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Wage surveys--Minnesota


This paper reports the findings of a study designed to profile wages and employment in northern Minnesota. Because of differences in the structure of the local economy and differences in the composition of the labor force, we hypothesized that studies done for other regions as well as national studies might produce misleading information if applied to northern Minnesota. The study is based on responses to 1400 mail surveys distributed in 1983 in four cities in northern Minnesota: Bemidji, Brainerd, Fergus Falls, and Grand Rapids. We found some surprising differences between the workforces in the four cities. Our overall impression was of an older, stable workforce characterized by long-term attachment to geographical location and occupation. The workforce is heavily concentrated in the service sector and has a smaller number of workers in manufacturing than the national figures would predict. Earnings in the region are somewhat below the nation's norm. Finally, the region's workforce is traditional in the sense that it reflects historical male/ female wage differentials and tends toward occupational segregation by sex.

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