Minimum wage impact by city

In Minnesota, mayors from the Iron Range to the Twin Cities took a bold step to support low-wage workers. They are urging the state legislature to raise the minimum wage to at least $9.50 with increases for inflation. These mayors are also urging local leaders in other parts of the state to follow suit. Continue Reading

Uneven Recovery: Minnesota housing is getting unaffordable

Other than a few isolated pockets of Minnesota, housing costs are far outpacing salaries. Just take a look at the camouflage-looking maps below. Most of the state is gold and orange, showing that the percent change in housing costs have increased anywhere from 5 to 100 times more than the percentage increases in salaries in 2013 dollars. In some areas of Minnesota, the gap is greater than 100. Continue Reading

The face of minimum wage

Minimum wage has done a terrible job keeping up with the cost of basic living. At $7.25 an hour, both parents in a family of four would have to work around 80 hours each to meet their family’s needs. That’s if they can each find 80 hours of work. Nearly half of the jobs vacancies in Minnesota currently are part time, according to DEED’s latest job vacancy survey. And many of the new post-recession jobs are in low-wage fields. Continue Reading

Job recovery by race

Earlier this week a Washington Post article (The Recovery is Racist) made the Twitter and Facebook rounds. It showed nationally, black men have lost the most ground in employment relative to their total population. While the rest of the population lost anywhere from 5.5 to 7.9 points in the employment-to-population ration for their respective race and gender, the drop for black men was nearly 14 points. Continue Reading

More jobs, lower pay

There’s a good news-bad news scenario on the Minnesota jobs front. The good news is people are going back to work. The bad news is they’re going back to much lower paying jobs. Continue Reading

Organizing takes flight amongst Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport’s non-unionized workers

One set of workers at the airport make a living wage, have benefits, and paid time off. The other set make near minimum wage, have no paid time off and company health care benefits are too expensive. What’s the difference, virtually nothing except their employer and their union status. Now, non-union workers at the airport who clean planes and transport passengers for airline subcontractors are organizing to get the same job protections and wages as their counterparts employed by other companies doing business at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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Shooting down the NRA distraction to improve school and community safety

After a decade of education and community disinvestment, Minnesotans finally accept the fact everyone needs to start paying their fair share to adequately fund schools. However, the NRA, with its ludicrous School Shield Program, is giving conservative anti -tax policy makers the distraction they need to divert education dollars from students. Don’t be distracted by the NRA side show. Continue Reading

Minnesota social studies get a revamp

History’s boring. It’s just a bunch of irrelevant facts about dead people, an annoyed student letting off steam said during my student teaching at a Minneapolis high school. This wasn’t a discouraged, barely-passing student but one of the class’s highest achievers. Continue Reading