How does your salary compare in Illinois this tax season?

Frank ManzoIllinois Economic Policy Institute

Mar 29, 2017

new Economic Commentary provides the latest data on full-time workers in Illinois’ labor market, allowing you to see how you compare.

It’s tax season once again. How did you do in 2016?

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) recently explored the incomes of full-time workers, defined as people employed for 35 hours a week or more.

See How You Compare: Full-Time Incomes in Illinois: How Are You Doing This Tax Season?

Among the findings:

  • The average full-time Illinois worker earns $57,072 in annual wage and salary income.
  • The median full-time Illinois worker earns $42,155 annually.
  • The top 1 percent of full-time Illinois workers takes home at least $420,496 per year, over 10 times as much as the median worker.

ILEPI figure-1

The chart below illustrates the average income of full-time workers in Illinois by age (compared to the statewide average). Starting at age 27, the average income is $40,000 or more for all older age groups. And notably, the average annual income for full-time Illinois workers in your cohort is over $60,000 every year after you turn 37 years old.


The above findings, however, mask significant differences across and between demographic groups, educational attainment groups, and occupations.

For example, full-time workers with only a high school degree or GED earn an average annual income of $37,675. By contrast, full-time workers who have a bachelor’s degree take home $70,868 per year on average. Those with doctorate degrees earn $132,101 on average across Illinois.

Illinois’ upper class mainly consists of individuals employed full-time in chief executive and legislative occupations, legal positions, management jobs, and financial careers. The upper-middle class generally includes individuals in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Occupations in Illinois that pay full-time workers a middle-class income of between $45,000 and $65,000 on average include: sales jobs, protective service careers such as police officers and firefighters, arts and entertainment jobs, education and training careers, extraction positions, installation and repair occupations, community and social service positions, and blue-collar construction careers.


Ultimately, the data are intended to allow you to see how you are doing in Illinois compared to similar full-time workers.

So, how are you doing?

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