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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

August 2020

New data show COVID is amplifying hardships for low-income people and folks of color

As the United States enjoyed a lengthy period of economic growth following the Great Recession, the benefits did not...

August 2020

Recession responses that do not center Minnesotans of color likely to widen racial disparities

Policy responses to the Great Recession were insufficient in magnitude and length to mitigate racial disparities, and in fact some disparities were made worse. Policymakers must prioritize racial equity in their responses to the current economic downturn and COVID pandemic, to ensure all our communities, whether Black, Brown, or white, can thrive and are resilient in weathering these crises.

June 2020

State of Working Minnesota: Low-income people and people of color working hard but struggle to thrive

Minnesotans believe that hard work should pay off, that people who work full time should be able to support their families, and that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed. But slow wage growth and growing income inequality contradicts some of our country’s most deeply held values.

December 2018

Minnesotans face barriers in the labor market, despite top line unemployment numbers

Minnesota's low unemployment rate and high labor force participation are two indicators of where Minnesota's economy is doing well. However, these numbers hide the fact that Minnesotans across the state are still struggling to get ahead even in the economic recovery.

Income and Work Blog Posts

August 03, 2020

New data confirm states need more federal Medicaid support

Data shows climbing numbers of Minnesotans needing some help to afford care while we’re also seeing massive state revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic’s economic disruption. This presents a serious mismatch of needs and resources. An increase to federal Medicaid funding is needed to make sure people can get the health care they need, when they need it.

July 28, 2020

US Senate COVID-19 relief package falls dramatically short of what nation needs

The Senate relief package – called HEALS Act -- is inadequate to meet the challenges of this moment and is too small to jumpstart our economy. Instead of prioritizing the health and well-being of Americans and building for an economic recovery, the Senate plan falls short and would result in more kids going hungry and at risk of becoming homeless, force more lay-offs of teachers and other state and local government workers, and cause harmful cuts to health care, education, and other urgently needed services.

July 09, 2020

Bonnie Tyler wasn’t wrong: We need a HERO

The HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions) Act proposal is a needed Congressional effort to...

July 07, 2020

Special session victory: common-sense approaches reduce barriers during pandemic

Common-sense measures to remove barriers to health care, food support, and other needed services will continue, thanks to legislation passed in the June special legislative session.

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