Seven years ago South Dakota went from the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour and moved up to $8.50/hour. By voter mandate, a cost of living increase has been added every year since.

In 2022, South Dakota's minimum increased to $9.95. North Dakota is stuck at $7.25.

That's $2.70 more per hour. Work 40 hours a week, that's $108.00 a week.  Take that times 52 weeks in a year, that's $5,616.00 a year more for working minimum wage across the border in South Dakota versus minimum wage jobs in North Dakota.

Seems like a trip across the border is in order. But the other borders may be better.

Generally, I like to poke fun at South Dakota, but who wouldn't consider driving a few extra miles for an extra $5,600 a year?  But this isn't such an issue on North Dakota's southern border because I believe most nearby communities are few and far between.

How about a Montana comparison in 2022? North Dakota at $7.25/hour. Montana Goes up to $9.20/hour. That's a $1.95/hour difference...I'm doing the math- an extra $4,056 difference in annual minimum pay.

Now compare working between Minnesota and North Dakota.

Of course socialist Minnesota taxes are higher, but I suspect the wage discrepancy would be made up fairly quick for a minimum wage earner. Minnesota just jumped a quarter an hour in 2022.  So here we go again.

The Minnesota minimum wage is now $10.33 and hour.  North Dakota is still at the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.  A $3.08/per hour difference or about 40% more than the North Dakota wage. (so much math!).  Not done yet- it works out to $123.20 more per week or $6,406.40 more per year!

Would you drive daily from Grand Forks to East Grand Forks for $6,400 more per year?

Yup. But higher taxes right?  But I'd be making 40% more in, probably still coming out ahead.  You're saying- who works for minimum wage anyways? Plenty of people I suspect. But I know around here in Bismarck, it's darned hard to find a $10.00 an hour reliable worker.

I'm not saying North Dakota is alone in adhering to the $7.25 federal minimum wage. You'd make the same in Idaho, Indiana, and Iowa.  But there's also Kansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.   Wyoming on the other hand could start you at $5.15 and hour if accordant with the Fair Labor Standard Acts.

I think my point was that South Dakota gives people a cost of living increase every year.


We could probably do better North Dakota.

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