As the cost of living continues to rise, it’s more important than ever that your wages are able to keep up. After all, if you’re not making enough money to keep up with the cost of living in your state, you may be forced to move elsewhere in search of better opportunities.
For the 65 million Americans collecting Social Security, starting Jan. 2023, they will be getting a whopping 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), one of the highest bumps in recent history. But how about the rest of us? Fortunately, there are a few states where wages are rising faster than the rest of the country. Here’s a look at the top nine.
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Nine states with the fastest-growing wages
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from March 2021 to March 2022, there are nine states that saw wages rise by at least 9.2%.
All the states are either located in the Midwest, South, or the New England region. Wages grew the most in Wyoming at 11.2%. Connecticut, which saw an increase of 9.2%, also had the greatest net dollar increase (of $145) in average weekly wages. Wages for 13 states grew between 8.2% and 9.1%, 10 states between 7.4% and 8.1%, 10 states between 6.1% and 7.3%, and 8 states 6.0% or less.
What state has the lowest minimum wage? What about the highest?
Percent change in average weekly wages by state
The state that had the lowest wage increase was California, at 1%, equating to an increase of $17 in net weekly wages. However, it had the second-highest March 2021 weekly wages at $1,627. California now has dropped to third in average March 2022 weekly wages, with New York now at $1,972 and Connecticut at $1,716. States with the lowest weekly wages are Mississippi at $879 and West Virginia at $968.
The wages that workers receive directly affect many aspects of their lives, such as their ability to pay for basic necessities. Salaries also impact Americans’ ability to save money and invest for the future. Some states have seen their hourly wages rise at a rate significantly higher than others, and factors such as regional trends in industry and labor conditions are likely contributors to these differences. State policymakers can also play an important role in how much wages rise in their state.
If you’re looking for a state with strong wage growth, these nine states are all great options to consider, depending on where you want to live and work. Facing high inflation, increasing costs, and a slowing economy, many states are looking to find ways to ensure equitable wage growth. This will be the key for promoting healthy economic conditions and improving standards of living.
Good news is wages are rising. Unfortunately, that may also be bad news. Here’s why.
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