Labor and wages?



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  • Labor and wages?

    What is an average wage for semi skilled labor. I will be building a house up there and will be hiring labor for some stuff. I also have a shop that I will most likely be hiring at least one and maybe two people.

    Some of you might already know that I am planning a move to Tok in the spring of 2010, so if you have specific knowledge of the area, please reply or just in general is great too.

    BTW, I know I could go spend an hour looking it up on the state website, but that would defeat the purpose of striking up conversation with everyone on here and getting a first hand feel of those that live there and know. Nothing like first hand knowledge and not just cold hard numbers on a website.

  • #2
    I pay semi-skilled construction labor about $15 an hour if they bring their own hand tools. If they are capable of working by themselves and have their own small power tools I'll kick them $20 an hour. My firewood cutting guy gets $20/hr and he supplies his own saw and gas.

    My in-store cashiers start at $10/hr. If you work outside and can run the forklift you are going to start at $11 to $12. I give a decent raise at 90 days if I decide to keep them.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem


    • #3
      One thing to be wary about is that some will take advantege of you, so make sure that you have insurance to cover your ***. I agree with Doug about the prices, but be careful.


      • #4
        References are your friend.
        Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North

        Does this shotgun make my butt look big?


        • #5
          I'd say put the effort into finding good help, and pay what they ask. In such a small area as Tok you might be hardpressed to find any laborers.

          The truth of the matter is, most decent hardworking folks are fully employed, and those not employed are mostly that way because they don't want to work. A former co-worker had a nightmare remodel of her house because she tried to go cheap, and more than paid for that with workers that wouldn't show up, or showed up drunk.

          So it's well worth paying $25-30 an hour to get someone that will actually work, vs a couple of guys at $15-20 an hour that will drive you nuts.
          Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

          If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


          • #6
            The truth of the matter is, most decent hardworking folks are fully employed, and those not employed are mostly that way because they don't want to work.

            That is true every where. I have been saying that the best thing for business owners is a little down turn in the economy.

            For a while here the unemplyment rate was 5% and the unemployable was 10%. I wasted a lot of money trying to find a warm b ody to fill a spot on the bench.


            • #7
              Be aware that if you are using bank money to build your house you will be required to pay workman's comp insurance on your hired help. They sneak up on you and audit so don't try and get around it. Cost my brother a little money on his first house.

              Paul H's advice is right on the money in a small town. I have the advantage of living here for 28 years. I know who to avoid The best place for advice is often the other local businesses. Our hardware store is VERY cautious about recommending anyone. The ones we do recommend have proven themselves.
              Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem


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