Rockford one of 10 best cities where you can earn a living wage

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ROCKFORD, June 8 — Rockford ranks 8th of the 10 U.S. metro areas with the highest percentage of new jobs in occupations that pay a living wage, according to CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).

The notable high-growth jobs highlighted for Rockford were team assemblers and machinists.

The analysis showed that 28 U.S. metros saw at least 50 percent of its new jobs from 2010 to 2014 in occupations that pay a living wage for households with two adults and one child. Rockford was at 59.2 percent, with a 2013 living wage of $16.73/hour (most recent data available). Rockford’s MSA wage data can be found on the RAEDC website and on the IDES website.

Top of the list was Beaumont-Port Arthur, a Texas metro area with 66 percent of the new jobs created at pay levels above the region’s $16.46-an-hour cost of living. High-growth occupations in this port and energy hub include petroleum pump and refinery operators. Fellow Illinois city Peoria ranked third, notable for industrial engineers and insurance sales agents.

Living wages for households with two adults and one child are determined by MIT’s Living Wage Calculator. A living wage covers basic family and household expenses, incorporates estimated taxes and assumes individuals are working full-time.

The labor market analysis is released in conjunction with CareerBuilder’s and EMSI’s 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.

See the CareerBuilder news release here.

See the CNN Money story here.

Local coverage: Northern Public Radio story.

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