Eau Claire Earns Less but Has More

Tom Giffey

We’ve got a lot of things going for us in the Chippewa Valley: natural beauty, friendly people, plentiful beer. Unemployment is low, and so is the cost of living. And now, according to some number-crunchers at the website RewardExpert.com, we can proclaim that Eau Claire is one of the “Top Places Where You Get the Most Bang For Your Paycheck.” At least that was the title of a recent article published on the website, which focuses on “personal finance and travel data reports.”

Using data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the website sought to calculate “which U.S. metropolitan areas have the best-paid workers with the shortest average workweeks,” or – to put it another way – “where do people work the least and earn the most?”

Under their formula, Eau Claire ranked fifth out of the nation’s 387 metro areas. While the Eau Claire metro area (which consists of Eau Claire and Chippewa counties) ranked a middling 143rd in wages, it made up for that by placing fourth in average length of workweek (29.4 hours). The average hourly wage in the metro area was $24.62 as of March. For the record, that’s lower than the average hourly earning statewide but higher than what people earn in many similar-sized Wisconsin metro areas, including Appleton, Oshkosh, and Wausau.

For the record, here’s the top 10:

1. Mankato-North Mankato, MN
2. Corvallis, OR
3. Chico, CA
4. Barnstable, MA
5. Eau Claire, WI
6. Santa Rosa, CA
7. Norwich-New London-Westerly, RI
8. Portsmouth, VA
9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
10. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

To read more about the rankings and the methodology behind them, check out www.rewardexpert.com/blog/studies/top-places-where-you-get-the-most-bang-for-your-paycheck.

Where the Jobs Are is sponsored by:

Chippewa Valley
Technical College

620 W. Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI