologies introduced significant changes in the online car selling process.” On this point, the US Automotive Dealership Benchmark Study saw a direct correlation of sales to VR availability.

Zach Klempf, founder and CEO of Selly Automotive, is an automotive market contributor who has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, and other outlets. 

“For the part of the industry where there is more wear and tear on the car, it gets hard to sell that entirely online,” he explained. “But if it’s a commodity like a brand new Camry or Corolla under warranty, no major incidents, there is a market for it. Some consumers go into dealerships 

and completely change their mind on the car they want to buy once they see it and physically drive it.”

But things are looking a bit shaky for the online car industry, with volatile economic factors, noted Geoff Cudd, the CEO and founder of Find the Best Car Price. “With a diminishing supply of vehicles for sale, and the highest interest rates seen in years, the average price of a car is out of reach for the typical buyer. This is hurting all dealerships, but especially the online dealerships who overpaid to acquire vehicles from customers and they are now being forced to downsize in order to stay afloat.”  

Betakit in January confirmed as such, reporting that layoffs have been increasing in the market. 

Clutch and Canada Drives recently announced staff cuts, citing poor economic conditions. A representative from Clutch blamed a variety of factors, including “rising rates, supply chain disruptions, and volatile pricing.” 

New York Times reported that Carvana took a quarterly loss of more than a half-billion dollars, and laid off four thousand staff. In the past year, used car values have dropped 20 percent, leaving dealers to offload stock for far less than they paid, according to the Times. Cox Automotive said that 2023 sales will likely be half of the year before.

It looks like in-person shopping is here to stay, at least in the foreseeable: “There is still a general resistance by dealerships to complete the entire transaction online. Most dealers still push for an in-person meeting where they are more confident that the sales process will result in additional sales of high-margin items for the dealership,” said Cudd.

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Best Midwest small towns to live in

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Stacker determined which small towns in the Midwest are the best places to live using data from Niche's 2022 Best Places to Live.
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The Midwest may be best known for its big cities of Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, but prospective homebuyers may want to turn their attention to the region’s small towns.

Across the 12 Midwest states are suburban and rural villages with more charm than size, which make for an ideal home. What these towns lack in size, they more than make up for in historical sites, lush woodlands, and friendly locals. Plus, residents can enjoy the accessibility to larger cities nearby without enduring the hustle and bustle of living in them.

To determine which of the Midwest’s small towns are the best places to live, Stacker used data from Niche’s 2022 Best Places to Live and narrowed the results to places in the Midwest with less than 5,000 residents. Niche determined its rankings by assessing factors such as cost of living, quality of public schools, crime and safety, and access to health resources. For each town, Stacker included the population, percentage of homeowners, percentage of renters, and median income.

You may also like: The richest town in every state

Pettibone Park in Glenwillow Town Center.

SilentMatt Psychedelic // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Glenwillow, Ohio

– Population: 861
– Median home value: $225,000 (84% own)
– Median rent: $716 (16% rent)
– Median household income: $84,000

Founded in 1893 as a company town by ammunition manufacturer Austin Powder Company, Glenwillow, Ohio, has been revamped. Old manufacturing facilities and housing stock have been replaced with boutiques, restaurants, and a modernized residential district. The quaint village is also part of the Solon School District, consistently rated as one of the best school systems in the state.

Franklin's downtown along Franklin Road.

Lrgjr72 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Franklin, Michigan

– Population: 2,790
– Median home value: $612,900 (93% own)
– Median rent: $3,354 (7% rent)
– Median household income: $155,703

With an impressive amount of preserved historical architecture dating to the early 19th century, Franklin, Michigan, is home to the state’s first designated historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town, just 20 minutes from Detroit, is renowned for its large homes.

Park with giant oak trees in a suburban neighborhood.

N K // Shutterstock

#23. Tower Lakes, Illinois

– Population: 1,340
– Median home value: $465,800 (97% own)
– Median rent: $2,350 (3% rent)
– Median household income: $148,750

This small town is much more than just a Chicago suburb, although its proximity to the Windy City is part of its appeal. Tower Lakes, Illinois, is built around two lakes and prides itself on preserving the health and beauty of its environment. Residents regularly participate in reforestation and clean-up efforts; the town has been designated as a “tree city” by the Arbor Day Foundation for more than 25 years.

Exterior of a home in Bayside.

Jim Packett // Shutterstock

#22. Bayside, Wisconsin

– Population: 4,579
– Median home value: $349,000 (79% own)
– Median rent: $1,411 (21% rent)
– Median household income: $114,814

Bayside, Wisconsin, is a village in Milwaukee that is home to an environmentally minded community—with 15% of the town’s total acreage devoted to nature conservation. It’s home to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, with six miles of trails through woods and along Lake Michigan.

