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Some groups of Minnesotans struggle more to find jobs

As Minnesota’s job market continues to improve after the recession, not all Minnesotans are sharing in the state’s progress.

Our recent analysis shows that while overall unemployment is low in the state, those groups who faced the highest levels of unemployment in the rough economy are still having the most difficulty finding jobs. These include workers with less education, single parents, the young and people of color. For example, while the gap has narrowed, Minnesotans without a high school diploma were more than 3.5 times as likely to be unemployed than those with a college degree. One in nine of these Minnesotans were unemployed during the first quarter of 2014.

When too many Minnesotans cannot find work, it impedes the state’s economic growth. Fortunately, policymakers took several steps in the 2014 Legislative Session to help more Minnesotans get good jobs to support themselves and their families, including:

  • Increasing the minimum wage, which will boost wages for around 325,000 Minnesota workers and could reduce turnover in low-wage jobs.
  • Provisions in the Women’s Economic Security Act to help female workers get into high-wage fields and meet their family obligations without threatening their jobs.
  • Improving education and training opportunities for Minnesotans through the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Adult Basic Education.

These policies can contribute to narrowing the gaps in unemployment we see in Minnesota, and expand opportunity to more of those Minnesotans who currently are being left out of the state’s economic recovery.

This post was written by Clark Biegler and originally published on Minnesota Budget Bites. Follow the Minnesota Budget Project on Twitter: @mnbudgetproject.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 10/02/2014 - 03:29 pm.

    What about other groups struggling to find meaningful jobs?

    I would like to see the statistics for those who are 50, 55, 60, 65, and 65+. I have been underemployed since the department I worked for was totally eliminated worldwide 3 years ago at the company I worked for. I have been able to find part-time work in retail (I currently work for 2 retailers) and temp work. I am 65 and have a BA+ and I have not been able to obtain meaningful full-time work during that time. And I don’t mean sitting at a phone and computer all day answering/making calls. What are my chances??

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