Jobs & Wages

Ensure Respect for Minimum Wage Laws

(Note: This article is co-authored with Laura Huizar, a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project in Washington, D.C.) A few weeks ago, the St. Paul City Council introduced a draft ordinance that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’s a good start, but the Council must strengthen the bill’s…

Read More

Caring in Central Minnesota

Minnesota is getting older every day.1 The aging of our population is increasing demand for home health and personal care workers. We also continue to have population growth through both immigration and natural growth. To fill the needs of our changing population we need people to care for the very young, the very old, and…

Read More

Misplaced Faith in Tax Cuts

Whatever the problem, a tax cut will fix it. And under no circumstances ever increase taxes. So goes the conventional conservative mantra. New research from two Oklahoma State University economists (Rickman and Wang, 2018) finds that reality is far more nuanced than this rigid perspective suggests. Tax cuts can promote economic growth—or they can harm…

Read More

Minnesota & Wisconsin: Similar Unemployment Rates, Different Outcomes

Good news is worth repeating. Last fall, North Star published an analysis showing that while Minnesota and Wisconsin had similarly low unemployment rates, the two states reached this point via very different paths. Minnesota reached its low unemployment rate with above average job and labor force growth, while Wisconsin had below average job and labor…

Read More

The Worth of Women’s Work

Compared to our neighbors in Wisconsin, working people in Minnesota are doing alright. We have more job growth, higher pay, and better labor protections. The prosperity that we enjoy as a state is not, however, equally felt, with significant wage disparities for women and workers of color. As we hear about the persistent workforce shortages…

Read More

Opportunity Zones: Making Them Work for Minnesota

Opportunity zones will be in the news over the next few months. Since opportunity zones have the potential to affect communities across the state, now is a good time to learn a little bit about what they are, how they might work, and what they may mean for Minnesota communities. Opportunity zones were created in…

Read More

Wisconsin Grows Poorer, More Unequal Relative to Minnesota

Minnesota’s median income grew faster than the national average over the past decade, as noted in part 1 of this series. And while Minnesota income inequality has increased, it has increased less rapidly than the national average. Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, median income growth fell short of the U.S. growth rate and income inequality increased at…

Read More

Minnesota Workers: How are we doing?

  More information about the data Jeff Van Wychen on Job Growth in Minnesota: With the addition of 43,100 jobs from July 2017 to July 2018, Minnesota surpasses all of its neighboring states in terms of job growth over the last year. States with low unemployment rates—such as Minnesota—are often at a disadvantage in creating…

Read More

Work With Me

Misdirection is a powerful tool in the hands of an illusionist: by drawing your attention to something shiny, you are compelled to miss what is important directly in front of you. An act of misdirection in our labor markets is the persistent myth of immigration’s role in suppressing wages for blue collar jobs – a…

Read More