Duluth incomes are lower than in Twin Cities, but higher than in other Minnesota citiesIt’s commonly believed by workers in the Twin Ports area that they make less than their counterparts in the Twin Cities.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
It’s commonly believed by workers in the Twin Ports area that they make less than their counterparts in the Twin Cities.
The median wage — the mid-point between the highest and lowest wages — in the greater Duluth-Superior area is $15.76 per hour, compared to the Twin Cities metro area’s $19.10 per hour, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Workers in the Twin Ports area — which DEED defines as all of St. Louis, Douglas and Carlton counties — also fall short of the state’s $17.73-per-hour median wage and the United States’ $16.66-per-hour.
“So overall, the pay is slightly less than the U.S. average and a bit off from the Minnesota average,” said Drew Digby, the region’s labor market analyst for DEED.
But all is not discouraging.
The Twin Ports’ median wage is more than Fargo-Moorhead’s $14.94, St. Cloud’s $15.62 per hour and much of the rest of the state. Other than the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rochester areas, the Twin Ports area has the highest wages of the metro areas measured in the state, Digby said.
Rochester fares better because of its higher percentage of medical jobs, which boosts the median wage.
“If there’s a lot of medical jobs, it would be higher; if there’s a lot of tourism jobs, it would be lower,” Digby said.
The highest-paid jobs in the state are in natural resources and mining (median wage $25.39 per hour), followed by construction ($23.61 per hour) and public administration ($21.50 per hour). The lowest pay was found in leisure and hospitality ($8.88 per hour), which is a large industry in Duluth.
In the tradition of Parade magazine’s annual What People Earn feature (included with today’s News Tribune), we asked a sampling of Duluth area workers what they earned. And some of the results that follow might surprise you.
Jana Studelska, 47
Licensed midwife; self-employed
Alan Hodnik, 52
CEO; Allete Inc., (parent company of Minnesota Power)
$495,000 salary ($2.25 million total compensation)
Steve O’Neil, 61
St. Louis County commissioner
Ed Crawford, 57
Interim assistant superintendent of Duluth school district
$122,406 salary (He will earn only $117,006, as the position is for four months and added on to his principal salary of $113,206)
Ronald Marchese, 65
Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Minnesota Duluth
Brandon Clokey, 41
Self-employed residential designer; director of the Duluth Fathering Project
Randy Hanzal, 50
Conservation officer, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Rich Staffon, 62
Area wildlife manager, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Jeff Cox, 63
Duluth city clerk
Don Ness, 38
Josh Wilken-Simon, 24
Co-owner, Legacy Glassworks
$17,000 (during first year of business in 2011)
Julene Boe, 56
Executive director, St. Louis River Alliance
Ann Klefstad, 55
Self-employed sculptor and freelance writer
Fred Friedman, 65
Northeastern Minnesota chief public defender
Mark Rubin, 57
St. Louis County attorney
All Duluth News Tribune reporters contributed to this report.