Montana Labor Market Blog

Research & Analysis Bureau - Montana Department of Labor & Industry

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Infographic: Montana Wages 2017

Ever wonder how Montana stacks up to the U.S. in terms of wages?

The following infographic lays out a number of interesting facts about the current state of Montana's wages. The infographic was originally presented in the Montana Labor Day Report 2017, which explains these statistics in more detail and gives a broad overview of the state of Montana's economy.

Infographic entitled Montana Wages.

In 2016, Montana's average annual wage was $40,735. Including benefits and bonuses, Montana's average compensation per job was $50,318, ranking 37th among states. Montana had the 4th fastest growing wage over the past ten years. Part of Montana's lower wages can be explained by our industry mix and the types of jobs in our economy. Mining and utilities have high average wages at $87,000. Retail and Food Service jobs often offer low hourly wages and part-time work. Montana's personal income per capita is $42,386. Ranking 38th among states. Montanans earn income from non-payroll sources, particularly business ownership.

Stacked bar graph comparing the compostion of earned income for Montana and the U.S. Wages and salaries account for 68.2 percent of earned income in Montana, lower than in the nation's 71 percent. Supplements to wages account for 17.4% of earned income for Montanans and 16.5 percent in the U.S. Proprietor's income accounts for 14.4% of earned income for Montana, and 12.5 percent for the U.S.

Montana Wages infographic continued. Montana's Median Hourly Wage among payroll jobs is $15.75 per hour, ranking 43rd among states. Column graph illustrating hourly wages by quartile. The 25th percentile wage for the U.S. was 5.3 percent higher than that of Montana. The median wage for the U.S. was 11.5 percent higher than that of Montana. The 75th percentile wage for the U.S. was 16.1 percent higher than that of Montana.

The gap between Montana and U.S. wages is larger among high-paying jobs than low-wage jobs, suggesting that having higher wages for high-wage jobs would improve Montana's ranking.

Combined column and line graph illustrating Montana Establishments, Employment, and Average wages by size of business. Over 90 percent of business establishments in Montana have fewer than 20 employees. Businesses in this size class account for over 40% of employment in Montana. Over 20% of Montanans work for businesses with 20 to 49 employees, while nearly 25% work for businesses with 50 to 249 employees. Around 10% work for businesses with more than 250 employees.Average Annual wages paid by businesses are around $35,000 for both the under 20 and 20 to 49 size classes, and steadily get higher the larger the businesses get. Establishments employing more than 500 people pay an average of $60,000 per year. Labels on the graph read: Although Montanans work for small businesses, larger businesses pay higher wages. Large businesses are also more likely to provide benefits like retirement, health insurance, and paid leave.

Workers with higher education level tend to be more productive, and therefore earn higher incomes. Montana ranks number 1 for the percent of our population with a high school diploma or equivalent, but we fall in postsecondary degree attainment, ranking 20th, and in advanced degree attainment, ranking 32nd.

You can download the pdf of this infographic at:

or view the full Labor Day Report at:

Categories: Montana Labor Market Blog


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