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Monday, March 5, 2012

Minnesota on the mend: Recent economic data point to durable recovery

Minnesotans got a burst of good economic news in recent weeks, providing further evidence of a rebound.  The state reported a state budget surplus last week, albeit a narrow one that's already spoken for.  Jobs data out last week showed the state gained more than 15,000 jobs in January, with a net uptick of 29,000 over the past 12 months. The state jobless rate is now 5.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent a year ago. And things could look brighter for job seekers, as the number of unemployed Minnesotans for each job vacancy is now 3.2 to 1, down from 5.8 to 1, where the ratio stood a year ago.  Since the recession ended in the summer of 2009, "Minnesota has outperformed the U.S. and the rest of the (Midwest) region," said Ernie Goss, a professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., who conducts a regional poll on economic conditions.  "Now, the rest of the region has caught up," he said. One reason is that housing was more of a drag on Minnesota, and the Twin Cities economy in particular, compared with other nearby states.  "But Minnesota's unemployment rate has been trending down pretty significantly," Goss said. "You'd have to say that bodes well for the economy."  However, some regions of the state are emerging from the recession in better shape than others.


Along the border with North Dakota, more Minnesotans are commuting to work - and not to the oil jobs in the western part of the state, say North Dakota officials.  Read More...

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