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One-third of workers in low-wage jobs

Minnesota State Roundup

March 1, 2002

One-third of workers in low-wage jobs

Nearly one-third of Minnesota workers are employed in jobs that pay less than $10 per hour, according to a report by the state Department of Economic Security.

In 2000, 30.7 percent, or 832,00 workers, earned less than $10 per hour; that number is down from 1998, the beginning of the report period, when 34.1 percent were considered low-wage workers. A large number of those workers were in retail jobs, which make up 19 percent of Minnesota jobs but account for 38 percent, or 313,000, of all low-wage positions.

Another one-third earned more than $20 per hour. The study indicated that wages increase sooner for full-time workers who stay at the same job than for those who move around within the workforce.

Minnesota is one of only three states to measure the number of hours worked each month by an employee, making it impossible to compare with national averages.

Kathy Cobb