News2021-11-30T13:48:43-06:00

Jason George: Labor shortage? That’s because job quality matters

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.

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If construction firms need workers, they should turn to unions

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.

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Commentary: Why our clean energy future should be unionized

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

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Your Turn: Infrastructure means good jobs

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 That means historic new investments to modernize outdated roads, highways and bridges that currently cost the average Minnesotan over $500 in preventable maintenance each year.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

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Shortchanging workers is a flawed business model

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

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Workers are in demand, want to be in unions

It’s not just that supporting labor unions is good politics; it’s also good policy. American workers are quitting their jobs because they want family-sustaining wages, secure benefits, safe worksites, and less inequality. Employers are concerned about labor shortages and want predictable costs and a stable supply of skilled workers. The data show that labor unions are delivering. Read the entire article here

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Report: Union labor offsets cost with efficiency, safety

Minnesota union construction workers make, on average, over $8 more in hourly wages and are more likely to secure a number of other benefits as opposed to their non-union counterparts, according to a new report. The report found these characteristics come without a higher cost to Minnesota employers, who reside in a state with one of the nation’s highest rates of construction unionization. A team of researchers from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Colorado State University Pueblo released the report this month detailing the personal and

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Report: Minnesota’s union construction workers earn more without affecting project costs

ST. PAUL — Union construction work in Minnesota pays better than the nonunion peers without inflating project costs in the $16 billion industry, according to anew study out last week. Union contractors in Minnesota collected an average hourly pay of $33 between 2015 and 2019, according to the study, $8 more than their nonunion counterparts and only $2 less than the average Minnesota college graduate. Coupled with other findings in the study, Midwest Economic Policy Institute Policy Director Frank Manzo said Tuesday, July 6, is the takeaway "that Minnesota's union construction industry is no more costly than the nonunion alternative

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Guest Commentary: Apprenticeships beneficial to economy

Currently, these programs serve nearly 11,000 Illinois residents, making it our state's seventh-largest private post-secondary educational enterprise. They also employ nearly 3,000 instructors and support staff. In our analysis, we found that the economic impact of program expenditures create nearly 1,400 jobs in the local economy, boost our state's economy by over $400 million and add nearly $30 million to state and local tax revenues. Read the entire article here

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Study: Union Construction Apprenticeships Rival Bachelor’s Degrees

In its examination of core economic, fiscal and social metrics, the study found that graduates of union apprenticeship programs achieve outcomes most similar to other workers with bachelor’s degrees and associate degrees, while outcomes for nonunion construction workers more closely mirrored other workers with high school diplomas or GEDs. Read the entire article here

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Study says construction apprenticeships offer pathway into Iowa’s middle class

The study said after accounting for demographics, trade, and year of enrollment, registered apprentices in construction earn about $10 more per hour if they graduate from joint labor-management programs. Read the entire article here

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