Work & Money

Data show disparities between Black and white Minnesotans in education, income, criminal justice are among the worst in the nation

BY: - June 8, 2020

George Floyd’s death after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes sparked outrage and protests in Minnesota and across the world. Although the local demonstrations are ostensibly about Floyd’s death, they’re fueled by decades of frustration and anger at the state’s well-documented inequities for Black Minnesotans and Minnesotans of […]

Closed for the pandemic, opening during George Floyd protests

BY: - June 2, 2020

Gloria Morales is letting people know her hair salon is back in business with a sign in front of the shop reading “Salon Open.” But the message, written on a boarded up window, is dwarfed by the spray painted phrases surrounding it: “Que Viva La Revolución!!!” and “Long Live George Floyd.” Blocks of boarded up […]

Tanker truck’s last delivery before near miss was to a Black owned south side gas station, whose owner is sticking up for the driver

BY: - June 2, 2020

When Lonnie McQuirter saw a video of a tanker truck driving through protestors on 35W Sunday, he recognized it as the one that had just delivered to his south Minneapolis gas station. “Immediately, my heart sank,” said McQuirter, whose service station is something of a south Minneapolis institution. McQuirter wanted to make sure he had […]

Workers growing concerned about wage theft as bosses struggle with lack of revenue

BY: - May 27, 2020

Workers are increasingly concerned about wage theft and other forms of labor exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the state Department of Labor and Industry.  The agency’s Labor Standards Division received 3,807 calls in March and April, compared to an average of 2,460 every two months for the year prior, a 55% […]

Same food, less fun: Farmers’ markets adjust to coronavirus

BY: - May 22, 2020

On a recent Saturday, customers walked single-file through Mill City Farmers Market, like Catholics in line for communion. If they wanted to purchase something, they asked the vendor to pick it out for them. Sampling, touching and eating onsite are all prohibited.  Ibrahim Mohamed, who has sold Ethiopian chutney at the Mill City market for […]

COMMENTARY

Tracking economic malaise and collapse through the lens of one northeast Minnesota county

BY: - May 22, 2020

From 2005 to 2015 — the years bracketing the extended impacts of the Great Recession — northeast Minnesota sustained the greatest share of Minnesota’s small business losses.  Losses associated with current COVID-19 restrictions are more abrupt and tougher on both employers and workers than in the previous period. As of 2017, which was the last […]

Minnesota’s unemployment rate tops 8%

BY: - May 21, 2020

Minnesota’s unemployment rate rose to just over 8% in April, up from 2.9% the month before, as workers face sweeping job cuts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That means 249,453 Minnesotans were jobless in April, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The new figures are the first look […]

Data: Women, Black Minnesotans, young people are getting worst of pandemic economy

BY: - May 20, 2020

Women, Black people and young Minnesotans are suffering the worst of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis of recent state unemployment data.  These workers are likely to feel long-term psychological and financial effects from unemployment, raising concerns that the current crisis could worsen Minnesota’s existing economic disparities. More than 650,000 […]

Vanessa Del Campo Chacon

Tenants buy properties from negligent landlord who tried to evict them

BY: - May 19, 2020

Thirty-eight families in south Minneapolis will gain ownership of their five apartment buildings after spending years battling with their landlord, Stephen Frenz, who had been trying to evict them. “This is an amazing victory. I am so happy,” Chloe Jackson said in a statement Monday. She is a resident of one of the properties and […]

Pay raises, COVID-19 economic aid derailed by partisan bickering in Legislature

BY: - May 19, 2020

The clock is once again ticking for Gov. Tim Walz and lawmakers to overcome partisan differences that derailed a number of legislative priorities left undone this week.  The Legislature adjourned early Monday without reaching compromises on a public infrastructure package, pay raises for more than 50,000 government workers and additional COVID-19 economic aid.  Minnesotans hoping […]

Minnesota will be recovering from COVID-19 for years

BY: , , and - May 15, 2020

It seems like this has been going on forever. On March 6, I wrote the following in our newsletter, Daily Reformer:  With Super Tuesday over we turn our attention to the most important event happening in American politics: COVID-19. The reason I say that is because of its economic effects, which are already massive, and […]

Walz order: Workers may refuse to work if not given COVID-19 protections

BY: - May 14, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order Wednesday that says workers cannot be fired for refusing to work in unsafe conditions, including not having protection against COVID-19. The order also says employers may not retaliate against workers for reporting unsafe or unhealthy workplaces to health officials. “Workers should not have to sacrifice their health and […]