How Much Money Do You Need to be Middle Class in Minneapolis?

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Horacio Villalobos via Wikipedia
Nearly half of America still identifies as middle class, according to the Pew Research Center.

Despite the financial beat down that wiped out the spending power of millions of Americans, nearly half of the country still identifies itself as middle class, according to the Pew Research Center.

But what kind of money are we talking?

See also:
Minnesota's economic recovery driven by McJobs, not middle-class jobs


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US Bank Employees Were Forced to Take Unpaid Vacations as Execs Made Millions

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Logistics Monster
US Bank's Davis leadership style involves getting rich while workers take unpaid vacations.

The email from US Bank Vice Chairman of Technology and Operations Services (TOS) Jeffry von Gillern ended on a downer note.

"While this was a difficult decision to make," read the April 2014 to all bank TOS employees, "we believe short-term solutions such as this help us avoid taking more drastic measures such as implementing layoffs."

See also:
US Bank CEO Richard Davis Made an Extra $8.5 Million in 2014


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Target CEO Brian Cornell Must Cut Back Annual Corporate Jet Travel to 175k

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Jelly Vazquez via Pinterest
Target employees get marching orders and their new CEO must limit his use of corporate jets.

Incoming Target Corporation CEO Brian Cornell is a man of the people.

In a move that's certain to be taken as emphatic by the 1,700 employees who recently got pink slips, Target's new leader signed off on a deal limiting his use of the company's
four-aircraft fleet to $175,000 annually.

With an average operating cost for private jets approximated at $4,000 per hour, Cornell will be limited to just under 44 hours of contractually-capped travel.

See also:
Target Announced Total Number of Layoffs in Staff-Wide Email This Morning

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Imation CEO Mark Lucas's Pay Nearly Doubles After Company Loses $100 Million

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Imation Corp.
It's easy to smile when you get $2.3 million in bonuses for tanking your company.

Last year was unkind to Imation Corp., the Oakdale global data storage and information security company. The firm reported an operating loss of more than $100 million. Its revenue tanked by 15 percent.

But in the rarefied air of the executive wing at Minnesota's 35th largest public company, that only meant CEO Mark Lucas was worthy of a whopping raise.

See also:
Thousands of Target Layoffs Planned After Fired CEO Gets $61 Million Golden Parachute

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Blacks Nearly Four Times More Likely Than Whites to Be Unemployed in Minnesota

Categories: Economy

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Joe Speer, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
The only state with a higher unemployment gap was Wisconsin

A new study reaffirms a refrain equality advocates have become quite fond of in this state: Minnesota is a great place to live -- for white people.

The Center for Popular Democracy and the Economic Policy Institute released a study yesterday showing the statewide unemployment rate for black people is 11.7 percent, compared to 3.2 percent for white people.
See also:
Minnesota Has the Worst Financial Racial Equity in America, According to Study

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Bill Cooper: TCF Bank CEO Is Minnesota's Poster Boy for Income Inequality

Categories: Economy

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TCF
Stylish turtlenecks and seven-figure stock options equal winning for TCF Bank CEO Bill Cooper.

Dinging college kids and single parents with $37 overdraft charges sure does add up.

At least that's what can be gleaned from TCF Bank CEO Bill Cooper's phat 2014 compensation package.

See also:
TCF Bank Stadium built with U of M students' overdraft fees

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Amazon, One of America's Worst Employers, Wants to Open Center in Shakopee

Categories: Economy, Jobs

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Scott Lewis
Amazon warehouse workers typically earn way less than even their counterparts at Walmart

Hourly wages approaching the poverty level. A supposedly flexible workplace where students are told, "We don't work around school schedules." A bonus program for employees that never pays out because of bionic expectations.

Minnesotans may soon be able to apply for jobs offering these perks. Internet giant Amazon is in negotiations to erect a distribution center on 66 acres in Shakopee.

See also:
Fast-food workers storm an Uptown McDonald's to demand $15 minimum wage

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Trucking Most Popular Job in Minnesota

Categories: Economy

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Photo by Ray Forster

We all like to think the decline of "Made in the USA" coincides with a new era of information technology jobs sweeping the nation, but things aren't changing much up here in Minnesota. We were mostly truck drivers in 1978, and we're still trucking as of 2014.

Most of the country, in fact, consists of truckers, according to an NPR census crunch of the most popular jobs in each state.

See also:

Minnesota Rated Best State in the Country by Politico


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20,000 Layoffs Predicted in North Dakota Due to Low Oil Prices

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Tim Evanson via Flickr
20,000 layoffs predicted by June
One of the happiest surprises American consumers have experienced lately is ridiculously cheap gas, which is now priced at a five-year low.

While consumers whistle while they pump, signs of a bust in the North Dakota oil fields are beginning to show.

See also:
University of North Dakota Suspends Basketball Announcer For Saying "Choke Job"

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Book: Vaporized Pig Brains Are Torturing Austin's Migrant Meatpackers

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fleur design

Years have passed since Pablo Ruiz worked as a floor supervisor inside a swine slaughterhouse in Austin, Minnesota. Yet his body remains in constant pain, the result, medical experts say, of inhaling a daily dose of pig brain tissue mist.

According to Ted Genoways, author the new book The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, Ruiz, was one of the roughly two dozen former workers -- 90 percent of them Hispanic -- at the Spam factory in southern Minnesota, who in 2006 showed symptoms of a bizarre neurological disease that caused body fatigue and extreme pain in the extremities, as well as swelling of the spine and brain.

See also:
Mist of pig brain tissue sickened slaughterhouse workers

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