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Central Region

central-minnesota-mapCentral Minnesota is a manufacturing stronghold, with several global manufacturing firms operating there.

The region is especially well known for its expertise in food processing, printing, furniture manufacturing, appliances, machinery and heavy equipment manufacturing.

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The Age of Wage Growth in Central Minnesota

2/14/2023 9:00:00 AM

Luke Greiner

Median hourly wages in Central Minnesota grew by 14.7% from 2019 to 2021, a respectable amount with even more wage growth likely in 2022. However, hourly wage data lag by roughly a year. Yet changes in the early stages of the rapid inflation increase sheds light on what types of workers were able to command higher wages and in what industries.

The highest wage growth over the two-year period was earned by teenage workers, who saw median hourly wages balloon 17.9% over the two-year period. Meanwhile, workers aged 55 years and older saw median wages grow the slowest (14.2%). You might be thinking that teenage workers were benefiting from the Leisure & Hospitality sector pushing their wages higher due to the struggle to find and recall workers, and while that statement is true, it's actually not the main cause of rapid wage growth for teenagers over the period.

The Accommodation & Food Services industry actually saw lower than average wage growth of 15.8% for teenagers from 2019 to 2021, while the related Retail Trade industry saw higher 18.2% growth. The largest jump in median wages for teenagers was in the Transportation & Warehousing industry at 27.1%. However, very few teenagers are employed in the industry, as they account for just 2.7% of jobs.

Despite most industries providing teenagers with wage growth slower than the overall growth, all but the Information industry outpaced inflation. This translated to real wage growth for teenage workers from 2019 to 2021, as inflation and wages began to ramp up in 2022.

The story of high inflation and wage growth continues to evolve, and the ending is not yet written. Many factors can push up or pull down wages and inflation as we saw in 2022.

Median Wage Growth for Teenage Workers in Central Minnesota

For More Information

Contact Luke Greiner, Labor Market Analyst, at

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