The Big Story Blog

Who's been left behind by the job market?

Posted at 2:36 PM on October 20, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Jobs and unemployment

Worries over Minnesota's jobs picture go way beyond numbers.

MPR News reporter Laura Yuen wrote recently that Twin Cities unemployment divide between black and white people is the nation's widest.

Arm in arm is a new analysis by Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development that shows, "While the unemployment rate has been dropping in Minnesota, the number of people experiencing long-term unemployment continues to grow.

The data intersect in a sad but predictable way. Black, American Indian and Latino people are far more likely than whites to be unemployed and to be long term unemployed.

Here's the relevant chart from the DEED analysis.


and one more important graphic:


Bottom line: We saw the state's overall jobless rate fall today but that doesn't mean things are great. We're seeing a separation in Minnesota now with a large chunk of the unemployed in danger of being left behind when a real recovery does come.

Earlier this year, state demographer Tom Gillaspy and his colleagues wrote of a disturbing and growing mismatch between the skills of those looking for work and the skills employers seek to hire" and a "lost generation" of Minnesota workers, "where those with the necessary skills do very well while those without the desired skills will struggle economically for the remainder of their lives."

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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