Mind the gap
North Dakota State Roundup
Published May 1, 2001 | May 2001 issue
North Dakota's wages are the second lowest in the nation, outranking only Montana, according to RoadMap 2001, a recent report from Job Service North Dakota. Average wages in 1998 were just 71.4 percent of the national average, which means North Dakotans earned about 71 cents for each dollar earned by workers nationwide.
This gap has been widening since 1984, when the state's average wages were 82.9 percent of the national average. From 1998 to 1999 the average national wage rose 4.3 percent. In that same period, North Dakota's average wage rose only 3.3 percent.
The report also noted that the wage gap has led many North Dakotans to take poor-paying second and third jobs, resulting in the state ranking first in the nation for the highest percentage of residents holding multiple jobs.