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The states to move to if you want a huge pay raise

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By Daniel Coughlin, Lovemoney

Annual wage growth across the US climbed to a nine-year high in August, while the nationwide unemployment rate plummeted to 3.7%, the lowest since December 1969. As millions of Americans enjoy fatter paychecks, we reveal the states where private sector salaries are rising most rapidly, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


27 (tie). Connecticut: 3.2%

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Private sector workers in the Nutmeg State saw their pay packets increase by 3.2% typically from August 2017 to August 2018, beating the national rate of inflation, which stood at 2.7% in August.


27 (tie). North Dakota: 3.2%

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Likewise, wages in North Dakota grew by 3.2% during the same period. Though wage growth has slowed since the height of the oil boom in 2012, pay is rising above inflation and the state boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

27 (tie). Rhode Island: 3.2%

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Back in January, Rhode Island was one of 18 states to hike its minimum wage, increasing the base hourly rate by 50 cents to $10.10. This has had a knock-on effect on private sector wage growth in the state, which is outpacing inflation.


27 (tie). Texas: 3.2%

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The job growth rate in Texas hit a healthy 3.2% from August 2017 to August 2018, the fourth highest in the nation, matching the private sector wage growth rate in the state, which was also recorded at 3.2%.


25 (tie). Ohio: 3.3%

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Private sector staff in Ohio had an inflation-busting pay rise of 3.3% in the 12-month period up to August. Toledo, which is undergoing something of an economic renaissance, experienced the most impressive growth, thanks to a significant increase in investment and jobs.


25 (tie). South Carolina: 3.3%

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Down in South Carolina, typical private sector wages grew by 3.3%, equaling the rate of growth in Ohio. Adding to the good news, the state's unemployment rate in August of 3.4% was lower than the national average of 3.7%.


24. New York: 3.5%

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The Empire State increased its minimum wage by 70 cents to $10.40 in January. This welcome boost for low-paid workers helped tip overall private sector wage growth to a better-than-inflation 3.5%.


22 (tie). Illinois: 3.6%

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Illinois' private sector workforce didn't do too badly at all in the 12-month period up to August of this year, with average wages rising by 3.6%. The Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area saw the most dramatic jump, with average pay increasing by 9.2%.


22 (tie). Pennsylvania: 3.6%

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In August, unemployment dropped to its lowest rate in 18 years in Pennsylvania. The abundance of work in the state is reflected in private sector wage growth, which was recorded at a not too shabby 3.6% over the previous 12 months.


21. Oklahoma: 3.8%

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Private sector pay in the state of Oklahoma was up 3.8% in August compared to the same time last year. The above-inflation rise was largely driven by strong growth in higher paying jobs and exceptionally low unemployment across the board.


20. Iowa: 3.9%

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As well as enjoying an inflation-beating pay rise of 3.9% in the 12 months up to August, Iowans working in the private sector have seen their salaries increase by an average of 27.5% over the past decade, beating workers in 42 other states.


18 (tie). Louisiana: 4%

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Louisiana's economy is on the up with the Bayou State recording robust job growth and falling unemployment. Needless to say, wage growth in the state is very decent too at 4% for the 12-month period up to August.


18 (tie). Washington: 4%

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Washington State has been booming this year and its GDP growth rate is one of the highest in the country. Private sector pay, which is already on the generous side in the state, is growing fast too, up 4% in August compared to the same time last year.


17. Tennessee: 4.1%

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Super-low unemployment in the state has pushed Tennessee's wage growth rate beyond the 4% mark. Private sector workers in the Nashville metropolitan area have pocketed the biggest rises, with their wages up 6.6% on average.


16. Massachusetts: 4.2%

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Up in Massachusetts, the typical private sector worker has seen their paycheck increase by 4.2% in the 12-month period up to August of this year. Low unemployment and a glut of high paying jobs have fueled the rise.

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