Minnesota Economic Stability Indicator

The Economic Stability Indicator is a project of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) to illustrate to legislators, policymakers, advocates, and service providers the interaction between wages, public work support programs, tax credits and tax liability in bringing or failing to bring families to economic stability. This tool can be used to demonstrate the gap that exists between low wages, a basic needs budget, and the effect public programs and tax credits play in filling that gap.

The specific goals of the Economic Stability Indicator are to:

  • Demonstrate how wages, public programs benefits, tax credits and tax liability interact to fill the gap, or fail to fill the gap, between low-wages and basic need household expenses.
  • Educate policymakers and legislators on how current and proposed public program legislation and tax policies affect low-income families and either help or hinder them on the road to economic stability.
  • Highlight the income levels at which families begin to lose public program benefits and how detrimental these “cliff effects” can be in encouraging workers to progress up the income ladder to reach self-sufficiency.
  • Illustrate the difficult decisions low-income families must make to make ends meet every month, especially when programs are not fully funded.
  • Educate families about wage and program interaction so they can make informed choices about employment, program use and saving opportunities so they better understand how to reach economic stability.

Learn more about public programs and tax credits.