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Honolulu Among Worst in US: 78% of Jobs Created since 2010 do not Pay 'Living Wage'
By News Release @ 5:45 PM :: 3266 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Labor

Since 2010, 28 metros have seen at least half its new jobs created in occupations that pay a living wage, according to CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists analysis       

Quarterly index ranks the labor markets of the 150 largest metropolitan areas in the United States

Since 2010, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX and Detroit, MI lead nation in job growth above the cost of living

News Release from

CHICAGO – May 28, 2015 – Led by Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas and Detroit, Michigan, 28 U.S. metros saw at least 50 percent of its new jobs since 2010 created in occupations that pay a living wage for households with two adults and one child. Sixty-six percent of new jobs in the seaport and energy driven Beaumont-Port Arthur region pay above the area’s $16.46 cost of living. A rebound in high-skill manufacturing jobs is responsible for Detroit’s 64 percent rate. See the full list below.  

This analysis is released in conjunction with CareerBuilder’s and Economic Modeling Specialists International’s (EMSI) quarter two publication of the Labor Market 150 Index – a ranking of the labor markets in the 150 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The quarterly index is comprised of several historical and leading indicators that measure the overall dynamism of metropolitan job markets, including job growth above the cost of living, employment levels, unemployment rates, growth projections and job listings. 

Propelled by 16 percent employment growth since 2010 and 39 percent growth in job postings over the last 12 months, San Jose-Sunnyvale, California, jumped from No. 15 to No. 4 in the index’s overall rankings. Provo-Orem, Utah, remains No. 1.

See where cities in your region rank at the Labor Market 150 Index home page

Metros creating the most living wage jobs

Living wages for households with two adults and one child are determined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator (2013 figures). A living wage covers basic family and household expenses, incorporates estimated taxes and assumes individuals are working full-time. The share of job growth above the cost of living only includes net employment growth in growing occupations with median hourly earnings above the living wage. For example, a new job created at one business could not be captured if it was in an occupation seeing overall employment declines in that region.

Two metros known for its high concentration of knowledge jobs and STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – sectors, San Jose, California and Seattle, Washington, also appear in the top ten. The following are the 28 metros with 50 percent or higher job growth above the cost of living since 2010:


% Job Growth Above Cost of Living (2010-2014)

Living Wage (2013)

Notable High-Growth Occupation(s)

Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX



Petroleum Pump/Refinery Operators

Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI



Team Assemblers, Mechanical Engineers

Peoria, IL



Industrial Engineers, Insurance Sales Agents

Reading, PA



Welders, Metal & Plastic Machine Workers

Mobile, AL



Metal Refining Furnace Operators, Production Managers

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA



Marketing Specialists, Web Developers

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA



Software Developers, Information Systems Managers

Rockford, IL



Team Assemblers, Machinists

Pittsburgh, PA



Oil & Gas occupations, Insurance Sales Agents

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY



Plumber/Pipefitters, Industrial Engineering Technicians

York-Hanover, PA



Truck Drivers

Ann Arbor, MI



Personal Financial Advisors, Internists

Trenton, NJ



Computer Programmers, Computer Support Specialists

Fort Wayne, IN



Team Assemblers, Truck Drivers

Akron, OH



Marketing Specialists, Machinists

Lansing-East Lansing, MI



Sales Reps (Science/Tech. Products), Software Developers

Rochester, NY



Real Estate Agents, Insurance Sales Agents

Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA



Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Software Developers

Tulsa, OK



Welders, Inspectors/Testers

Lancaster, PA



Postsecondary Teachers, Construction Supervisors

Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA



Civil Engineers, Computer Systems Analysts

Toledo, OH



Team Assemblers, Electricians

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI



Food Scientists/Technologists, Physical Therapists

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO



Architects, Petroleum Engineers

Kansas City, MO-KS



Software Developers, Healthcare Social Workers

Cleveland-Elyria, OH



Commercial Pilots, Cost Estimators

Anchorage, AK



Petroleum Engineers, Medical Assistants

Madison, WI



Computer Programmers, Marketing Specialists

Metros with the smallest share of new living wage jobs

Twenty of the 150 largest metros had a share of less than 25 percent of its new jobs since 2010 created in occupations that pay a living wage, including five Florida metros in the bottom 10.


% Job Growth Above Cost of Living

Living Wage (2013)

Brownsville-Harlingen, TX



Tallahassee, FL



Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL



Ocala, FL



Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL



McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX



Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC



Port St. Lucie, FL



Urban Honolulu, HI



Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL



MIT: Honolulu Living Wage Calculator


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