Despite the Great Recession a few years ago, wages in Minneapolis have been steadily rising. As Figure 1 shows, the average weekly wages for Minneapolis increased from about $1100 per week in the fourth quarter of 2006 to just over $1300 in the fourth quarter of 2014.
An additional observation illustrates that the average weekly wages for Minneapolis were higher than both the metro area and Minnesota. And this makes sense. Wages should be higher in urban environments because of the potential for interactions between businesses, and workers and businesses. For example, Minneapolis’ six Forbes companies reside in the 3rd Ward, which is downtown Minneapolis; and they are all within a couple blocks of each other. And this does not count all the other businesses both small and large that benefit from the success of these six highly competitive firms.
Furthermore, the economic heart of Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities for that matter, is connected with Downtown St. Paul by way of the Green-Line (Light-rail) and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport by way of the Blue-Line (Light-rail). This is not a direct cause of steadily increasing average weekly wages, but rather a possible correlation.
Finally, compared to the rest of the nation over this same time period, Minneapolis has been playing well above the average. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics,
From 2005 to 2014, [the] average weekly wages for all private industries increased from $779 to $986, or 27 percent.
It is clear from this data that the average weekly wages for Minneapolis workers were better during the middle of the last decade and is still better today. As a comparison for that same time period, Minneapolis average weekly wages grew from $1104 to $1329.
In the next article, we will compare the industry with the highest weekly wages of Minneapolis to the industry with the lowest weekly wages of Minneapolis during the 2006 to 2014 time period. Then we will compare those wages against the national average weekly wages to provide a more in-depth picture of how the workers of Minneapolis have been doing over the past ten years.
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