A view of Westwood City Hall.

Quint2724 // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Westwood, Kansas

– Population: 1,834
– Median home value: $315,400 (81% own)
– Median rent: $1,520 (19% rent)
– Median household income: $77,750

Westwood is a town in northeastern Kansas that features large parks, cycling trails, and a variety of shops and restaurants. It is also home to several University of Kansas hospital facilities, including the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

White front door with small square decorative windows.

David Papazian // Shutterstock

#20. Meridian Hills, Indiana

– Population: 1,736
– Median home value: $554,900 (100% own)
– Median rent: $2,667 (0% rent)
– Median household income: $172,969

Located just six miles from Indianapolis, Meridian Hills, Indiana, is best known for its high-end residential community. Established in 1937, the 1.5-square-mile town is characterized by rolling hills, rippling streams, and trails for hiking.

Front porch of Southern home with black rocking chairs.

Ursula Page // Shutterstock

#19. Fairway, Kansas

– Population: 4,147
– Median home value: $459,600 (91% own)
– Median rent: $1,642 (9% rent)
– Median household income: $136,579

Located close to several golf courses, this small town lives up to the inspiration behind its name with its expansive green lawns. Fairway, Kansas, is also rich in historical sites, including one National Historic Landmark—the Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site.

Home with U.S. flag and pergola front porch.

David Prahl // Shutterstock

#18. River Hills, Wisconsin

– Population: 1,496
– Median home value: $637,900 (97% own)
– Median rent: $99 (3% rent)
– Median household income: $178,750

River Hills, Wisconsin, has a rich history as a summer and vacation home destination for wealthy Midwesterners. The local country club held fox hunts and polo matches well into the 1960s. The town housed a Nike anti-aircraft missile site during the Cold War. Today, the community is the only one in Milwaukee County that is zoned 100% residential, with exceptions for a country club, houses of worship, a school, and a sculpture garden.

Adirondack rocking chair with style buffalo check blanket and pillows.

Stephanie Frey // Shutterstock

#17. Moreland Hills, Ohio

– Population: 3,436
– Median home value: $463,000 (94% own)
– Median rent: $1,723 (6% rent)
– Median household income: $182,100

Located just 14 miles from Cleveland, Moreland Hills, Ohio, is an affluent suburb that prides itself on its history. The town is the birthplace of 20th president James A. Garfield. He is commemorated with four key sites along the Garfield Trail of Ohio, including a replica of the log cabin where Garfield was born. 

Grandfather playing soccer with his granddaughter in the yard.

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#16. Orange, Ohio

– Population: 3,410
– Median home value: $373,600 (92% own)
– Median rent: $2,262 (8% rent)
– Median household income: $133,681

Orange, Ohio, is a Cleveland suburb with more than 60 acres of park space, including a golf course, hiking trails, and community garden. The town center frequently hosts festivals and celebrations for the close-knit community.

Overhead view of welcome mat outside front door of house.

WNstock // Shutterstock

#15. Kildeer, Illinois

– Population: 4,093
– Median home value: $639,900 (99% own)
– Median rent: $961 (1% rent)
– Median household income: $226,375

Kildeer, Illinois, is a Chicago suburb consisting of several upscale residential areas and four shopping centers. Its founders limited housing development exclusively to custom houses on large lots. The town is home to Kemper Lakes, a prestigious golf club that has hosted many major golf championships, including the PGA Championship.

Two dogs lying on a porch in front of a pastel blue door.

dezy // Shutterstock

#14. Leland Grove, Illinois

– Population: 1,336
– Median home value: $235,100 (95% own)
– Median rent: $1,059 (5% rent)
– Median household income: $123,810

Founded in 1950, Leland Grove offers residents plenty of trails and parks for a breath of fresh air in addition to a variety of restaurants and shops. The Springfield, Illinois, suburb covers 400 acres of grasslands and is known for its lush greenery.

Snowman built in a traffic circle in front of the Kenilworth train station.

On The Run Photo // Shutterstock

#13. Kenilworth, Illinois

– Population: 2,423
– Median home value: $1,286,500 (95% own)
– Median rent: $3,501 (5% rent)
– Median household income: $250,001

Kenilworth, Illinois, founded in 1889, is a Chicago suburb bordering Lake Michigan. The town is home to some impressive architecture thanks to the city’s former architect and town planner George W. Maher, a colleague of Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s own structure, a Prairie School-style home named the Hiram Baldwin House, is also located in the village.

