Archive | Demographics

Bilingual workers in demand in cities around Minnesota

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Austin, Minn. — Employers around Minnesota are increasingly looking for bilingual employees, as a way to better respond to a growing Latino population.

There is no specific data that show exactly how many bilingual workers there are in Minnesota. But employers and labor market analysts say bilingual employees are in demand in customer service jobs, call centers, schools, hospitals, and retail sales. Analysts expect language skills to become more important for job-seekers, especially those who work directly with customers, as Minnesota becomes more diverse.

For Latino immigrants, good health hard to maintain

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Faribault, Minn. — Like most people who immigrate to the U.S., Latino immigrants are usually healthier when they first arrive in the U.S. than U.S. born residents. But within a generation, many Latino immigrants lose that health advantage. And they are almost twice as likely to develop diabetes and other chronic diseases, compared to people who are born here.

This is the first of an occasional series of stories looking at the impact these health problems create today and the complications for the future.

The strike that changed Austin

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(Part one of a three-part series) Austin, Minn. – Twenty-five years ago this month, workers at the Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin walked off the job in a strike that made national headlines. Fifteen-hundred workers opposed Hormel’s proposed wage cuts.

The strike became of the longest in the 1980s. Hormel eventually won and the company brought on new workers at lower wages.

The labor strike helped transform the demographic landscape of this southeastern Minnesota town. Now, Austin has a deep dependence on immigrant labor. Listen to Part 2 and Part 3 here.

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