States where pay is rising the fastest, ranked

Wage growth in Idaho is over 5%.

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Wage growth in Idaho is over 5%.
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JMarro/Shutterstock

  • Wage growth across the US averaged 3.1% in 2017.
  • Idaho had the largest wage growth because of low unemployment and pay increases.
  • But employees in North Dakota, Alaska, and Iowa actually had negative wage growth.

Wages and salaries are going up, at least for most Americans.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report last week that shows which states had the highest wage growth in 2017.

Although “earnings” and “income” are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. Earnings looks at wages and salaries while income includes earnings as well as other sources of income, such as payments received from a rental property. Business Insider already looked at each state’s personal income growth.

The national average wage growth is 3.1%.

The Plains region was by far the slowest growing of the geographic divisions in the study, with wage growth of just 1.4%, dragged down by two states that actually saw a decrease in earnings. Farm earnings decreased 6.6% nationwide in 2017, heavily impacting states with high agricultural industries.

Only three states saw a drop in earnings over the last calendar year: North Dakota, Alaska, and Iowa.

Further west, wage growth was more robust. The Far West and Rocky Mountains regions led the way with 4.2% and 4.4% earnings growth, respectively. Seven of the eight largest increases came in states in these regions.

Idaho had the highest earnings growth of any state, which the BEA attributes to a 9.7% earnings increase of durable goods manufacturing in the state.

The Wall Street Journal points out that Idaho’s low unemployment rate of 3.0% helped boost its wage growth. The state also has a low per capita income – 44th in the nation – that allows for higher growth. A relatively small population – Idaho has about 1.8 million residents – may also be a contributing factor.


50. North Dakota: -1.9%

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Andrew Burton / Getty

49. Alaska: -1.1%


48. Iowa: -0.1%

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

47. Kansas: 0.3%

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Shutterstock

45 (TIE). Nebraska: 0.7%

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Wikimedia Commons

45 (TIE). Wyoming: 0.7%

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Shutterstock

43 (TIE). South Dakota: 0.8%


43 (TIE). Connecticut: 0.8%

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Shutterstock

42. Louisiana: 1.0%

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iStock / McFarlandPhoto

41. Oklahoma: 1.6%

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Shutterstock

40. Missouri: 1.8%

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Alfred Bartnik/Shutterstock

39. Kentucky: 1.9%

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Thomas Kelley/Shutterstock

38. Illinois: 2.1%

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Jim Young/Reuters

37. New Jersey: 2.3%

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Shutterstock/Andrew F. Kazmierski

36. Montana: 2.4%

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Shutterstock/Brian A Smith

34 (TIE). Vermont: 2.5%

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Mad River Glen/Facebook

34 (TIE). Mississippi: 2.5%

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Flickr/hinnosaar

33. New Mexico: 2.6%

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Corey Taratuta Follow / Flickr

30 (TIE). Wisconsin: 2.7%

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Visit Sheboygan/Facebook

30 (TIE). New York: 2.7%

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TTstudio/Shutterstock

30 (TIE). Hawaii: 2.7%

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Izabela23/Shutterstock

27 (TIE). Pennsylvania: 2.8%

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Discover Lancaster via Steve Danilla/Facebook

27 (TIE). Rhode Island: 2.8%

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

27 (TIE). Maine: 2.8%

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Arlene Treiber Waller/Shutterstock

26. Maryland: 2.9%

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Getty

23 (TIE). Michigan: 3.0%

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Ford Motor Company

23 (TIE). Ohio: 3.0%

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f11photo/Shutterstock

23 (TIE). Virginia: 3.0%

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Google Street View

19 (TIE). West Virginia: 3.1%

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Luke Sharrett/Getty

19 (TIE). Indiana: 3.1%

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KYPhua/Shutterstock

19 (TIE). Alabama: 3.1%

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Shutterstock

19 (TIE). Texas: 3.1%

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Johnny Adolphson/Shutterstock

18. Minnesota: 3.2%

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Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

17. New Hampshire: 3.3%

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

16. Arkansas: 3.4%

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Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

15. Florida: 3.5%

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Shackleford Photography/Shutterstock

13 (TIE). Massachusetts: 3.6%

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

13 (TIE). Delaware: 3.6%

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David Kay/Shutterstock

11 (TIE). Tennessee: 3.7%

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

11 (TIE). South Carolina: 3.7%

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Akhenaton06/Wikimedia Commons

9 (TIE). North Carolina: 3.8%

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Shutterstock

9 (TIE). Georgia: 3.8%

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Nicolas Henderson/Flickr

8. Oregon: 3.9%

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Kevin Bermingham/Shutterstock

7. California: 4.2%

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Carolin Sunshine/Shutterstock

6. Nevada: 4.3%

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f11photo/Shutterstock

5. Colorado: 4.6%

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Doug Pensinger / Getty

4. Utah: 4.7%

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Aqua Mechanical/Flickr

3. Arizona: 4.8%

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John Hoffman/Shutterstock

2. Washington: 5.2%

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SNC Art and More / Shutterstock

1. Idaho: 5.3%

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Charles Knowles/Shutterstock