A new study finds that three major cities in North Dakota are favorable to work in. The cities enable workers to keep more of what they earn by taking an in-depth examination of discretionary income.
Discretionary income is measured by subtracting estimated taxes and basic expenses from average salary and can be used for savings or other nonessential expenses. Trove Technologies, who published the study, analyzed occupation-specific salary figures, tax data and costs of living across cities and states to create the study.
North Dakota ranks sixth among all states nationally for discretionary income.
Within the state, Fargo ranks third behind Bismarck and Grand Forks, respectively. Fargo also ranks first in North Dakota for discretionary income for management occupations and farming, fishing and forestry occupations according to the study.
Fargo workers can expect discretionary incomes of $5,511; Grand Forks workers can expect $4,049; and Bismarck workers can expect $7,068.
“Our research finds that Fargo has a solid mix of high salaries and low housing costs, with salaries 2 percent higher and housing expenses 23 percent lower than other cities,” Pao said.
Other top jobs, which are calculated by sorting the occupations in the city based on how each one ranks against the same job in other cities, in Fargo are HVAC mechanics, ophthalmic medical technicians, medical equipment repairers, cooks, restaurant owners and supervisors of landscaping workers.
Bismarck is ranked 11th nationally for all cities, and their top jobs include pharmacy technicians, medical assistants and personal care aides.
The report assumes a single person sharing a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate and the basic expenses are broken down into six categories. These categories include groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare and other goods and services.
In the future, co-founder Michael Pao said Trove Technologies plans on expanding the report to cover more scenarios.
The state and city rankings are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Tax Foundation and the Council for Community and Economic Research.