Wage Change Insights (9)
Between 2000 and 2019, the average wage increased in Missouri, Montana and Nebraska. However, starting with 2003, the rates were lower than the national one. The increase was influenced by several factors like the 2008 recession, minimum wage increase, RTW legislation, cost of living, and unemployment rates. From 2000 to 2019, the strongest wage growth occurred because of the increase in people with advanced degrees and college degrees. Through the analyzed period, Nebraska's unemployment remained historically low while Missouri saw an all-time high in their average annual wage in 2018.
- Missouri’s major industries include food processing, beer, chemicals, printing/publishing, electrical equipment and aerospace. Furthermore, the state has a growing science and biotechnology field led by Monsanto, one of the largest gene companies in the US. However, the state was hit hard during the 2008 recession. Between February 2010 and March 2015, professional and business services (40,700 jobs), education and health services (28,900 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (20,200 jobs) posted the largest job gains.
- Although in 2019, the unemployment rate reached 3.3% (2009–9.6%, 2014-6%, 2016–4.4%, 2018–3.1%), Missouri`s labor force has shrunk in the last years. The state economy is underperforming compared to other states, and the quality of labor force has declined. Unemployment rate went up between 2000 (3.1%) and 2019 (3.4%), peaking in February 2010 with 9.8% (298,314 unemployed people). The CES employment peaked in July 2019, with a total labor force of 2,927,500.
- In the past four years, Missouri has seen growth in annual average wages, which reached an all-time high of $49,050 in 2018, a 3.6 percent increase over 2017 and a 10.6 percent increase over 2014. The state began both 2017 and 2018 with a higher minimum wage based on the cost of living.
- Furthermore, in 2019, Missouri increased its rates due to previously approved legislation and ballot initiatives. Wage growth in states with minimum wage increase from 2013 to 2018 was more than 50 percent faster than in states without any minimum wage increases.
- Montana has experienced a fast wage growth in the last 20 years. From 2008 to 2018, it had the 6th fastest growth in average annual wages among states, as the average annual wage increased by $10,000. Health and education, trade and transportation, and leisure activities industries employ the largest number of people in the state. These sectors have also experienced wage growth above their national industry averages.
- Wage growth in the private sector has outpaced growth in the public sector. Montana`s strong growth was driven by the private sector in business services, mining and utilities, and financial activities industries, which experienced more rapid wage growth than the private sector average from 2004 to 2014.
- The state also has the highest rate of business ownership among households in the US, making it a national leader for entrepreneurialism.
- Low unemployment rates propels wages. The unemployment rate in Montana peaked in February 2010 was at 7.4% (37,009 unemployed people). However, in August 2019 the number of unemployed people reached 17,669. In 2019, Montana hit a 10-year low in the unemployment rate, with 530,000 Montanans working or seeking work, out of which 485,400 are employed. The states`s populations is well-educated and highly skilled. It ranks 3rd in the nation for the percent of the population with a high school diploma, and approximately 65% of the population has post-secondary education.
- The High Tech Business Alliance (HTBA), formed in 2014, was responsible for $1.6 billion in gross sales in 2018, a significant increase from its 2017 revenue ($1.4 billion). HTBA asked the University of Montana (BBER) to collect information and insights from its members so that a better assessment of its economic footprint could be made. One of the key findings showed that the average annual salary for jobs with HTBA was 60% bigger than the average Montana annual wage.
- A prominent feature of the Nebraska economy is its low unemployment rate. CES employment in December 2019 showed that 1,039,500 were employed.
- Nebraska has a long history when it comes of right-to-work legislation. Between 2005 and 2008, annual workforce employment job numbers grew. Although growth turned negative after 2008, it was able to pick back up between 2011 and 2017.
- Overall, in the initial years following the 2008 recession, job growth in Nebraska generally matched or exceeded the national rate. Some of the fastest-growing industries have been firms providing health care or social assistance, restaurants, and hotels. Even during the recession, employment at these firms declined very little. On the other hand, employment in the government sector has increased very little since 2010 and manufacturing jobs declined steadily throughout the 2000s.
- Agribusiness and food processing is Nebraska`s 5th largest job provider. The average income earned per person (PCI) in Nebraska grew significantly from 2010 to 2013 due to the strong agricultural sector. Agriculture has remained a prominent industry even though prices have declined in recent years.
- Between 2000 and 2014, Nebraska`s economy was propelled by strong agricultural commodity prices. Moreover, from 2010 to 2015, Nebraska`s employment growth exceeded the national average for agricultural and food-related wholesale.