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Want a Pay Raise? Move to 1 of These 5 States

By Patrick Morris – Mar 29, 2014 at 1:31PM

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Personal income in the U.S. grew by 2.6% last year, but a recent study reveals five states led the way when it came to rises in personal income for their citizens.

Source: Flickr / Darla Hueske 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced workers in one state saw their personal income rise by a staggering 7.6% last year -- and you won't believe which one it was.

According to the latest data, personal income in the United States grew from $13.7 billion in 2012 to $14.1 billion in 2013, a rise of 2.6%. Yet the distribution of that rise was spread out across the country, as one state -- West Virginia -- witnessed the slowest growth in income gaining just 1.5%, and also ranked 47th in personal income at $35,613. 

In fact the reason behind this rise in personal income wasn't only from pay raises from work, as the net earnings from people's occupations was up 2% in the United States, but people also saw a big increase from the dividend payments the receive from companies (up 3.5%) and other sources of income.

As you might suspect, there were wide gaps between the regions of the United States and both the growth in personal income, as well as the average personal income per person:

Yet there were five states that reigned supreme when it came to the biggest growth in income, and in fact the winner saw the greatest growth in total income, and pays its workers the second most per person.

5. Oregon

Change 2012-2013 -- 3.5%

Average Personal Income -- $40,233

Oregon saw a huge jump in the earnings of those found in the management of companies and enterprises sector, which are those firms that manage and oversea other firms or hold ownership positions in those companies, whose total earnings rose by a staggering $1.9 billion or 60%.

3. (tie) Texas

Change 2012-2013 -- 3.7%

Average Personal Income -- $43,552

Next on the list is Texas, which came in a tie for third. The total earnings gains in Texas were the results of gains seen across a number of different industries, including those in construction and mining, where the total earnings rose by 11% and 6% respectively. Texas also came in directly in the middle of the pack as its average personal income of $43,500 ranked 25th in the country.

3. (tie) Idaho

Change 2012-2013 -- 3.7%

Average Personal Income -- $35,382

Following Texas in terms of the gains in personal income is Idaho, but it trails Texas dramatically when it comes to average personal income, at it ranks 49th -- only ahead of Mississippi. Interestingly, while total wages in the management of companies and enterprises skyrocketed in Oregon, it actually plummeted in Idaho, falling 18%. Yet like Texas, it saw major gains from those employed in the construction sector (up 8.1%), as well as those in health care and social assistance (up 8.5%).

2. Utah

Change 2012-2013 -- 4%

Average Personal Income -- $36,274

Like the others the state coming in second, Utah, saw notable gains in the construction industry, but it also saw big gains for those people employed in the professional, scientific, and technical services landscape, where total earnings were up 8.5%. And while those in health care didn't see the gains Idaho witnessed, total earnings for people there was up 7.1% in Utah.

1. North Dakota

Change 2012-2013 -- 7.6%

Average Personal Income -- $57,084

Surprisingly, North Dakota was the biggest winner when it came to both wage growth and average income. It trails only Connecticut in personal income, and nearly doubled the growth rate in total personal income of the nearest state.

Source: Flickr / Darla Hueske.

Perhaps what was even more surprising than the state itself, was the biggest industry in which the growth came from, which was actually farming, where total pay rose 22%. North Dakota also saw gains in the construction and mining industries as well, where the income was up 16.8% and 10.7% respectively.

All of these growth rates nearly doubled that seen in the U.S.

North Dakota led the way and nearly tripled the rate of growth seen in the U.S. and if you'd like to know where your state stands, all 50 (plus the District of Columbia) are available in the chart below.


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