10,000 jobs to break even

A story by Beth Bily in the July 12, 2012 print edition of the Scenic Range News Forum contained the following nuggets of data regarding mining jobs on Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Total Minnesota Mining Wages
2011: $356.9 million (up 25 percent gross, down 7 percent adjusted for costs)
2000: $286.8 million; (adjusted for costs): $383.3 million

Total Minnesota Mining Jobs (average)
2011: 4,245
2000: 5,599 (down 24 percent)
I’ll add one of my own not from the story:
1980: Approx. 15,000 (down 70 percent)

Now, those of you old enough to remember the Range in 1980 might not recall it being an economic paradise. I was a zero years old then. I remember enjoying the shag carpeting so common at the time. Nevertheless, it bears mentioning that trying to back-fill our economic losses since with mining jobs alone is a theory that uses 1980 as a best case scenario.

I’ll be talking about this theme for my Sunday column in the Hibbing Daily Tribune, which you can read early Sunday at the paper’s web site or later that day here at the blog.

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