AZ near bottom in US for salary growth since 2008

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In the last decade, Arizona ranks near the bottom of states for salary growth, even as it has been among the national leaders in terms of overall job growth. 

The state added some 243,000 jobs between 2008 and 2018, according to figures reported annually by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, good enough to rank it in the top 25% of all states and territories for job growth.

But the growth in annual wages over the same period was only 21.98%, ranking the Grand Canyon State 38th – in the bottom 25% of states. Inflation during that period was 16.6%, meaning wages in Arizona outpaced inflation by about 5.3%.

Wages grew fastest in North Dakota, where an oil and gas boom fueled a 49% growth since 2008. In Washington state, wages grew nearly 42% to an average annual salary of more than $66,000.

Arizona ranked No. 5 out of the 8 states in the Mountain subregion for salary growth since 2008. It was better than New Mexico (19.14%), Nevada (16.42%) and Wyoming (15.84%). The best Mountain state was Montana, which saw salaries grow by 30.33%, followed by Utah (27.73%), Idaho (26.51%) and Colorado (26.44%).

A BLS report earlier this year showed that wage growth is lagging far behind job creation in Maricopa and Pima counties.

Jim Small
Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.


  1. That’s fine but me. National poverty level $25,730 for a family of 4 so with 2 kids and that tax credit of 2,000 each that’s $29,730. Still half as much as 1 salary earner $66,000. This is not a high cost of living state relax greedy pigs.

  2. As long as you socialist open borders advocates continue to assist in the growth of illegal immigrants to the state, wage growth will continue to lag. Prior to the huge influs in illegals, the average wage for construction laborers was double what it is now. How is that for helping the poor to rise to the ranks of the middle class? Of course, as long as it does not negatively impact your college educated brothers, it is of no concern of yours – except to further carp in a biased article.

    Seems pretty small of you.

  3. Also, a simple fact that I did not think was necessary to point out because it is so obvious, high growth means lots of entry level jobs. Low growth in numbers of jobs means small numbers of entry job openings. Think about it from a journalist or economist view.


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