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N.D. Shows Continued Growth in Wages

Out of the 3,141 counties in the nation, Oliver County in west-central North Dakota had the 30th highest average compensation per job ($75,267) in 2009.

The average compensation per job in North Dakota rose to $45,218 in 2009, which is an increase of 3.1 percent from 2008. Nationally, the average compensation per job rose to $56,962, which is an increase of 1.2 percent from 2008 to 2009.

During the same time, inflation decreased 0.4 percent.

“The buying power of wage earners in North Dakota significantly increased from 2008 to 2009,” says Richard Rathge, North Dakota State Data Center director at North Dakota State University. “These gains reflect North Dakota’s robust economy, led by a strong agricultural market and heightened energy development activity.”

Employee compensation consists of wage and salary disbursements and supplements to salaries and wages (employer contributions for employee pension and insurance funds and employer contributions for government social insurance).

This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center, focuses on average compensation per job data released from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) at http://www.bea.gov. The BEA provides compensation data for the nation, states and counties, plus metropolitan areas.

The average compensation per job has been consistently higher in the metropolitan portions of North Dakota than in nonmetropolitan areas, but the gap is narrowing. In 2009, the average compensation per job in nonmetro portions of the state was $44,680, which is 97.9 percent of the average compensation per job ($45,650) in the metro areas. The 2008 to 2009 growth rate of average compensation per job in nonmetro areas was 4 percent, compared with 2.5 percent in metro areas.

In fact, the average compensation per job grew by at least 11 percent in five nonmetro counties (Oliver, McLean, Billings, Mountrail and Mercer) from 2008 to 2009.

Out of the 3,141 counties in the nation, Oliver County in west-central North Dakota had the 30th highest average compensation per job ($75,267) in 2009.

While compensation in North Dakota is experiencing consistent and positive growth, the average compensation of $45,218 earned in North Dakota still lags behind most states and was 20.6 percent below the national average of $56,962 in 2009.

Four other states had lower averages than North Dakota: Idaho ($44,347), Mississippi ($44,263), Montana ($43,480) and South Dakota ($41,774).

The District of Columbia had the highest average compensation per job in 2009 ($98,246), followed by Connecticut ($71,335) and New York ($70,210).


NDSU Agriculture Communication – March 3, 2011

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