Tucson wages under national average

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Arizona lost 53,000 jobs in June, but the unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.6%.

Almost all of the job losses are in the government sector with public school letting out for the summer eliminating 41,000 jobs and 8,000 temporary census workers being laid off.

Arizona's unemployment rate is close to the national average which edged down slightly in June to 9.5%

A new study, however, shows Tucson wages are lower than the national average.

But not every industry falls into that statistic.

The recession has made life hard for nearly everyone.

What is the feeling like of living paycheck to paycheck?
It feels like you're stuck in a rut...seems like it's the same thing over and over again, you know?

Timothy Woods would like to make more money. But, when you live in Tucson, it can be hard.

New statistics released by the U.S. Department of Labor show the national average wage just above $20 an hour. Tucson's average is 6% less, $19.65.

"It's horrible," says Jayne Henninger, President of Remedy Intelligent Staffing, a job placement center. She thinks Tucson's average wage is even lower. She says her clients wages are the lowest among remedy agencies in the country.

"Once we get out of the recession I think things are gonna gradually climb," says Henninger

Paul Parisi, vice president of governmental affairs at Tucson metropolitan chamber of commerce, feels differently.  "When I look at these statistics it looks very much like year's past."

Parisi feels Tucson's wages are adequate, "Well, there's still some great jobs that have real competitive wages."

Local jobs in the health care, architecture, and engineering industries-- which employ the most people locally-- pay average to above average wages. While jobs in the transportation and material moving and sales, and related industries-- which employ the least people-- pay a lot less.

Resident Janet Welch feels that Tucsonans are underpaid. She also thinks the cost of living has gone up.  Jayne Henninger agrees. 

"The cost of living is still better than most places in the United States," says Parisi.

The education and administrative industries also employ more people in Tucson and nationwide.

The legal and agricultural industries don't, and pay in the legal industry is more than 6% less than the national average.