Wages fall along with increase in Minnesota job opportunities

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Even though job openings in Minnesota were at a 12-year-high over the summer, the number of quality jobs actually fell, the Star Tribune reports.

According to data released by the Minnesota Department of Economic Development Wednesday, employers reported 72,570 vacancies in the second quarter, the most since 2001. The number was also a 15.2 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

However, nearly half of the employment opportunities in the last year were part-time jobs, with the median pay offered to job candidates fell 50 cents an hour to $12.50.

Most of the job openings were for waiters and waitresses, retail salespeople, cashiers and landscapers. All of which offer a median wage of less than $8.50 per hour.

The deputy director of the Minnesota Budget Project says while it's good families can find work, the work might not be enough.

Christina Wessel tells the Star Tribune that she hopes the DEED report is "an early indicator that things are turning around, but the reality for families facing this situation is that there just aren’t enough opportunities."

While wages fell for part-time jobs, business are offering better pay this year than last year for full-time workers, according to the DEED survey.

Median wages for full-time work increased $1.43 to $18.26 per hour, DEED said, for positions in health care, computer-related industries and finance.

Along with more employment opportunities in the state is an expansion in business, the state says.

Twin Cities Business reports that 39 business expansions were announced in Minnesota during the second quarter, which are expected to add about 1,500 new jobs.

Along with expansion plans announced in the first quarter, there have been more than 80 announced expansions in the state this year, according to DEED.

Despite the encouraging numbers, about 153,000 people were unemployed in the state at the end of July.

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