Wages, Politics & the Upcoming Election — Part 1

This is part one. For the next couple of weeks, Weekly Industry News is going to look at wages. Since it’s going to be a part of the political conversation for the next few months, a realistic look at how things look wage-wise is in order.

One thing you will notice from the stories is how difficult it is to paint an accurate picture of wages and how wages impact everyday living for the individuals earning that paycheck.

For example, there is an average national salary. It is $59,384. However, that average really is an apples to oranges proposition because taxes, the cost of living, what kind of jobs are available and the average salary of that job, etc. are different from state to state.

The wages listed below are for the 10 PIA Western Alliance states and they are based on statistics released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Tax Administration.

Alaska

  • Annual Average Wage: $76,130
  • Average Hourly Wage: $31.79
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $61,304
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $65,964

The conclusion about Alaska. It has a higher average wage and no state income tax. This makes it very attractive to people wanting to maximize what they earn.

Arizona

  • Annual Average Wage: $58,620
  • Average Hourly Wage: $28.18
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $47,075
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $49,857

Arizona has a relatively high average wage for its earners. The state also has a state income tax structure that is flat-rate based. This makes financial planning very easy for the state’s workers.

California

  • Annual Average Wage: $73,220
  • Average Hourly Wage: $35.20
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $56,067
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $62,259

California has a really high average annual wage. The downside is a complex tax bracket system with lots of levels and that means take-home pay is going to vary significantly from one income level to the next.

Hawaii

  • Annual Average Wage: $81,275
  • Average Hourly Wage: $23.35
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $58,651
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $64,523

Take home pay in Hawaii varies because of extensive tax brackets. The average wage is considered respectable but how respectable depends on the tax bracket.

Idaho

  • Annual Average Wage: $51,350
  • Average Hourly Wage: $24.69
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $43,325
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $46,193

Idaho has an average to a bit below average wage. However, the state’s flat tax rate helps, rather than hinders, workers.

Montana

  • Annual Average Wage: $52,200
  • Average Hourly Wage: $25.11
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $42,042
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $44,878

Montana has a moderate average annual wage. It also has a broad range of tax brackets. Combined, they appeal to workers over a broad spectrum.

Nevada

  • Annual Average Wage: $58,490
  • Average Hourly Wage: $26.68
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $49,351
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $51,535

Nevada has pretty good wages for workers and no state income tax. That makes take home pay a little better for all workers.

New Mexico

  • Annual Average Wage: $54,400
  • Average Hourly Wage: $26.15
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $40,314
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $42,610

New Mexico has a fairly competitive average wage. The tax system is a bit higher for higher income earners but not significantly higher.

Oregon

  • Annual Average Wage: $62,680
  • Average Hourly Wage: $30.14
  • Single Filing: Average Take Home = $45,610
  • Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $49,492

Oregon has higher than average wages. High earners, however, will see some impact from the upper tax brackets of the state’s tax system.

Washington

Annual Average Wage: $72,350

Average Hourly Wage: $34.79

Single Filing: Average Take Home = $58,309

Joint Filing: Average Take Home = $62,449

The big draw of living in Washington is the quite high average wage. And the state has no income tax. The only real issue for high earners is a potential hit from the state’s capital gains tax.

Next week, Weekly Industry News will look at average salaries around the country and how the various age groups fare in the wage department in Part 2 of Wages & the Upcoming Election.

Source link: GOBankingRates.com — https://bit.ly/4cw80BP

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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