Weekly earnings for all United States private-sector employees averaged $929 in May 2018. Among the 50 states, average weekly earnings ranged from $696 in Mississippi to $1,117 in Washington.
As is typical, average weekly earnings were higher in the District of Columbia than in any state, at $1,459. After the District of Columbia and Washington, the highest average weekly earnings were in Massachusetts ($1,099), Connecticut ($1,078), California ($1,050), Maryland ($1,032), and New York ($1,020).
Weekly earnings were below the national average in 36 states. After Mississippi, average earnings were lowest in Arkansas ($730), New Mexico ($731), South Dakota ($760), Kentucky ($763), and Idaho ($774). Average weekly earnings in Rhode Island ($931) were closest to the national average.
National real (inflation-adjusted) average weekly earnings in May 2018 were 0.2 percent higher than in May 2017. Average weekly earnings in nominal dollars were 3.0 percent higher than in May 2017.
The largest increases in real average weekly earnings were in Maryland (6.9 percent), Wisconsin (3.5 percent), Rhode Island (3.0 percent), and West Virginia (2.8 percent). In total, 11 states saw real earnings increase more than 2.0 percent.
Real average earnings declined in 13 states. The largest drops in real earnings were in Alaska (-4.3 percent), New Hampshire (-3.3 percent), and Mississippi and New Jersey (both -3.2 percent). These are also the only four states with May nominal earnings lower than they were a year ago. Year-over-year real earnings also fell 1.0 percent or more in Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota.