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Data Sources

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Information on each employee’s earnings and hours worked, as well as their employer’s location and industry, come from wage records reported quarterly to DEED’s Unemployment Insurance Division as required by law. We then provide information to the Department of Public Safety that is necessary to link these records to drivers’ license data, and they return to us the gender and date of birth on those employee’s with a Minnesota driver’s license.

Not all employees have driver’s licenses, but we found that 90 percent or more each quarter over the past 15 years did match. This decent “hit rate” gives us confidence that the resulting information is accurate enough to draw conclusions about the age and gender characteristics of our workforce, while at the same time requiring care in interpreting this information.

Resulting records on each worker in the state includes the worker’s place of work, the industry of employment, total wages earned each quarter, hours worked each quarter (these then allow us to calculate an hourly wage rate for each worker), the worker’s gender, and their date of birth (allowing us to calculate age).

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