Weekly earnings for all private-sector employees in the United States averaged $962 in August 2019. Among the 50 states, average weekly earnings ranged from $729 in Mississippi to $1,165 in Washington. Illinois’s average weekly earnings ($976) were closest to the national average.
As is typical, average weekly earnings were higher in the District of Columbia ($1,591) than in any state. After the District of Columbia and Washington, average weekly earnings were highest in Massachusetts ($1,120), California ($1,108), Connecticut ($1,093), and New York ($1,056).
Average weekly earnings were below the national average in 37 states. After Mississippi, average weekly earnings were lowest in New Mexico ($783), South Dakota ($795), Arkansas ($801), and Kentucky ($802)
National average real (inflation-adjusted) weekly earnings were 1.2 percent higher in August 2019 than in August 2018. In nominal terms (i.e., not adjusted for inflation), average earnings increased 3.0 percent over the year.
Real earnings declined over the year in 10 states. The largest decreases were in Rhode Island (-2.8 percent), Georgia (-2.1 percent), Texas and Wisconsin (both -1.1 percent), and Montana (-0.8 percent). Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania also saw real average weekly earnings decrease over the year. Nominal average earnings fell in only Rhode Island and Georgia.
Real earnings increased the most in Arkansas (6.6 percent), the District of Columbia (5.5 percent), Kansas (4.1 percent), Nebraska and Utah (both 3.6 percent), New Mexico (3.3 percent), Nevada (3.1 percent), and Idaho (3.0 percent). Twelve additional states saw real earnings increase 2.0 percent or more over the year.
Note that weekly earnings data are fairly noisy from month to month.