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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

June 2020

State of Working Minnesota: Low-income people and people of color working hard but struggle to thrive

Minnesotans believe that hard work should pay off, that people who work full time should be able to support their families, and that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed. But slow wage growth and growing income inequality contradicts some of our country’s most deeply held values.

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 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.

Income and Work Blog Posts

June 15, 2020

Special session begins; Minnesotans call for bold action

The COVID-19 crisis, and the longstanding crises in policing and racial inequity in Minnesota, have damaged our health, livelihoods, and communities. Policymakers must take bold steps to better ensure Minnesotans can stay healthy, safe, and get by economically in the immediate term, and invest in resilience in all communities for the future.

May 11, 2020

Rents are rising faster than Minnesotans’ incomes

For over a decade, unaffordable housing costs due to persistently low wages has been the reality for too many Minnesota families.

May 05, 2020

May budget report reveals the need to support everyday folks

The May budget projection will guide the decisions that policymakers make in the remaining weeks of the legislative session, and the months beyond. They remind us of how many of our neighbors are struggling, and the importance of taking swift action to reduce the hardships that Minnesotans and their families are facing as a result of the pandemic, and to start building for the economic recovery.

April 23, 2020

Coronavirus responses should include all our neighbors, including immigrants

Excluding immigrant Minnesotans – who make up close to 9 percent of our state’s population – puts them and their families at risk, and it makes it more difficult for our state and communities to recover from this public health crisis.

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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