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Income and Work

Minnesota has one of the highest rates of labor force participation in the country, but that doesn’t mean that all Minnesotans are able to make ends meet. We research economic trends to understand who’s faring well in today’s economy, and who is left behind. We advocate for economic policies, particularly those that improve wages and job quality standards, so that more Minnesotans can thrive.

Research

November 2018

State of working Minnesota: Many Minnesotans working hard but barriers keep them from making ends meet

Minnesota has experienced a fairly strong economic recovery since the Great Recession, with low overall unemployment and a growing economy. However, many Minnesotans have not seen the wage growth we would expect nearly a decade into an economic recovery. And many still face barriers to finding good jobs and supporting themselves and their families, according to analysis of 2017 data from the Economic Policy Institute.

November 2017

Some Minnesotans struggling despite top line figures showing economic prosperity

The economic recovery has taken hold in Minnesota. A low unemployment rate and high labor force participation indicate a relatively strong labor market. This strong labor market hides the fact that some Minnesotans are still struggling to get ahead in today’s economy. Groups that struggled in the past – those who are have less than a high school education, communities of color, recent immigrants, and the young – still face employment barriers today.

October 2016

Minnesota economy improving but harsh disparities leave too many workers behind: The state of working Minnesota 2016

The U.S. economic recovery has been slow. Although Minnesota hasn’t been immune to the effects of an economic recovery characterized by fits and starts, Minnesota’s economy has a number of strengths, compared to the recent past and to national trends. Some economic indicators are back to pre-recession levels, including unemployment. Considering perhaps our most comparable neighbor, Wisconsin, our relative economic strength shines through with Minnesota’s higher labor force participation and higher median wages.

April 2016

Key groups of Minnesotans still struggling to find work in economic recovery

The economic recovery has taken hold in Minnesota. Our state has recovered the jobs lost from the recession, and our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation. But these figures disguise the fact that many Minnesota workers are not sharing in the state’s economic growth. Since Minnesota’s economic strength depends on more Minnesotans successfully participating in the workforce, making opportunity available to all should be a priority.

Income and Work Blog Posts

August 03, 2020

New data confirm states need more federal Medicaid support

Data shows climbing numbers of Minnesotans needing some help to afford care while we’re also seeing massive state revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic’s economic disruption. This presents a serious mismatch of needs and resources. An increase to federal Medicaid funding is needed to make sure people can get the health care they need, when they need it.

July 28, 2020

US Senate COVID-19 relief package falls dramatically short of what nation needs

The Senate relief package – called HEALS Act -- is inadequate to meet the challenges of this moment and is too small to jumpstart our economy. Instead of prioritizing the health and well-being of Americans and building for an economic recovery, the Senate plan falls short and would result in more kids going hungry and at risk of becoming homeless, force more lay-offs of teachers and other state and local government workers, and cause harmful cuts to health care, education, and other urgently needed services.

July 09, 2020

Bonnie Tyler wasn’t wrong: We need a HERO

The HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act proposal is a needed Congressional effort to...

July 07, 2020

Special session victory: common-sense approaches reduce barriers during pandemic

Common-sense measures to remove barriers to health care, food support, and other needed services will continue, thanks to legislation passed in the June special legislative session.

Highlighted Research

workers

State of Working Minnesota: Barriers Keep Many from Making Ends Meet

Despite Minnesota's economic recovery from the Great Recession, many Minnesotans have not seen the wage growth we would expect nearly a decade later. And many people still face barriers to finding good jobs and supporting themselves and their families, according to analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. Our State of Working Minnesota report digs deeper into the data.

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