Extension and Ag Research News


Average Wage Growth in North Dakota Among the Largest in Nation

The average wage per job in North Dakota rose to $29,818 in 2005

The average wage per job in North Dakota rose to $29,818 in 2005, an increase of approximately 4 percent per year since 1998. This average annual growth was the eighth largest in the nation behind six states and the District of Columbia.

This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on average wage data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) at http://www.bea.gov.

The BEA provides average wage-per-job data for the nation, states, counties and metropolitan areas. Nationally, wages climbed an average of 3.6 percent per year from 1998 through 2005. In 2005, the national average wage was $40,146. This rate of growth was higher than inflation, which grew 2.6 percent per year, on average, since 1998.

While North Dakota wages are experiencing consistent and positive growth, the average wage earned in North Dakota still lags behind most states and was 25.7 percent below the national average in 2005. Three other states had lower averages than North Dakota: Mississippi ($29,413), Montana ($29,139) and South Dakota ($28,951). Connecticut had the highest average wage per job in 2005 at $51,805, followed by New York ($51,165) and Massachusetts ($48,960).

When considering the annual average percent change in average wages for North Dakota counties since 1998, all counties experienced growth of at least 2 percent per year.

“What is most promising and exciting about these data is that the five counties in North Dakota with the largest annual average percent growth in wages since 1998 were Billings, Burke, Divide, Mountrail and Slope counties, all western counties that have struggled historically,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “However, average wages in these five counties increased, on average, at least 6 percent per year since 1998. That’s terrific news.”

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621, richard.rathge@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu


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