January 11, 2000
In 1998, Montana posted the lowest average annual pay of all the states—$22,644.
The next lowest pay levels were in South Dakota ($22,754), North Dakota ($22,990), Mississippi ($23,822), and Arkansas ($24,422). These five states continued to have the lowest wages in the nation, as they have for the past 11 years.
The 1998 average annual pay figures for these five states, which account for only 3 percent of the nation's workers, were 23 to 29 percent below the national average of $31,908. Average annual pay levels for 37 states were below the U.S. average in 1998.
The BLS Covered Employment and Wages program produced these data. Pay data presented here are for all workers covered by State and Federal unemployment insurance programs. Find more information on pay in 1998 in "Average Annual Pay By State and Industry, 1998," news release USDL 99-357.