As growing numbers of employers warn of labor shortages , some have also taken that to mean that somehow Americans don’t want to work . This is simply not true. The so-called “Great Resignation” that followed the worst public health crisis in more than a century was not Americans suddenly deciding that they could live without a paycheck. It was about American workers deciding that job quality matters. Read the full article here.
by Mark Ziegler Competition is the foundation of our free enterprise system. Just as business success requires an ability to compete for customers, it also depends on attracting and retaining qualified workers. As COVID 19 has disrupted just about every industry that relies on in-person or face-to-face work, there have been plenty of complaints about “labor shortages.” But not nearly enough discussion about what it takes to compete for labor. Read the entire article here.
It is not exactly news to say clean energy could transform our region’s economy. In 2019, nearly half of Minnesota’s power came from sources like wind and solar. The state’s wind generation capacity is nationally ranked in the top 10 and North and South Dakota are not far behind. And recent research has shown that investments in this emerging sector would create more jobs — and more economic growth — than comparable investments in fossil fuel power generation. Indeed, some analysts have noted that the cost of building solar and wind facilities has plunged 72% to 90% over the past decade. Wind and solar are cheaper than existing coal plants and competitive with natural gas and nuclear alternatives. However, there are very real challenges that could threaten this progress. Read the entire article here
Minnesota stands to receive over $6 billion from the bipartisan federal infrastructure legislation signed into law this week. That means historic new investments to modernize outdated roads, highways and bridges that currently cost the average Minnesotan over $500 in preventable maintenance each year. It means upgrades to the public transportation, airports and water treatment facilities. It means expanding high-speed internet to the 83,000 Minnesotans who currently lack it, and lower internet costs for over a million residents who will be eligible for the affordable connectivity benefit. It means funding to protect our infrastructure from the extreme weather that cost us $10 billion over the last decade alone, electric car charging stations, and more. Read the entire article here
Whether you call it “Striketober,” “Strikevember” or something else, there’s no denying the fact that American workers are having a moment. After enduring decades of wage stagnation, rising economic inequality and an unrelenting assault on their rights in statehouses and the courts, workers are finally pushing back. Millions are quitting their jobs or are going on strike. This doesn’t mean there’s a labor shortage. It means there’s a shortage of good paying, family sustaining jobs. It shouldn’t require a once in a century pandemic to remind us that the cost of labor is not just whatever the boss is willing to pay. It should reflect the cost of ensuring employees have the requisite skills, and that their work sites are safe. It should enable workers to afford housing, health care, food, transportation and other basic needs near their jobs. Yet too often it does not. And when that happens, these costs are pushed onto the backs of taxpayers in the form of food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid. Read the entire article here