A New York City financial services company thinks Tooele County is one of Utah’s top “paycheck friendly” counties.
The county was rated the ninth most paycheck friendly county out of Utah’s 29 counties in a research study completed by Smartasset, a New York City-based financial services company.
The study computed a paycheck friendliness index score for all counties with 100 being the highest possible score.
Tooele County received a score of 40.33. The top score in Utah was Daggett County with a score of 56.03.
The most paycheck friendly county in the nation was Loving County, Texas, with a score of 100, according to Smartasset’s study.
The aim of the study was to find places in the country with favorable economic conditions where citizens get to keep more of the money they make.
To find these places Smartasset said it considered four different factors: semi-monthly paycheck, purchasing power, unemployment rate and income growth.
Smartasset estimated the semi-monthly paycheck for a single individual with two personal allowances. It applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating income tax withholding.
To better compare withholding across counties, Smartasset used a $50,000 annual income for each county. The paycheck amount for each county was indexed to reflect the counties with the lowest withholding burden.
Smartasset then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflected the ratio of household income to cost of living.
For income growth, Smartasset calculated the annual growth in median income over five years for each county and indexed the results.
Lastly, it calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall paycheck friendliness score. Smartasset used a one-half weighting for semi-monthly paycheck and a one-sixth weighting each for purchasing power, unemployment rate and income growth.
Smartasset also created an unemployment rate index that shows the counties with the lowest unemployment.
Data used in Smartasset’s study came from the US Census Bureau 2017 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.