You Want Fries With That?

Minnesota's Job Market: Serf-er-ific!

A handful of fun facts about the state of Minnesota's second-quarter survey of job vacancies, as culled by the ever-watchful folks at the St. Paul-based nonprofit JOBS NOW Coalition:

* Of the six occupations with the most job openings in Greater Minnesota--that is, outside and excepting the Twin Cities, none offer starting wages of more than $8.00 per hour.

* More than seven out of 10 openings (72 percent) require no education or training beyond high school. Of those requiring no education, the median wage is $7.45 per hour.

* The two occupational groups with the most job openings are Food Preparation and Serving and Sales. These two groups make up nearly one-third of all job openings (32 percent) and have a combined median wage of $6.71 per hour.

* Over the last year the number of job openings for the Food Preparation and Serving occupational group rose 43 percent; and for the Sales group they rose 85 percent.

Over the last year the median (50th percentile) wage for all Greater Minnesota job openings fell by 12 percent to $8.65 per hour. To put this in context, JOBS NOW's cost-of-living calculations show that in a dual-earner family of four both parents must earn an hourly wage of at least $10.68 per hour.

For several years, JOBS NOW has maintained an excellent online family budget calculator that shows the rock-bottom, subsistence-only cost of supporting households of varying sizes in different parts of the state. (The dreary numbers inspired this City Pages story.) You can go there and punch in your own household's details to see how you're faring.

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