More than 10 years have passed since the start of the Great Recession, the longest and deepest downturn in the economy since the Great Depression. The median income in 2007, just before the recession, was $58,149 in 2016 dollars. It took until 2016 to reach that level again.
The economy has largely recovered from the recession. The unemployment rate is down to 4.1% and Americans have gotten comfortable with carrying lots and lots of debt again. But the recovery hasn't been even. Some states have bounced back faster than others in the decade since the crash. What states have had the fastest recovery? We dug into data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out. You can see how the top five states stacked up in the graphic below.
As you can see, the Dakotas have done well since the recession — at least in terms of rising wages. The average weekly wage in North Dakota increased 50% from 2007 to 2017, to $953. That's the fastest rate in the nation, followed by Washington (36%) and South Dakota (32%).
Digging into the numbers a bit more, we can see the jobs with the fastest-growing pay in North Dakota were in the fields of professional and business services, natural resources and mining and construction, driven largely by an oil and natural gas boom.
Where are wages the most stagnant?
The state where wages have grown slowest is Nevada, where weekly pay has gone up only 13% in the last decade. The slowest-growing industry is leisure and hospitality, surprising for a state home to Reno and Las Vegas. You can see the bottom five states below.
Curious to see how your state has fared since the recession? Check out our interactive map. Click on any state in the map or scroll through the table below to see more detail on which industries have driven the wage growth in the past decade.
Graphics by Holden Lee
Of course, financial disaster can strike in any state. It's important to protect yourself — and your income. Here's how.