A New Minimum?


by Rachel Vilsack —

A blog last month looked at the issue of Minnesota’s minimum wage. As the Minnesota Legislature resumed session this month, there has been continued discussion on increasing the state’s minimum wage. This raises the question: How many jobs, in which regions, and in which occupations, would be affected if there were a substantial increase in the state minimum wage? To find the answer, we take the higher minimum wage level of the House bill (HF0092), $9.50 an hour for large employers, and estimate how many jobs would see wages increase to meet the new level.

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Measuring Labor Force Participation


by Rachel Vilsack —

Minnesota’s high labor force participation – or the percent of the population working or looking for a job – is a key factor in future job growth. It’s also a measure of worker availability, which can fluctuate as youth enter the labor force for the first time, job seekers stop looking for work, or workers retire and exit the labor market entirely.  In December 2013, the state’s labor force participation rate stood at 70.1 percent.

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Industry Spotlight: Furniture Manufacturing


by Rachel Vilsack

Real estate agents say that a house feels more like a home when there is furniture in it, making it easier to sell. Central Minnesota is home to more than one-fourth of the state’s employment in furniture and related product manufacturing, including one-third of the state’s jobs in kitchen cabinet manufacturing.

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