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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

September 2014

Many Minnesotans still struggling to find jobs despite stronger economy

By the start of 2014, it appeared that the economic recovery was taking hold. Minnesota had recovered the jobs lost during the recession, and unemployment was comfortably below the national figures. But these overall figures disguise the fact that many Minnesota workers are not sharing in the state’s economic growth. The same kinds of workers that suffered the highest levels of unemployment during the recession - the less educated, the young, single parents and people of color – still face higher unemployment rates during the recovery.

April 2014

Minimum wage increase will boost economy and incomes of many Minnesotans

Minnesota’s low-wage workers will soon receive a long overdue raise. One of our country’s most deeply held values is that hard work should pay off and that those who work hard should be able to support their families. But Minnesota’s minimum wage has failed to live up to that principle. Minimum wage workers do not earn enough to make ends meet, and the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of basic necessities.

February 2014

Unemployment picture remains grim for many Minnesotans

The U.S. is still on the road to recovery from the Great Recession, an historical period of economic turmoil. In December 2007, the country entered a prolonged recession during which housing prices plummeted and unemployment skyrocketed. Although the recession officially ended in June 2009, the economic recovery has been slow and unsteady, leaving many families struggling to get back on their feet.

October 2013

Minnesota: The land of unequal opportunity

There are two very different realities in Minnesota. Most Minnesotans enjoy the economic benefits that come from living in a state that does well in national measures of income, poverty and health insurance coverage. The median household income in Minnesota is much higher than the national average, so it’s not surprising that Minnesota’s poverty rate is lower than most other states. And Minnesota’s leadership in health care reform means that a smaller share of Minnesota’s households struggle without health insurance than in nearly every other state.

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.

Issues