Delaware welcome sign

Unhappy about the size of your paycheck?

A lot of folks in Delaware probably are.

Its nickname may be "the Diamond State," but it's the only state in the U.S. where nominal wages dropped between 2009 and 2014, according to The Economist.

That means people are earning less money even before inflation is taken into account. Wages are down 2 to 3 percent, according to the chart accompanying the British newsmagazine's article.

So if a Delaware worker made $1,000 a week in 2009, he or she may only make $975 now. Add in the effects of inflation, and that works out to a more than 11-percent pay cut. (Inflation has been running under 2 percent a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

Pennsylvania is doing better. Nominal 2009 to 2014 wage growth here is 15 percent, according to the Economist's chart. So we actually outpaced inflation, at least a little.

What's going on in Delaware? A number of things, according to the Economist.

Delaware is a great place to incorporate, "thanks to benign company laws and low taxes," the Economist writes. But it's not necessarily a great place to do business.

Wilmington suffers from high crime. More businesses are finding Delaware's state court system uncongenial. High electricity costs are taking a toll on manufacturing.

Jobs growth has been in low-wage sectors, such as personal care, leisure and hospitality. Think retirement homes and casinos.

"Hourly wages in leisure and hospitality are half the state average," the Economist says.

Read the full article here.

What to Read Next