- Only 10 states saw their average incomes grow by 7% or more last year.
- Even if you don't live in one of these, there are still things you can do to boost your paychecks.
- You can try changing jobs, or working on your career skills to improve your income potential.
Who doesn't love more money?
We could all use some extra cash these days to keep up with rising inflation. For most of us, the only way to make that happen is to land a better-paying job. Fortunately, there are great opportunities in every state, and plenty of employers are still hiring. But residents of some states may have an easier time finding higher pay than others.
Here's a look at which states have the fastest-growing average income, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The ten states with the fastest-growing average incomes
The following 10 states saw the largest growth in their average weekly wages from December 2020 to December 2021:
- New Hampshire (12.30%)
- Florida (9.70%)
- Colorado (7.80%)
- North Carolina (7.80%)
- Wyoming (7.70%)
- Idaho (7.40%)
- Tennessee (7.30%)
- Montana (7.10%)
- Georgia (7.00%)
- Indiana (7.00%)
Keep in mind, these percentages only show the rate of growth. They don't suggest that these states have higher average incomes in other states. It's possible to have a fast rate of growth while still having an average or below-average state income.
For example, Idaho's average income grew slightly faster than Tennessee's, according to the data. But the average Tennessean's weekly pay rose by $86 while the average Idahoan's only grew by $77.
Also, state averages can't tell us anything about what a specific person makes or what they might make if they're hunting for a new job. That depends on several factors, including their education level and where in the state they live. Typically, city dwellers earn more than their rural counterparts, but the cost of living is also higher in these areas.
How to boost your income no matter where you live
If you're unsatisfied with your current job, there are ways to secure bigger paychecks, no matter which state you live in. There are still a lot of employers hiring these days and many are offering hiring bonuses or other perks they may not have offered in the past. Look at online job boards and see what else is available in your field.
If your job lends itself to remote work, consider looking beyond your city too. Many remote jobs allow employees to live anywhere, though you may want to stick to the same time zone if you're expected to work between certain hours.
Don't overlook other job perks either. Positions that offer health insurance can save you from having to pay for this out of pocket. And if a job has a 401(k) match, you may be able to divert less of your savings to retirement because your employer is helping you out.
If you don't want to switch jobs, you could also try negotiating a raise with your current employer. Prepare yourself by gathering examples of how you've helped the company in recent months and have a number in mind in case your employer asks what you hope to make.
Those willing to put in some extra work for greater future rewards might consider going back to school or pursuing professional credentials that can help them stand out from their peers. Or they could start a side hustle. Many of these can turn into full-time businesses if you put in the effort to grow your business and expand your customer base.
These suggestions may not all appeal to you, but that's OK. Choose those that stand out to you and give them a try. If you don't find a new job that appeals to you, you can always stick with the one you have until something better comes along.
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