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)
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.