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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:22 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

Let's put increase of wages in context

The Daily Courier got to report some good news with Jason Soifer's story of this past weekend on the Tri-City Region of Arizona Wage and Fringe Benefit Survey Report.

Wages have increased in the area. The average wage per job in Yavapai County had increased from $18,144 a year in 1993 to $26,361 in 2003, a 28 percent increase. In Maricopa County the figure went from $24,743 in 1993 to $37,009 in 2003 for a 40 percent increase. Statewide the figures went from $23,385 to $34,707, a 48 percent increase.

Wages also increased from the previous year, but not greatly.

Although any increase is good, the figures call to mind the words of Rex Harrison's character in the 1965 movie, "The Honey Pot." His bon vivant millionaire character said, "There's never enough of anything."

Proof of that lies in the rate of increase in the building permit value of an average home in Arizona over the same period. The W.P. Carey School of Business says the average value per residential building permit in Arizona went from $109,570 in 1993 to $164,821 in 2003, a 50 percent increase.

The increase pay levels are good news, but that news has to chase the greater increase in home prices.