Duluth Employees Earn Lower Wages than Twin Cities, US

Workers in the Duluth metropolitan area make 13 percent less on average than workers across the United States, while workers in the Twin Cities make 11 percent more.

Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the mean hourly wage in Duluth is $20.27, compared with the national average of $23.23.

After testing for statistical significance, Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that wages in the Duluth area are significantly lower than the respective national averages in 15 out of 22 major occupational groups. The worst of these was the Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media category, where Duluth residents earned wages 33 percent lower than the national average, at $18.33 compared to $27.39. This was one of six categories where wages in the city are 20 percent worse than the national average.

Meanwhile, there were only three occupational groups where Duluth residents’ wages were significantly better than the national average. The Farming, Fishing, and Forestry group saw Duluth perform the best, with 45 percent higher wages on average than the U.S. as a whole, with wages at $18.39 compared with $12.67 nationally. This accounted for only 0.1 percent of total employment in Duluth, lower than nationally.  Construction and Extraction saw Duluth at 15 percent higher than the American average, while production workers in Duluth make eight percent more than the U.S. average.

The data for the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area was much better, with the average hourly wage of $25.70 totaling 11 percent more than the U.S. average.

Peiffer noted that the area had 12 of the 22 occupational categories with significantly higher wages than the U.S. The Farming, Fishing, and Forestry group, as well as the Construction and Extraction Category group did the best, at 22 percent greater than the national average. However, these two groups accounted for only 3.2 percent of all jobs, lower than the national share of 4.3 percent.

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media was the only category the MSP-Bloomington metro performed significantly worse than the U.S. average. Area wages were at $26.99 per hour for this category, 5 percent lower than the national rate of $27.39.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles this data semiannually for metropolitan areas by means of a mail survey.