Work & Money

No deal in sight on essential worker bonus pay

BY: - September 27, 2021

Lawmakers remain sharply divided over how to divvy up $250 million the Legislature set aside for bonus pay for essential workers, with the debate largely unchanged after weeks of public hearings and private discussions.  Democrats want to include a larger pool of workers and increase the total pie; Republicans want to keep the total the […]

Huge uptick in pandemic ‘air rage’ hits flight attendants

BY: - September 24, 2021

Flight attendants have been subject to unprecedented harassment over masks and more during the pandemic, and a U.S. House panel on Thursday heard the raw details of those “air rage” incidents. While there’s no hard data, the leader of the flight attendants’ union said the most aggression appears to occur in Southern states where there’s […]

Metro Transit has an excellent low income, reduced fare program, but people aren’t using it

BY: - September 22, 2021

A little known transit assistance program that offers train and bus fare for a buck remains largely untapped by the more than 600,000 metro Minnesotans who are currently eligible.  People who are on an array of public assistance programs like Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, unemployment, food stamps, energy assistance, free or reduced lunch or live in […]

Cows on dairy farm

Dairy farmer: Fix ‘broken’ milk pricing system

BY: - September 20, 2021

A Granville, Iowa, dairy farmer appealed to a Senate subcommittee recently to help fix a “broken” milk-pricing system she said has worsened conditions in an era of financial uncertainty. Christina Zuiderveen, managing partner of Black Soil Dairy LLC and an industry leader, said the federal milk marketing orders system “promised dairy producers that if their […]

Struggle over tax break for inherited farmland churns below surface in reconciliation bill

BY: - September 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers notched a significant win when U.S. House Democrats chose not to touch a big tax break for inherited property, avoiding for now a confrontation. But opponents remain wary that the idea could come back at any time as Democrats shape their massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, and […]

Minnesota unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in August

BY: - September 16, 2021

Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in August, down slightly from 3.9% the month before, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday. The state’s unemployment rate is still well below the national rate, 5.2%. Minnesota gained about 4,300 jobs — an increase of 0.2% — a promising sign for economic recovery in this phase of […]

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats to farming.  The $66 billion […]

Biden administration plan to cut high drug prices mostly quiet on middlemen

BY: - September 14, 2021

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week issued a plan to address high drug prices as part of President Joe Biden’s push to take on anticompetitive practices across the economy. Although it addressed in detail abusive practices by drugmakers, the plan was more superficial about the practices of some of the country’s […]

Amid historic shortage, school bus drivers push for higher wages and unemployment benefits

BY: - September 13, 2021

Unionized school bus drivers say they know how to fix the historic shortage of drivers that’s led to hour-long delays for students: Give drivers higher wages, more hours and access to unemployment benefits. “We need more money. We need more hours. We need these to become real jobs,” said Kelly Gibbons, a former school bus […]

construction workers

The state of labor, in five charts

BY: - September 7, 2021

After 18 months of coping with health concerns and economic uncertainty during the pandemic, Labor Day is a much-needed break for many workers in Minnesota and across the country. Before the pandemic, there was little to celebrate for many American workers. Pay stagnated and racial wage gaps persisted for decades, even as the economy grew […]

Work: A barber treasures his autonomy

BY: - September 6, 2021

  This is the first in an occasional series on the working life of Minnesotans.  Antone Darrington: Barber and owner, Tone’s Barber Lounge Salary: Darrington expects the shop takes in about $80,000 annually, but out of that comes rent for the space, benefits, business insurance and supplies.  Benefits: As the business owner, Darrington pays for […]

Attorney General sues mobile home park owner over squalid conditions, illegal fees

BY: - August 27, 2021

Attorney General Keith Ellison is suing a mobile home park owner in Marshall for failing to maintain the property and illegal billing. The roads in the Broadmoor Valley mobile home park are so bad that school buses stopped entering six years ago, according to Ellison’s lawsuit. Kids have to walk half a mile and wait […]