The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in a news release took a look at salaries for a number of fields across the state the first quarter of 2018. They then compared them to 2017. In Southeast Minnesota the job seeker-per-vacancy ratio is .6 to 1. That means for every ten job openings there are only 6 unemployed persons in the region. It's an issue often brought up by companies. Where do we find qualified workers?

One of the most common attempts at solving this dilemma is offering higher wages. Here's a look at some of the fields that saw the highest wage increase the first quarter of 2018. Healthcare Practitioners and Technical saw an increase of 20.2%. A jump from a median hourly wage of $30.16 to $36.24 an hour. Workers in the legal field saw a median pay raise from $30.61 an hour to $33.26 which is an increase of 8.7%.

However there were fields of work in Southeast Minnesota that actually saw decreases in pay so far this year versus 2017. While small, they were still drops in pay. Those in architecture and engineering saw a decline from $36.66 to $32.26 an hour. Business and Financial Operations workers also saw their pay decrease by 1.1%. Also on the list are Office and Administrative Support along with Farming, Fishing and Forestry with pay decreases of 0.1%. If one can glean anything positive from this, those who are making less aren't making that much less than last year.

The press release shows a table that a typical family in Minnesota consisting of one full time working parent, a part time employed parent and one child needs an hourly wage of $16.17 an hour to meet basic needs. The figure in 2017 was $15.52.

This data was obtained from survey responses from employers across the state and region.

You can learn more on the DEED website.

Check out some tidbits about Owatonna here.