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Employers feel squeeze as jobless rate dips

Plus: Black Lives Matter considers change of 4th Precinct strategy; driver dies on Highway 212; St. Paul Glockenspiel bar to close; more Minnesotans qualify for MNsure subsidies; and more.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Can’t find workers? Have you considered offering them more money? The Star Tribune’s Dee DePass and Adam Belz report on the worker shortage facing Minnesota’s job creators: “Businesses across Minnesota and the rest of the country are feeling the pinch of a tighter labor force, one that could last for several years as the economy keeps growing and baby boomers keep retiring. … In the Twin Cities, September unemployment fell to 3.1 percent, its lowest level since 2000, forcing factories, trucking firms, retailers, engineering outfits and others to get creative — and a little more generous — in their quest for workers. … Concern about a shortage of workers is not so great, however, that wages are rising dramatically. … Some firms are raising pay and others, like SEH, are offering other incentives, but the average wage for a worker in Minnesota in September was $25.95 per hour. Adjusted for inflation, that’s less than in 2007.”

Is the occupation of Minneapolis 4th Precinct Police HQ coming to an end? WCCO’s Ashley Roberts raises the possibility: “Continuous protests at the Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th precinct could end this week. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis says many of their demands have been met, and it’s time to re-evaluate their strategy. … They say getting the names of the officers involved in the shooting and an independent investigation by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are two big wins for the group, but they still want authorities to release video in the case.”

A driver died in icy conditions on Highway 212 this morning. MPR’s Jon Collins reports: “The Minnesota State Patrol is reporting slippery conditions in some parts of the state during the Monday morning commute. Icy conditions led to at least one death in a crash between a car and van in Carver County. …The fatal crash occurred just before 7:30 a.m. on Hwy. 212 in Chanhassen, according to state patrol spokesperson Lt. Tiffani Schweigart. The state patrol describes the accident on the four-lane highway as a ‘broadside.’ The driver of the Buick LaCrosse died, but has not yet been identified pending family notification.”

Time’s up for St. Paul’s Glockenspiel bar. The Pioneer Press announces briefly: “The Glockenspiel bar and restaurant on West Seventh Street announced on its Facebook page Sunday night that their lease will not be renewed and they are closing immediately. … Sunday was their last full day of business, but they open one last time from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday.”

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Wait, is this good news or bad? The AP reports: “More Minnesota residents are qualifying for financial help this year to buy coverage on the state’s health insurance exchange. … MNsure announced Monday that more than 70 percent of the customers buying private insurance so far this month have received federal subsidies. That’s up from roughly 50 percent last year.”

In other news…

Charges in Sandra Grazzini-Rucki case: “The mother of two Lakeville teens who had been missing since April 19, 2013 drove the girls to a western Minnesota horse ranch along with another woman and left them there until they were found last week, according to amended criminal charges released Monday.” [Star Tribune]

This year Odney and Lorraine Ellingson of Grand Forks plan to make about 2,000 pieces of lefse out of more than 500 pounds of potato. [Inforum]

Turkeys with a pedigree. [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Add to the list of things the Vikings have trouble stopping: small rodents:

Rod Carew’s near-death experience. [Sports Illustrated]

David Salmela to receive American Institute of Architects honors [Duluth News Tribune]

Reminder: free admission to state parks on Friday. [Life Hacker]