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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

December 2018

Minnesotans face barriers in the labor market, despite top line unemployment numbers

Minnesota's low unemployment rate and high labor force participation are two indicators of where Minnesota's economy is doing well. However, these numbers hide the fact that Minnesotans across the state are still struggling to get ahead even in the economic recovery.

November 2018

State of working Minnesota: Many Minnesotans working hard but barriers keep them from makings 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.

Income and Work Blog Posts

October 17, 2019

Census data illustrate opportunity gaps

Even in this relatively strong economy, nearly 1 in 10 Minnesotans find that lack of good paying jobs, challenging transportation obstacles, and other barriers make it hard to afford the essentials, much less get ahead.

September 10, 2019

New Census data shows some positive trends, but not everyone benefits

The Census Bureau released new data today showing a 0.5 percent reduction in national poverty rates, making 2018 the...

September 05, 2019

Minnesota has lots of opportunities to support immigrants, strengthen economy, according to new report

During a time when immigrants are being targeted by harsh federal policies , states have a unique role to play to...

March 13, 2019

Governor’s budget proposal makes major investments in housing, workforce, local communities

Governor Tim Walz’s budget makes significant investments in housing, workforce development, economic development, and...

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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