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Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Survey compares paychecks

February 22, 2006

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Business owners, hiring professionals and job seekers can compare wages from more than 600 occupations in Lawrence and the state.

Officials from the Kansas Department of Labor this week updated their annual wage survey, crunching payroll information from surveys of more than 2,500 employers.

The 190-page document details average hourly wages for occupations separated into 22 categories. Data can be reviewed for the entire state or for a particular metro area.

In the Lawrence area, for example, the average hourly wage is $7.78 for waiters and waitresses, $8.90 for retail salespeople, $10.01 for office clerks, $13.65 for welders and related jobs, $17.08 for graphic designers, $25.43 for database administrators and $49.50 for lawyers.

The report also can yield some comparisons.

Registered nurses, on average, earn $21.48 an hour in Lawrence. That's below $24.75 in the Kansas City area and $21.68 in Topeka, but above $20 in Wichita and $19.37 in the rest of the state.

Carpenters earn an average wage of $15.10 in Lawrence, which is down from $19.37 in the Kansas City area, $15.87 in Wichita and $15.34 in Topeka but up from the $13.86 average paid elsewhere in the state.

Beth Martino, a department spokeswoman, said that such information could be useful on a variety of employment fronts. People looking for jobs or considering relocation might get a better perspective on what their new employers might offer, while business owners and human resource managers can see whether their compensation packages measure up to area norms.

"Whether you're an employer or an employee, you can determine whether you're competitive in the job market," Martino said.

The state's survey is available online at www.dol.ks.gov. Individuals may request printed copies by e-mailing laborstats@dol.ks.gov or calling the department at (785) 296-5049.



Living wage set

A business hoping to land a tax break - or looking to keep one granted since late 2003 - must pay new employees at least $10.38 an hour, according to city officials. Companies that receive such tax abatements are mandated to pay such wages to employees that have been added as a result of the investment that triggered the tax break. This year's wage increase is 22 cents, or 2.2 percent, from a year ago. The wage is equal to 130 percent of the poverty threshold for a family of three, as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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