Front porch seating with white rocking chairs and fresh flowers.

Lori Butcher // Shutterstock

#12. Riverwoods, Illinois

– Population: 3,742
– Median home value: $705,700 (95% own)
– Median rent: $3,238 (5% rent)
– Median household income: $213,068

Riverwoods, Illinois, is a village on the banks of the Des Plaines River located within flourishing, expansive woodlands. The town prides itself on its scenery and actively involves community members in protecting the surrounding environment.

Front of typical American colonial-style house with white columns and pillars.

BublikHaus // Shutterstock

#11. Warson Woods, Missouri

– Population: 2,229
– Median home value: $470,500 (98% own)
– Median rent: $1,450 (2% rent)
– Median household income: $173,333

Warson Woods, Missouri, is a town just west of St. Louis and offers residents an abundance of services, including a pool, pavilion for parties, and food truck nights in the summer.

Pink flower bouquet in a blue pot with a white wooden rocking chair.

ET Tisomboon // Shutterstock

#10. Lauderdale, Minnesota

– Population: 2,479
– Median home value: $235,500 (50% own)
– Median rent: $1,220 (50% rent)
– Median household income: $68,313

Lauderdale, Minnesota, five miles from Minneapolis, offers residents a mix of urban and suburban living with its combination of shopping districts and residential neighborhoods. The town was named after businessman William Henry Lauderdale, who purchased and donated the land that became the site of the town’s first school and park.

Alliman Center on Hesston College campus.

JonHarder // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Hesston, Kansas

– Population: 3,823
– Median home value: $147,300 (55% own)
– Median rent: $658 (45% rent)
– Median household income: $57,370

Hesston, Kansas, is a tightly knit community located 30 miles from Wichita. The town regularly involves residents in cleanup and other initiatives to preserve its scenic environment, which includes expansive fields, parks, and a golf course. The town is also home to two large farm equipment manufacturing plants.

Mariemont Inn in downtown Mariemont, Ohio.

Greg Hume // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Mariemont, Ohio

– Population: 3,497
– Median home value: $407,800 (70% own)
– Median rent: $1,192 (30% rent)
– Median household income: $120,281

Much of Mariemont, Ohio, is built in classic English architectural styles, ranging from the Norman to the Georgian. The village square is designed in Tudor style, and the town is one of the few in America to still have a town crier. Its dedication to preserving bygone eras has earned the town a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

A front entrance of a home with a blue door, yellow siding, and a flowerpot.

David Papazian // Shutterstock

#7. Oakland, Missouri

– Population: 1,473
– Median home value: $343,400 (79% own)
– Median rent: $1,234 (21% rent)
– Median household income: $106,597

Oakland, Missouri, may have a total area of just 0.61 square miles, but it wastes no space—the town contains three city parks and plenty of shops and restaurants. The community prides itself on the variety of architecture found within the city limits, which includes everything from arts-and-crafts-style cottages to modern homes.

Welcome door mat outside of yellow front door.

Appz Dreamer // Shutterstock

#6. Rock Hill, Missouri

– Population: 4,728
– Median home value: $212,000 (84% own)
– Median rent: $1,122 (16% rent)
– Median household income: $78,529

Rock Hill, Missouri, is a suburb of St. Louis. It is a lovely mix of commercial and residential properties. The 1841 Greek Revival Fairfax House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chicago suburbs, after sunset, overlooking downtown.

Kamil Zelezik // Shutterstock

#5. Bannockburn, Illinois

– Population: 1,315
– Median home value: $987,500 (84% own)
– Median rent: $1,075 (16% rent)
– Median household income: $147,500

Bannockburn, Illinois, was developed by a Scottish real estate developer who planned a number of country estates for residents to live on in the early 20th century. The town was originally planned to be purely residential, but today has a mix of business and residential buildings, affording residents a peaceful place to live while also giving them easy access to goods and services.

Front porch of house with white rocking chairs on wooden deck.

Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

#4. Sixteen Mile Stand, Ohio

– Population: 3,589
– Median home value: $479,800 (56% own)
– Median rent: $1,384 (44% rent)
– Median household income: $109,142

Sixteen Mile Stand, Ohio, was originally a stagecoach stop 16 miles from Cincinnati. Today, an extensive park system offers residents plenty of green space, and lots of local sports opportunities. Trails built around the city also allow hikers to get moving any time they like.

Kohler Company Main Office.

