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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 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.

September 2015

For many, hard work is not enough: The state of working Minnesota 2015

While Minnesota is recovering from the Great Recession, many working Minnesotans still struggle to reach economic securi...

Income and Work Blog Posts

October 06, 2021

Federal tax reforms are an essential piece of building a better future

Federal policymakers are in the midst of an essential and high stakes debate about the future of our country. More than...

September 22, 2021

Unemployment Insurance supports workers, not a major cause of labor shortages

To keep workers across the nation safe from infection with COVID-19 and stabilize household incomes, in March 2020 Co...

September 22, 2021

Federal policy action protected health, economic well-being during pandemic

Federal COVID-19 relief actions reduced hardship during the pandemic and the dramatic economic disruption it caused in...

September 21, 2021

Dear Congress: It's time to pass historic investments

If Congress makes the right choices, recovery legislation could lead to historic reductions in economic and racial inequality in Minnesota and across the country.

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