The most in demand jobs in Minnesota don’t pay enough to live here

By Max Nesterak February 17, 2020

Of the 10 most in-demand jobs in Minnesota right now, only half pay the $15 an hour needed to meet the basic costs of living in the state.

And that’s assuming you’re single, with no kids or anyone else to support, don’t have student debt, can find a cheaper-than-average home, and can get 40 hours of work each and every week — not a typical scenario.

What are the most in-demand jobs? They’re mostly service jobs concentrated in health care, retail and food, according to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. They’re jobs dominated by women and people of color, and they’re jobs which have resisted wage growth despite strong economic growth and record unemployment.

One continued source of pride for Minnesota is that we are better off than most of the country. Wages are higher on average and the cost of living is lower. But being relatively affordable doesn’t help much for a person working a job that doesn’t pay enough to get by. The latest job figures released last week don’t provide any reassurances about a richer future for working people: Wages grew a meager 2.9 percent, barely keeping pace with inflation.

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