To calculate the average salary of essential workers in each state, we drew data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report from May 2019.1
In particular, we looked at the average salaries of retail salespersons, postal service mail carriers, light truck drivers, cashiers, janitors, and cleaners. We then compared those averages with each state's overall average salary.
Note that health care workers are not included in the essential worker salary averages.
Hopefully, some proposed bills could help close the essential workers' pay gap.2 But in the meantime, help essential workers out by washing your hands, wearing a mask in public, and staying six feet away while they do their jobs. And don't forget that essential employees will remain essential after the pandemic. They'll still be there, day in and day out, and they should be compensated fairly then too.
At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.