Asher Heimermann // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Kohler, Wisconsin

– Population: 2,072
– Median home value: $284,000 (91% own)
– Median rent: $1,208 (9% rent)
– Median household income: $111,563

Kohler, Wisconsin, was founded in the early 20th century as a company town for the Kohler Company, best known for its plumbing equipment. Kohler is still the largest employer in the town and abides by the standards set by its founder to create and maintain a hybrid garden-industrial town with charm and character.

Plaza Frontenac.

LittleT889 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Frontenac, Missouri

– Population: 3,614
– Median home value: $757,700 (98% own)
– Median rent: $1,707 (2% rent)
– Median household income: $200,625

Frontenac, Missouri, is an elegant town just west of St. Louis. It is mixed commercial and residential, with Plaza Frontenac, a luxurious historic shopping mall, sitting in its center. Numerous homes in the town were built in the mid-19th century.

Front porch and swing.

Artazum // Shutterstock

#1. Ottawa Hills, Ohio

– Population: 4,762
– Median home value: $297,700 (86% own)
– Median rent: $1,580 (14% rent)
– Median household income: $165,938

When the hit film “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” premiered in 1948, the studio built a replica house right in Ottawa Hills, Ohio, as a promotion for the movie. The town was the perfect idyllic setting for a replica house, which is now a family home.

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States with the highest rate of layoffs

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You've seen the reports, but where are layoffs actually happening? Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to compare all 50 states and Washington D.C.
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It’s been three years since the arrival of COVID-19 triggered historic job losses, and the looming stress of potential layoffs has once again lodged itself in the minds of American workers.

Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to compare preliminary December layoff levels and rates across all 50 states and Washington D.C. States are ranked primarily by their layoff rates, then by the total number of layoffs.

Data released by the agency for January shows a slight uptick in layoffs, but the bureau’s data for December is the most recent available that allows an analysis of the layoff rate by state. The bureau calculates layoff rates by taking the number of layoffs and discharges through the end of the month, and dividing that by the total number of people who worked during that month.

If you’re worried the next pay day could come with a surprise message telling you to check your inbox for a termination notice, you aren’t alone.

In December, 1 in 3 Americans surveyed by LinkedIn said they worried about the potential of layoffs at their place of business. Workers responded with varying anxiety levels, however, depending on their sector. Those holding jobs in product management, quality assurance, marketing, finance, and IT expressed the most anxiety.

That’s despite an annual average layoff rate of just 1% of workers nationwide for 2022. Large shares of the roughly 1.5 million workers laid off in 2022 made headlines, with layoffs at massive tech firms like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft dominating corporate media and cable news shows. That publicity can have the effect of warping reality for consumers.

Still, layoff activity hit those fields reporting high anxiety about losing their jobs particularly hard in recent months. In January, the professional and business services sector experienced the most significant uptick in layoffs. The industry includes IT jobs, accountants, financial advisers, and lawyers.

Stacker’s analysis found that layoff activity has varied from state to state much as it has varied across industries. Layoff rates as a ratio of the workforce were above the national average in 23 states.

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Aerial view of downtown Tucson at sunset.

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#51. Arizona

– Layoff rate: 0.7% (0.3 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 23,000 (1.6% of all layoffs nationwide)

Two yellow bridges and the Pittsburgh skyline.

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#50. Pennsylvania

– Layoff rate: 0.7% (0.3 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 44,000 (3.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

Skyscrapers from the ground looking up.

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#49. New York

– Layoff rate: 0.7% (0.3 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 70,000 (4.8% of all layoffs nationwide)

Buildings in downtown D.C.

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#48. Washington DC

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 6,000 (0.4% of all layoffs nationwide)

A winding stream flowing around historic buildings in Meriden.

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#47. Connecticut

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 13,000 (0.9% of all layoffs nationwide)

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An aerial view of downtown Portland with mountains and an orange sky in the background.

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#46. Oregon

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 15,000 (1.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

The downtown Minneapolis skyline.

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#45. Minnesota

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 24,000 (1.6% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of downtown Boston.

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#44. Massachusetts

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 29,000 (2.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of homes and buildings in Portsmouth on the river.

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#43. Virginia

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 34,000 (2.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

Skyscrapers in downtown Charlotte.

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#42. North Carolina

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 41,000 (2.8% of all layoffs nationwide)

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An aerial view of Tallahassee.

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#41. Florida

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 74,000 (5.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

The downtown Houston skyline.

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#40. Texas

– Layoff rate: 0.8% (0.2 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 107,000 (7.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

A large parking lot in front of buildings in downtown Albuquerque.

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#39. New Mexico

– Layoff rate: 0.9% (0.1 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 8,000 (0.5% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of downtown Reno with a bright orange sunset and mountains in the background.

