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Job Service: Oil counties tops in N. Dakota wages

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Job Service North Dakota data show counties that produced oil last year held nine of the top 10 spots in average annual wages.

Research analyst Michael Ziesch says North Dakota's average annual wage increased about 4 percent last year to almost $48,000. Ziesch says the state's average wage still lags behind the national average of just over $49,000.

Job Service figures show that oil-rich Williams County ranked first last year with an average annual salary of $78,390.

Eleven counties topped the statewide average last year, and 10 of them produced oil.

Coal-rich Oliver County ranked fifth in wages in 2013 and was the only non-oil producing county to crack the top 10.

Sheridan County, in central North Dakota, had the state's lowest average wage of $26,611 last year.