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Star Tribune commentary: The long twilight struggle of the Iron Range

By D. J. Tice
Star Tribune

Taconite Dreams (Jeff Manuel)The Iron Range has long been the exception that proves many rules in Minnesota. Its exceptionalism is producing an odd economic policy debate these days — hardly the first time.

We’re regularly reminded that our state economy is lately outpacing the American economy, which in turn puts most of the rich world to shame. It seems Minnesota’s biggest problem is finding workers to fill jobs.

“Firms are working overtime for hires,” announced a front-page Star Tribune headline late last year. “Minnesota companies find themselves short on workers.” What’s more, “the pinch of a tighter labor force … could last for several years.”

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