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Idaho State News

Idahoans among the least optimistic about future earnings (study)

Hallie Plester, Study by Teachable

  • Half say they could only fulfil their earnings potential in a big city.
  • 2 in 3 would choose a higher salary over a career they are more interested in.
  • Interactive map showing salary expectations across America.

Idaho is not a hotbed of optimism and ambition, according to a study by online course platform Teachable. Young people in the Gem State expect to earn less than the majority of those in other states –  a career high of $46,331 per year (compared to a national average of $65,206).

When it comes to dreaming big, young Bay Staters expect to earn an astonishing $97,000 per year as their highest salary ever, an aspirational 77% more than the state average. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, young people are the least ambitious, only expecting to reach a career-high salary of $45,486. List of states from most to least optimistic:

1. Massachusetts
2. Hawaii
3. New Hampshire
4. North Dakota
5. New York
6. Virginia
7. Connecticut
8. California
9. New Jersey
10. Washington
11. Illinois
12. Wyoming
13. Delaware
14. Colorado
15. Alaska
16. Michigan
17. Maine
18. Minnesota
19. Vermont
20. Maryland
21. Arizona
22. Pennsylvania
23. Texas
24. Oregon
25. Rhode Island
26. Wisconsin
27. Georgia
28. Florida
29. Indiana
30. New Mexico
31. Montana
32. Ohio
33. Kansas
34. North Carolina
35. Nebraska
36. South Carolina
37. Missouri
38. Nevada
39. Utah
40. Kentucky
41. Arkansas
42. Iowa
43. Alabama
44. Louisiana
45. Tennessee
46. Mississippi
47. West Virginia
48. Idaho
49. South Dakota
50. Oklahoma

Teachable having included an interactive map showing salary expectations across America.
 
However, there are limits as to where young people today feel they can reach their potential when it comes to earnings. 48% of those surveyed said they feel they will not be able to fulfill their potential in small towns, and instead would need to move to a city in order to earn the big bucks. Cities tend to have a higher concentration of job opportunities, particularly in fields such as finance, technology, and healthcare. Additionally, cities often have higher median salaries than rural areas. According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, the hourly wage gap between urban and rural workers was 15.3% in 2019, with urban workers earning an average of $24.06 per hour compared to rural workers earning an average of $20.69 per hour. 

Finally, two-thirds of 18-24 year olds say they would settle for a job that wasn’t a preferred career path just for a higher salary. Some young people may settle for a job that isn’t their preferred career path for a higher salary due to financial pressures, such as paying off debt, supporting themselves or their family, or saving for the future. Additionally, job security and the stability of a steady income can also be a factor. Some people may also believe that they can use the higher salary as a stepping stone to reach their long-term career goals, such as gaining valuable experience or saving money to pay for further education.

link credit to Teachable

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