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#38. Nevada

– Layoff rate: 0.9% (0.1 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 14,000 (1.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of Salt Lake City with the Capitol in the forefront.

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#37. Utah

– Layoff rate: 0.9% (0.1 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 15,000 (1.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

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The Denver skyline.

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#36. Colorado

– Layoff rate: 0.9% (0.1 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 26,000 (1.8% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Seattle skyline with mountains in the background.

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#35. Washington

– Layoff rate: 0.9% (0.1 percentage points below the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 31,000 (2.1% of all layoffs nationwide)

Historic buildings in downtown Burlington.

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#34. Vermont

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 3,000 (0.2% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of downtown Honolulu next to turquoise water.

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#33. Hawaii

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 6,000 (0.4% of all layoffs nationwide)

The downtown Omaha skyline.

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#32. Nebraska

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 10,000 (0.7% of all layoffs nationwide)

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A bridge going over to downtown Little Rock.

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#31. Arkansas

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 13,000 (0.9% of all layoffs nationwide)

Buildings in downtown Louisville.

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#30. Kentucky

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 20,000 (1.4% of all layoffs nationwide)

Downtown Madison on the water with the Capitol in the background.

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#29. Wisconsin

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 30,000 (2.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

Downtown Nashville on the water.

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#28. Tennessee

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 34,000 (2.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

The downtown Lansing skyline.

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#27. Michigan

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 44,000 (3.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

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An aerial view of the Atlanta skyline.

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#26. Georgia

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 48,000 (3.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Akron skyline.

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#25. Ohio

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 53,000 (3.6% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of homes and businesses in Silicon Valley.

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#24. California

– Layoff rate: 1.0% (same as national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 174,000 (11.9% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of Wilmington.

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#22. Delaware

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 5,000 (0.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of Rapid City.

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#22. South Dakota

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 5,000 (0.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

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An aerial view of colorful buildings in Portland, Maine.

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#21. Maine

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 7,000 (0.5% of all layoffs nationwide)

Downtown Charleston on the water.

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#20. West Virginia

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 8,000 (0.5% of all layoffs nationwide)

Buildings in downtown Jackson.

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#19. Mississippi

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 13,000 (0.9% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Mobile skyline.

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#18. Alabama

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 23,000 (1.6% of all layoffs nationwide)

Downtown Baltimore on the water at sunset.

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#17. Maryland

– Layoff rate: 1.1% (0.1 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 29,000 (2.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

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An aerial view of downtown Fargo at night.

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#16. North Dakota

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 5,000 (0.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

Downtown Providence at sunset.

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#15. Rhode Island

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 6,000 (0.4% of all layoffs nationwide)

A street view of historic Topeka.

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#14. Kansas

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 17,000 (1.2% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Des Moines skyline.

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#13. Iowa

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 19,000 (1.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of downtown New Orleans.

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#12. Louisiana

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 23,000 (1.6% of all layoffs nationwide)

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Buildings in Greenville on the river.

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#11. South Carolina

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 26,000 (1.8% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Chicago skyline in the evening from a park.

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#10. Illinois

– Layoff rate: 1.2% (0.2 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 71,000 (4.8% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of Boise with mountains in the background.

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#9. Idaho

– Layoff rate: 1.3% (0.3 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 11,000 (0.7% of all layoffs nationwide)

An Oklahoma City downtown cityscape.

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#8. Oklahoma

– Layoff rate: 1.3% (0.3 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 22,000 (1.5% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Kansas City skyline.

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#7. Missouri

– Layoff rate: 1.3% (0.3 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 39,000 (2.7% of all layoffs nationwide)

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An aerial view of downtown Casper with mountains in the background.

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#6. Wyoming

– Layoff rate: 1.4% (0.4 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 4,000 (0.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

An aerial view of downtown Billings.

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#5. Montana

– Layoff rate: 1.4% (0.4 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 7,000 (0.5% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Jersey City skyline from the water at sunset.

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#4. New Jersey

– Layoff rate: 1.4% (0.4 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 58,000 (4.0% of all layoffs nationwide)

Downtown Juneau on the water with mountains in the background.

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#3. Alaska

– Layoff rate: 1.5% (0.5 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 5,000 (0.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

The Indianapolis skyline at sunset.

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#2. Indiana

– Layoff rate: 1.5% (0.5 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 48,000 (3.3% of all layoffs nationwide)

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Boats on the water with Portsmouth in the background.

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#1. New Hampshire

– Layoff rate: 1.6% (0.6 percentage points above the national rate)
– Number of layoffs: 11,000 (0.7% of all layoffs nationwide)

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