A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows Marion County residents are among the lowest paid workers in Kansas, which is itself below the national average in wages.
With average weekly earnings of $507, Marion County is 91st out of 105 counties and trails all neighboring counties except Chase County. The state average is $754 per week, very nearly 1.5 times what Marion County’s average is. The national average is $891 per week.
Although it isn’t especially surprising, it is still almost impossible to be happy about these findings. But there may be a silver lining: business recruitment. A business that sets up shop in Marion County can reasonably expect to have lower payroll costs than if they open in most of the rest of the country.
The Marion and Hillsboro chambers of commerce had a combined annual banquet Monday in Hillsboro. The meal was excellent, the speaker was entertaining, and the whole event had a theme of cooperation.
That is something Marion County can always use more of, cooperation, and not just between Hillsboro and Marion. All of the communities could do more if they worked together.
Speaker Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University talked about, among other things, the late Garfield County. Now a part of Finney County, Garfield County was the scene of a particularly contentious feud between the towns of Ravanna and Eminence. After the feud caused Garfield County’s annexation into Finney County, Ravanna and Eminence withered away to ghost towns.
On a personal note, I visited my new baby nephew this weekend. Aiden Michael Coldren was born Jan. 18 to Ryan and Emily Coldren of Wichita. He was 20.75 inches long and weighed 8 lbs., 15 ounces at birth. He has an older sister, 4-year-old Sadie.
— Adam Stewart