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STATEWIDE — Hoosiers are paid less than what the rest of the country makes on average, so says a recent study.

By the numbers, Hoosiers make about $11,000 dollars less than the average American, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average U.S. worker earns $70,343, while the average Indiana worker makes $58,604 a year.

There are a few reasons that might be the case says Rachel Blakeman, the Director of the Community Research Institute of Purdue University Fort Wayne.

“We tend to have a large share of workers who have ended at their high school diploma,” Blakeman said to WISH-TV. “More education is what commands a premium in the workplace, and that simply has not been the priority of this state for a while now.”

Out of all the counties in Indiana, Marion County is the only county where Hoosiers who work there have an average salary higher than that of the national average, but only barely at $70,834.

Blakeman said that Hoosiers need to realize there are lots of high-paying job opportunities throughout the state, and not just in the large metro areas. She added that more education also doesn’t necessarily mean more than a traditional four-year college degree.

“We were reminded of that three years ago during the pandemic shutdown of recognizing the value that some of our lowest paid workers in the economy provide to us, and keep the American economy and our local economies humming along,” Blakeman said. “What we want to make sure though is there are opportunities for people to move up.”

But, she said wages are not increasing with the average living cost. Blakeman noted that Hoosiers typically make about 75 cents for every dollar in cost of living these days.