Problem-solving the Creative Economy

Saint Paul Keynote June 5, Living Wage Jobs at the Minnesota Legislature, New Research

Twin Cities Markusen Keynote:  Arts, Culture, and Cities,  June 5, 2014, 11:30-1:00, Landmark Center Legacy Luncheon, reservations advised,

Select Committee Report on Living Wage Jobs Released!    oauthored with Minnesota House Representative Ryan Winkler and Macalester College Economics Professor Karine Moe, the Committee’s final report analyzes falling media incomes despite a comparatively strong Minnesota economy and reveals serious wage and working hours erosion for lower-paid workers as well as continued disparities for women, minorities and younger workers.  Offers a policy menu that encompasses raising minimum wages (and the consequences for welfare and economic growth), expanding unionization among low-wage workers, tackling racial and gender inequality head on, reforming business economic development incentives, revamping workforce development, and enforcing labor laws on practices such as illegal subcontracting.

***The Committee’s work resulted in major gains in the 2014 Minnesota Legislative session, including a substantial and indexed minimum wage hike, extension of unionization rights to workers in home care and child care, and the Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act!

New! “Spatial Divisions of Labor:  How Key Worker Profiles Vary for the Same Industry in Different Regions”  

 In the co-edited Handbook on Industrial Economics, published by Edward Elgar in late 2013, Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus make a substantive contribution to the debate over occupational versus industry approaches to employment by demonstrating that for key occupations — scientist, engineer, artist, and designer — what workers do in any one industry, such as software or advertising, varies dramatically across metro regions. State and local policymakers can’t study industrial structure and assume that demand for workers is similar regionally to that of  industries nationally. Implication:  occupational analysis and workforce development policies should be co-equal to and pursued in concert with industry and business development policies to create jobs.

Recent Op Eds and press coverage:                                                   

 James Need, “Report Traces Decline in Living-Wage Jobs,” Politics in Minnesota, May 22, 2014

Ann Markusen, “The Minimum Wage: An Economist’s View,” Duluth News Tribune, March 30, 2014  

“Growing Economy through Art,” The Gazette, March 26, 2014





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