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In 2017 American workers were more willing and able to quit their jobs for better pay. This bodes well for future pay increases

In 2017, an increased number of American workers quite their jobs to look for a better offer elsewhere. This reflects increased optimism about the economy from American workers and bodes well for future wage growth. There has been a lot of positive economic news recently and this is one more part of the picture. ...

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Fed: Economy “Remarkably Positive,” and Unprecedented in Modern History

The article below originally appeared in the Washington Post. - I know, I was as surprised as you are. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Tuesday that the U.S. economy appears to be in the midst of a “remarkably positive” period that is unprecedented in modern history. The Fed is predicting that unemployment will remain below 4 percent through 2020 and that inflation will stay low — around 2 percent — during that time. This has never happened in modern U.S. history. The last time unemployment was that low for several years, in the 1960s, it triggered high inflation, but the central...

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A tip credit will go some way towards mitigating the harm that St. Paul’s leaders want to do to the city’s labor market

"The only restaurants that are going to be able to survive this (minimum wage hike without a tip credit) are big corporate chains. Small restaurants just can’t afford it" says Jennifer Schellenberg of Restaurant Workers of America. This echoes the findings of a report by the Citizens League earlier this year. They found that most of St. Paul's large employers, such as U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, were already paying their staff at least $15 an hour. The people who would be hit hardest by the the city's politicians commanding its small business owners to increase their staff costs by up to...

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Minnesota’s ‘labor shortage’ offers the opportunity for higher wages

The economy we should want for Minnesota should be one of high investment driving rising wages. It is the economic model Germany had so much success with in the post-war decades. The state's supposed 'labor shortage' should not be cause for panic and the pursuit of a labor intensive, low investment, low wage economy. Instead, it represents an opportunity to be grasped for a better economic future. ...

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The Virtues of Charitable Efforts Syncing with Business Requirements

Labor Day was a perfect day for the Star Tribune to run pieces about two of the best programs in the Twin Cities aimed at helping low-income men and women gain stronger footholds in the local job market: Twin Cities Rise founded in 1993; and Microgrants founded in 2006.  Common to each is respect (goes the adage) for an “honest day’s work,” as well as recognition that their charitable efforts must sync with business requirements if they are to serve on all cylinders. I’ve long appreciated Twin Cities Rise as uncommonly market-based, as that was the vision of Steve Rothschild, who...

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