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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

May 14, 2021

Driver’s licenses for all is important for building an equitable recovery

Expanding access to driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status would advance the economic success of our state....

April 22, 2021

Expanding paid leave to more workers would build an equitable recovery

As we continue to live through a global pandemic and perhaps the most unequal recession in modern history, we have...

April 06, 2021

The American Rescue Plan – a buoy for workers, families, essential public services, and the economy

The American Rescue Plan provides important and much needed economic support for struggling workers and their families, will protect and expand crucial public services that they count on, and will further jumpstart the economy, but funding is largely focused on the near-term.

January 05, 2021

Economic recovery would be strengthened by immigrant-inclusive COVID response

With the onset of winter, it’s clear that the coronavirus and accompanying economic disruption will continue to be with...

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