Dee DePass has been a Star Tribune business reporter since 1993, covering small business, financial institutions, manufacturing and, most recently, the economy. Originally from New York, Dee came to Minnesota after earning her master's in journalism at the University of Maryland and her undergraduate degree at Vassar College.

Changes come to "On the Job"

Posted by: Dee DePass Updated: June 15, 2012 - 5:21 PM


Star's "On the Job" blog will take a break for a spell as I temporarily cover the manufacturing beat while we figure out a few staff changes. Stay tuned for exciting announcements in the coming weeks and know that it's been an honor talking to all of you jobseekers, employers and economists who are rooting for better days ahead.  

- Dee DePass 

Workers average $30.69 an hour in total wages and benefits.

Posted by: Dee DePass under Compensation Updated: June 8, 2012 - 9:46 AM

Employees received an average $30.69 per hour in wages and benefits for the month of March, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The bulk of compensation - $21.27 an hour or 69.3 percent - came from wages and salaries. Benefits, such as vacation, health and disability insurance, provided the final 30.7 percent of  $9.42 an hour.

Further analysis by the U.S. Labor Department found that private industry employees took home fatter wages than those who worked for state and local governments. On the flip side, government workers enjoyed bigger benefit packages. 

As a result, total compensation averaged $28.78 an hour for private sector workers and $41.16 an hour for government workers.



Summer teen hiring finally sees a boost

Posted by: Dee DePass under Unemployment Updated: June 4, 2012 - 1:30 PM

Employers hired 157,000 U.S. teenagers in May, marking for one of the strongest starts for summer hiring in years, according to U.S. Labor Department statistics released Friday.

If it continues, the trend will mark good news for a segment of the workforce that has been significantly marginalized by the recession and subsequent slow recovery.

May's hiring of 16-to-19 year olds was the best since 2006, according to an analysis by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Its review found that the 157,000 jump in teen job holders last month was "more than double the 71,000 jobs won by 16- to 19-year-olds in May 2011."

Teen employment has been hampered for several years by recessionary layoffs that pushed thousands of experienced workers into the jobs market.

Many laid-off workers were desperate to replace income and grabbed entry-level jobs normally scooped by teens. They also were willing to work for lower than normal wages.That combined with weak job creation during the last four years boded ill for teenagers looking to get their first job.

Minneapolis makes CareerBuilders' top 15 list for new college graduates

Posted by: Dee DePass under Compensation, Salary Updated: May 30, 2012 - 11:53 AM

Minneapolis is one of the nation's top 15 cities for new college graduates, according to a new joint study by and

Minnesota's largest city ranked fourth in the nation, following Washington D.C., New York, and Boston. It scored better than Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Denver due to a host of factors. 

At 5.6 percent, Minneapolis had the second-lowest unemployment rate of the 15 cities on the list. It also offered low rents, averaging $974 for a one bedroom apartment, compared to $1,1814 in Boston or $1,789 in New York. And Minneapolis boasted an average starting salary of $38,500 a year, which was close to the $40,000 starting salary in New York.

Survey organizers examined the availability of entry level jobs in each city and Minneapolis scored well. Job inventory was given the most weight in the study because there are "more than 1 million bachelor's degrees conferred each year" which means new grads must decide where to work and where live, organizers said.

Another consideration that helped Minneapolis place well on the list was its diversity of industry. Minneapolis is a leader in healthcare, manufacturing, IT and other forms of commerce, survey organizers said.


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