Youth unemployment, frustration growing in Minnesota

As more adults are taking lower paying jobs out of their field, teens and young adults are finding summer jobs increasingly difficult to get. The unemployment rate for youth ages 16-19 today is almost three times what it was in 2001.

The St. Cloud Times reports:

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the unemployment rate for youths 16-19 has been 21.1 percent in each of the past two years. In 2001, the figure was 7.5 percent.

From 2000-2010, the number of youths 16-19 employed in the state had dropped from 186,000 to 106,000 — a 40 percent decline. And the percentage of the teen population that participates in the workforce has declined from 70 percent in 2000 to 51 percent last year.

Folks in Mankato are seeing a similar trend.

“Again this year, the traditional summer jobs for youth scenario is catch as catch can. ‘What we’re hearing anecdotally is that it’s just not easy,’ said Minnesota State University Career Development Center Director Pam Weller-Dengel (Mankato Free Press).

Also clicking on MN Today

Minn. bill opens door to purchase electricity from N.D. coal plants

No coal-fired power plants could be built in Minnesota, but electric cooperatives could buy from coal plants in other states under a bill Minnesota representatives approved 76-54 Wednesday (Fargo Forum).

Is $300M too much for state to invest in stadium?

District 22 State Sen. Doug Magnus publicly threw his support behind a push for a new stadium for the Vikings in early April – as long as the team had a plan in place (Marshall Independent).

Drop in demand could slow food inflation

The fast rise in food prices could begin to taper off later this year. The government’s latest crop report estimates that the domestic supply of corn, which had been forecast to shrink, will grow in the months ahead (Fargo Forum).

Drawdown canceled over funds, flooding

Federal and state officials have temporarily canceled plans to lower a stretch of the Mississippi River near Winona. While this spring’s high water levels created concerns, the real issue was a lack of money, officials said (Winona Daily News).

Stories by the numbers

Amount Mexican national Laurencio Valadez Estrada spent on beer at Chipotle in Eden Prarie: $0

Estrada, who was 37 at the time, wanted a beer to accompany his meal. A lawsuit filed in Hennepin County claims the store manager rejected his Mexican passport (HuffPo).

Cost to build ValleyFair’s Planet Snoopy: $9 million

The new 3.5 acre Peanuts-themed attraction opens this weekend (MSPBJ).

Cost per inch of snow removed from New Ulm streets this winter: $4,800

New Ulm spent a total of $403,000 on snow removal this winter, the second snowiest on record with approximately 83 inches of snowfall (New Ulm Journal).

Insight Now, Pre-K rating proposal buried

Earlier this week lawmakers in the Minnesota House and Senate reached a tentative agreement on a K-12 education bill.The $14 billion bill accounts for roughly 40 percent of the state budget. It’s a big bill with a lot of moving pieces. One part of the bill that was dropped is the creating of a Pre-K rating system. Advocates for such a system including MinnCAN Executive Director Vallay Varro are upset.

Varro released a statement about the change, “If the legislature is serious about closing the achievement gap then they have got to give parents a rating system for pre-K. The legislature is not listening to research, which proves that quality early childhood education is a vital and necessary strategy in closing the achievement gap. They’re not listening to the public, who has strongly supported a pre-K rating system. And they’re not listening to the recommendations of the very organization they established through legislative action in 2005.”

Insight Now hosted an informative debate about rating early childhood programs. Take a look and share your feelings in the comment section about if you think lawmakers made the right call.

Underway this week: Guns, self defense and property rights — share your view.

Minnesota Scenes

Large Snapping Turtle

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