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Study: Minnesota’s Economy Far Outpaced Wisconsin’s in Walker Era

May 17, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Minnesota’s Mark Dayton have pursued diametrically opposed labor policies since they took office in 2011—and the result, says a study released by the Economic Policy Institute May 8, it that “by virtually every metric, Minnesota’s economy has performed far better for working families.” The study found that the number of overall jobs had increased by 11% in Minnesota and 7.9% in Wisconsin, with most of the gains in the private sector, and that wages rose more in Minnesota at every level, especially for the bottom 20% of workers. The inflation-adjusted median wage for men in Wisconsin actually fell by 0.9% between 2010 and 2017, the EPI found, and Wisconsin also suffered “the largest decline in union membership of any state in that period.” The Walker administration’s agenda has been “centered on cutting taxes for the rich, shrinking government, and weakening unions,” EPI Senior Economic Analyst David Cooper said in a statement. “In contrast, Minnesota has enacted a slate of progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage, strengthening labor standards, and boosting public investments in infrastructure and education, financed through progressive taxes. The results could not be more clear.” Read more

May 17, 2018

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