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STUDY: Variations in Purchasing Power of Minimum Wage Across the Dakotas

Used with permission from NPN.

(NPN) — Question: Where in the Dakotas is the real minimum wage less than the legal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour?

Answer: Minot and Pierre.

Question: And where in the Dakotas is the real minimum wage more than the legal minimum wage?

Answer: Fargo and Sioux Falls.

According to a new study by Governing magazine, not all state minimum wages are created equal—and not just in what they require per hour.

For example, in the Dakotas, where both North and South Dakota have minimum wages of $7.25 an hour, a minimum wage in Minot is only actually worth $6.84/hour in the Bakken oil patch. In Pierre, South Dakota’s capital, $7.25/hour only nets the earner $7.13/hour in purchasing power, according to Governing.

Meanwhile in more urban eastern Dakota, that $7.25/hour equates to $7.72 in Fargo and $7.44 in Sioux Falls.

Minimum wages have the least purchasing power in the New York City area and parts of Hawaii. New York’s $8/hour minimum wage only has $3.63 of purchasing power. Hawaii’s $7.25/hour minimum wage is only actually $4.29/hour in purchasing power in Honolulu.

The locale with the best ratio of legal minimum wage to real minimum wage, according to Governing, is in Moses Lake, Wash. There, the legal minimum wage is $9.32/hour and has purchasing power equal to $10.23.

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