Hello Thursday!

  • ☔️ It would be a perfect day to peep the fall colors, except it's going to be cloudy and rainy again, with a high of 59.

Situational awareness: The Wendigo lost a close race in the Axios Halloween Bracket. But you can still vote in the final four.

This newsletter is 830 words, a 3-minute read.

1 big things: Labor participation dips for new moms

Data: U.S. Census Bureau. Note: Includes women ages 16 to 50. Chart: Axios Visuals

Fewer new mothers in the Twin Cities headed to work post-pandemic, according to census data.

What's happening: The percentage of Twin Cities-area women who recently gave birth and are participating in the workforce has been on the rise since 2010, but after a spike in 2021, declined below pre-pandemic numbers last year, Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report.

Why it matters: Motherhood often knocks women out of the labor force, at least temporarily — often slowing their career and earnings growth and contributing to the gender pay gap.

By the numbers: 74.1% of Twin Cities women who gave birth in the past year were participating in the labor force as of 2022, per the latest American Community Survey data.

  • That's compared to 79.2% in 2021, and 75.7% in 2019. 2020 data was not available.

Reality check: There's still been a steady increase since 2010 when 68.5% of new mothers were in the workforce — and current numbers are much higher than the national average of nearly 67%.

Between the lines: More families are having to decide if one parent — often mothers — should leave their job to watch the kids because of the skyrocketing cost of child care, due in part to a worker shortage.

  • State grants helped stabilize the industry, but as of April the Twin Cities lost 550 providers in the past three years, and the metro area is still short more than 57,000 child care slots as of June 2022, according to data from First Children's Finance.

Zoom in: The Minnesota Legislature approved more than $1 billion in child care funding over the next two years that will boost early educator pay and subsidize slots for low-income families, though it still won't bridge the gap between supply and demand.

  • Meanwhile, a measure asking St. Paul voters to approve raising property taxes to offset the cost of child care for families is currently slated for the 2024 ballot, despite efforts from Mayor Melvin Carter to veto it this summer.

What we're watching: Whether the decrease continues into the fully post-pandemic years.

  • Some employers are desperately trying to drag workers back to the office, but are finding mixed success as many employees embrace a lifestyle that affords better flexibility.

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2. 🥶 Here comes the cold ... and maybe snow

Image: National Weather Service

Fall is coming to an abrupt end tomorrow as temperatures are forecasted to fall into the 40s Friday afternoon and bottom out in the upper 20s Friday night into Saturday morning.

Threat level: The National Weather Service says there's a 40% chance of snow on Saturday, though it's not expected to accumulate.

Context: The median date of when the Twin Cities gets its first 1-inch snowfall is Nov. 16, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

What we're watching: High temperatures will remain in the 30s into early November, according to NWS's 6- to 10-day outlook.

  • That's about 20 degrees below normal for this time of year, when temps typically get into the low 50s.

The intrigue: It will be cold on Halloween, but don't expect a repeat of 1991. The current forecast calls for sunny skies.

3. The Spoon: The $136M man celebrates at Olive Garden

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🚨 The Minneapolis Park Board police chief called it an "absolute miracle" that nobody was killed after a man allegedly exchanged fire with an officer near Lake Harriet on Tuesday night. The suspect was arrested. (KARE11)

🇵🇭 Vikings safety Cam Bynum, who intercepted two passes on Monday night, is asking for help getting his wife a visa. She's been stuck in the Philippines. (FOX9)

🚙 A federal grand jury has indicted four Minnesota men for their alleged role in a national catalytic converter theft ring. Federal prosecutors say the men made about $21 million over two years selling the stolen auto parts. (KSTP)

Quote du jour

"Shoot, the whole basket they gave us."
— Jaden McDaniels, on how many breadsticks he ate at Olive Garden while celebrating his $136 million extension with the Timberwolves, via the Star Tribune.

4. New Downtown Council leader

Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Downtown Council

Adam Duininck will replace Steve Cramer as CEO and president of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

Catch up fast: Duininck is director of governmental affairs at the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. Prior to that, he was chair of the Metropolitan Council from 2015-2017.

Between the lines: He will have a lot on his plate. Downtown Minneapolis is among the slowest to recover from the pandemic.

Fresh job openings around town

💼 Take your career to the next level and see who's hiring.

  1. Head Brewer at Blue Plate Restaurant Company.
  2. Account Executive, Lynx Sales and Service at Minnesota Timberwolves.
  3. Swim Instructor / Teacher at Foss Swim School.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. 🥪 1 sandwich to go: The new South Lyndale Liquors deli

Photos: Nick Halter/Axios

Nick here. I visited the new — and massive — South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis.

What happened: I built up an appetite browsing what the store claims is the largest beer cooler in Minnesota. Famished, I ordered one of the sandwiches at the attached deli.

Details: I got the smoked turkey and bacon with fig jam, chèvre cheese, and sprouts. Not only was it really good, it was a unique flavor.

  • Like most of the dozen sandwiches on the menu, it was a bit pricey, clocking in at $14.95. But I am definitely getting it again.

🍷 What we're watching: The dining room has pour-your-own wine taps that weren't yet running as of Saturday.

Editor's note: In yesterday's edition, we gave you the wrong address for the spooky Halloween house. It's on the 5600 block of Morgan Avenue South.

✈️ Nick sees the weather and is looking up San Diego flights.

😒 Audrey is counting the days until spring.

🥪 Torey stopped at Northern Waters Smokehaus on the way home from her vacation and tried the "mmMmm." She can confirm it was "mmMmm" good.

  • Pro tip: To avoid the wait, order online when you're 20 to 30 minutes away from Duluth. Our sandwiches were ready just after we arrived!

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Patricia Guadalupe.