South Dakota Real Wage First of its kind

Things just got a whole lot easier for job seekers trying to decide which state will stretch their dollar furthest, thanks to The South Dakota Real Wage Calculator. Created by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, this tool does something no other wage comparison tool can – it calculates real take home pay.

“While most wage comparison tools apply cost of living indexes in an attempt to show buying power, only the South Dakota Real Wage Calculator accounts for the impact state and federal taxes have on wages,” said Pat Costello, Commissioner, Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “And, as we all remember from our first paychecks, taxes can take a major bite out of what we actually get paid.”

The SD calculator takes gross wage amounts, subtracts federal and state income taxes and Social Security/FICA taxes, then adjusts those amounts by specific city/regional cost of living indexes to determine true Purchasing Power.

Tax calculations are prepared by an independent public accounting firm and updated annually for changes in state and federal tax law. As there are myriad filing options, the tax calculator uses the most common method: single filer, standard deduction and no additional dependents.

Cost of living calculations utilize the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ regional price parities (RPP). The RPPs are computed by comparing millions of price points on goods and services.

When using the SD Real Wage Calculator you can enter up to three gross wages in three different locations to compare where your dollar stretches farthest. Want to compare job offers to see which job truly pays the best? The SD Calculator can provide those answers.

To try the South Dakota Wage Calculator out and for more information, visit