News & Updates

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. In other words, it takes a woman from January 1, 2015 to April 12, 2016 to earn the same as a man earns in 2015. Women, in 2016, make just 79 cents on the dollar compared to men.

Being a woman, in fact, will cost you over $430,000 over your lifetime. Obviously, that varies depending on the state in which you live, and your race, but on average, that figure is astounding.-1x-1

The gender pay gap doesn’t just affect a woman’s earnings. It also affects her retirement security and student loan debt, to name just a few factors. The Huffington Post writes:

No matter which forms of savings we consider – 401(k) plans, IRAs, or emergency savings – women, on average, have less available to them than men. The fact that women are typically paid lower throughout their working lives only exacerbates women’s economic insecurity in the future.

Single women nearing retirement are much more likely than single men to fall short in their retirement savings, and women on average have less money saved for retirement, are less likely to participate in retirement plans at work, and have fewer emergency savings compared to men.

Time also examined the impact the gender pay gap has on student loan repayment, citing one study that found women working full-time had on average paid off 33% of their student loan debt, compared to men working full-time having paid off 44% of theirs four years after graduation. As you can probably expect, African American and Hispanic women working full-time had been able to pay off less than other women – less than 10%.

It’s 2016, and we’re still talking about the gender pay gap. We can’t wait another 5, 10, 20 years or longer to remedy this issue. It’s simple: women should be paid the same as men for the same work.

Big Debt, Big Deal

Minnesota is living under a $27 billion mountain of student loan debt.1 A student graduating in Minnesota today has an average of $31,000 in debt.2 Whether we realize it or not, it is affecting both individuals and the broader community. The challenge of student loan...

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Business groups—including the Minnesota Business Partnership and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce—actively cultivate the notion that business taxes in the Gopher State are high relative to the rest of the nation. However, total state and local business taxes as a share...

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...

Caring in Central Minnesota

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Gas Tax Buys One-Third Less Today Than in 2000

The single largest source of funding for Minnesota’s transportation system comes from the state gas tax. However, the purchasing power of that tax has dropped by over one-third over the course of the century, leaving funding for state roads and bridges in a precarious...

State Aids: The Shrinking Slice of the City Revenue Pie

City property taxes have increased significantly in recent decades. Even after adjusting for inflation and population growth, the property taxes collected by Minnesota cities have increased by 48% from 1990 to 2018. However, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita...

Government Growth in Context

Shocking claims of growth in government abound. However, viewed in context of the economic, demographic, and societal changes that have occurred over the last fifty years, the growth in government is far less astounding than the sound-bite statistics indicate. For...

Impact of Legislative Decisions on School Funding

State aid to Minnesota school districts—properly adjusted for inflation—has fluctuated significantly over the last fifteen years, but the overall trend has been downward, as documented in a recent North Star report. Of course, long-term trends are not exclusively the...

Minnesota’s Shared Health

Minnesotans value a high quality of life. It is part of the Minnesota story and one of our competitive advantages. This includes having healthy people in healthy communities. Historically, policy makers have recognized the importance of health care access by investing...

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