Laura Trinnaman, Deseret News

Knowing if the workforce has the ability to move up or down gives indication of how the nation is doing as a whole. Eight states led the nation in being a top economic mobile state, while most southern states scored the lowest, according to a study conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Here's a look at the study.

About Pew's survey
Laura Trinnaman, Deseret News

The survey was taken from three standpoints: absolute mobility, relative mobility and states that are better or wore than the national average.

These states were rated well or poor in three or two of the three measures.

Individuals that were studied by Pew were picked during their prime working years - ages 35 to 39. Pew collected data 10 years later, in 1997 to see if earnings rose or fell.

Absolute mobility
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Absolute mobility is the study of upward and downward changes of income over time.

Currently, nationwide Americans are moving upward, meaning they have a higher income than their parents or grandparents.

Relative mobility
Agencia Fotolia, Associated Press

Relative mobility is the study of people's rank in the income distribution all together.

In relative mobility, people can often stay in the same income distribution for generations. Currently, as a nation the Americans aren't doing as well, according to The Pew.

#8 top economic mobile state: Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania

37% relative upward mobility
20% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#7 top economic mobile state: Michigan
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Michigan

39% relative upward mobility
26% relative downward mobility

according to The Pew

#6 top economic mobile state: Massachusetts
Fotolia, Associated Press

Massachusetts

44% relative upward mobility
21% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#5 top economic mobile state: Utah
Fotolia, Associated Press

Utah

44% relative upward mobility
23% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#4 top economic mobile state: Connecticut
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Connecticut

49% relative upward mobility
23% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#3 top economic mobile state: New York
Mark Lennihan, Associated Press

New York

38% relative upward mobility
24% relative downward mobility
20% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#2 top economic mobile state: Maryland
J. Henson, Associated Press

Maryland

42% relative upward mobility
22% relative downward mobility
21% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#1 top economic mobile state: New Jersey
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New Jersey

45% relative upward mobility
20% relative downward mobility
22% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#9 worst economic mobile state: Texas
Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

Texas

31% relative upward mobility
15% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#8 worst economic mobile state: North Carolina
Paul Bieganski, Associated Press

North Carolina

26% relative upward mobility
14% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#7 worst economic mobile state: Alabama
Craig Ruttle, Deseret News

Alabama

27% relative upward mobility
12% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#6 worst economic mobile state: Florida
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Florida

31% relative downward mobility
15% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#5 worst economic mobile state: Kentucky
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Kentucky

35% relative downward mobility
13% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#4 worst economic mobile state: Mississippi
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Mississippi

36% relative downward mobility
26% relative upward mobility

according to The Pew

#3 worst economic mobile state: Oklahoma
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Oklahoma

33% relative downward mobility
30% relative upward mobility
14% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#2 worst economic mobile state: South Carolina
Daniel Korup, Associated Press

South Carolina

34% relative downward mobility
26% relative upward mobility
12% absolute mobility

according to The Pew

#1 worst economic mobile state: Louisiana
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Louisiana

36% relative downward mobility
28% relative upward mobility
13% absolute mobility

according to The Pew