Economy

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…

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The School Aid Backslide: Digging into District-by-District Details

North Star’s new report, Minnesota Backslide: School Aid Cuts on the Horizon, documents the decline in real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per pupil* state operating aid to Minnesota school districts since fiscal year (FY) 2003 and the corresponding increase in school property taxes. While the general impact of the aid loss is similar in most parts of…

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Back to the Future: Declining School Aid in Minnesota

Despite increases in recent years, real per pupil state operating aid to Minnesota school districts has declined overall since fiscal year (FY) 2003. This decline in state aid translated into significant property tax hikes and—in many instances—reduced funding for public education. To compound matters, projections based on current state law indicate a significant decline in…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Minnesota vs. U.S. Income Trends Since the Great Recession

When it comes to income trends in Minnesota, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that income growth in Minnesota has surpassed the national average over the last decade, both in aggregate and within every income group. The bad news is that income inequality has increased over this period,…

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