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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

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.

August 2013

Many Minnesotans still without jobs in economic recovery

The U.S. is still on the road to recovery from the Great Recession, a period of historic 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.

August 2013

In the shadow of the Great Recession: The state of working Minnesota 2013

Thousands of Minnesotans have little reason to celebrate this Labor Day. Even though the state’s economy is slowly improving, many workers are struggling to climb out of the Great Recession. They are still looking for jobs, working part time, earning less than they did before the recession, or accepting jobs that don’t meet their abilities.

November 2012

Income inequality grows in Minnesota

Growing income inequality contradicts some of our country’s most deeply held values. Americans believe that hard work should pay off, that people who work full time should be able to support their households, and that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed.

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.

Issues