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Minimum Wage in Utah Compared to State's Median Income

By    |   Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 03:40 PM

The state minimum wage in Utah of $7.25 has not changed since 2009 when the federal government adjusted the nationwide minimum wage, but the state's real median household income remains one the highest in the nation.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported in 2014 that United States Census figures revealed Utah had the third-highest increase in median household income from 2012 to 2013. Utah residents experienced a 3.3 percent increase in that period, with median household income rising from $57,841 to $59,770, trailing Wyoming (a 5.7 percent increase) and Alaska (a 5.3 percent).

A person making minimum wage in Utah would earn only $15,080 in a year if he or she worked 40 hours a week with no vacation time. That's only 25 percent of what median income households bring in annually.

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Real median household income is data that divides households in specific geographic areas into two equal segments with one half earning more than the median income adjusted for inflation and the other half earning less, according to the Business Dictionary.

While Utah's real median household income has increased by 2.19 percent during the past three years, it has dropped nationwide in the past three years to $52,250, said the Department of Numbers.

Utah's real median household income was as high as $61,914 in 2007, according to the Department of Numbers, before it fell to $57,488 in 2010 and then started to steadily climb again — to $57,865 in 2011 and $57,878 in 2012.

The median is fairly high in counties as well. KSL-TV reported in 2010 that the median income in Salt Lake County, where Salt Lake City is located, was $70,000.

"It does not surprise me to see Utah's household income among the fastest growing because we have a labor market that is recovering from the recession more robustly than other states," Pam Perlich, senior research economist at the University of Utah, told The Salt Lake Tribune. "Certainly, we don't have dramatic economic growth, but we do have some pretty sustainable, consistent, positive job growth."

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The newspaper said census data that detailed the state's median household income also showed that Utah had the country's third-best income equality. The income equality statistic revealed that the state's income was evenly spread rather than a small group making most of the income.

"Utah historically has had not a lot of rich people and not a lot of poor people, but a lot of middle income people. But over the last 20 years we have begun to see increases in inequality in Utah," Perlich told the newspaper.

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The state minimum wage in Utah of $7.25 has not changed since 2009 when the federal government adjusted the nationwide minimum wage, but the state's real median household income remains one the highest in the nation.
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2016-40-03
Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 03:40 PM
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