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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

February 2021

COVID-induced recession is most unequal on record

While no income group or community has been untouched by the coronavirus, the economic recession it has triggered may be the most unequal in modern history. Underlying economic and racial disparities have been heightened, and are reflected in Americans having increasingly divergent experiences.

August 2020

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

New data from the Census Bureau illustrates the staggering increase in hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and burgeoning economic recession. And the burden falls particularly on people of color, who benefitted the least from the economic boom times and today can least absorb the blow.

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.

Income and Work Blog Posts

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...

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.

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.

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