NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

North Dakota: No Minimum Wage, High Entry-Level Wages

July 8, 2014

Entry-level workers in North Dakota enjoy incredibly wages, without a mandated minimum wage policy, reports

According to Shawn Kessel, administrator of Dickinson, North Dakota, the city's effective "minimum wage" is $14 per hour. Dickinson, like the state as a whole, has no mandated minimum wage. Kessel's $14 wage estimate is not an official figure but is based on discussions with local business leaders and job listing offerings. Entry-level wages in North Dakota are so high that, in June, a picture of a Walmart job listings with positions commanding over $17 an hour went viral.

North Dakota has led the nation in personal income growth in six out of the past seven years. In fact:

  • North Dakota's personal incomes have increased by 93 percent since 2003, rising from $29,569 per capita to to more than $57,000 a year.
  • While national personal income growth slowed from 4.2 percent in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2013, North Dakota's personal income growth was 7.6 percent. The second-ranked state, Utah, saw 4 percent growth.
  • North Dakota ranks third in the country for per capita personal income, behind only Connecticut and Washington, D.C.

North Dakota's high wages are the product of supply and demand, not government dictates. In fact, the state has launched a campaign to bring 20,000 new workers to North Dakota to fill open jobs.

Source: Rob Port, "ND Workers Enjoy High Wages Despite Lack of Minimum Wage Law,", June 30, 2014.


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