Skip to main content

Newsroom


Q4 Regional Economic Reports Show Most of State to Experience Steady Growth First Half of 2016

March 16, 2016

“As Secretary of State, a major priority of mine is to make it as easy as possible for business owners and entrepreneurs to set up and run their businesses, and these reports are an important part of that effort.”

SAINT PAUL — Today, Secretary of State Steve Simon released the 2015 fourth quarter Minnesota Regional Economic and Business Conditions Reports, which predict most of the state will experience steady economic growth in the coming months.

The reports show four planning areas (metro, northwest, southeast, and southwest) experiencing steady or improved economic growth and two planning areas (central and northeast) experiencing slower or weakened economic growth, in the coming months. Across the state there was growth in payrolls and higher earnings per hour in the private sector over the last year. Additionally, all six planning areas saw employment increases. To view each region’s full report online, click here.

“These economic reports provide small business owners with the data, trends, and insights to better understand their region’s current and future economic environment,” said Secretary Simon. “As Secretary of State, a major priority of mine is to make it as easy as possible for business owners and entrepreneurs to set up and run their businesses, and these reports are an important part of that effort.”

The reports were developed by the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs Research Institute, in partnership with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. The Secretary of State’s Office reviews and approves all Minnesota business filings, and commissioned the reports to provide a perspective on business conditions and deliver a tool for entrepreneurs to better understand their region. There is one quarterly report for each of six statewide economic regions. The economic reviews and forecasts are based on a comprehensive examination of several datasets, including business filings.

“We see steady growth for the first half of 2016 in most parts of the state, including the metro Minneapolis-St. Paul region,” said King Banaian, report co-author and dean of the School of Public Affairs at St. Cloud State University. “There may be some slowing down in growth in Central and Northeast Minnesota. While several of our leading indicator series point downward, there is still momentum in employment growth throughout the state.”

###

Twin Cities
Twin Cities business conditions are expected to be steady over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. While the Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) fell by 2.48 points in this year’s fourth quarter (and is now 6 percent below its level of one year ago), three of the five index components increased and a neutral reading seems warranted by the preponderance of available data.

There were 9,014 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the fourth quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.2 percent decrease from one year ago.

Employment increased by 2 percent over the year ending December 2015. The regional unemployment rate was 2.9 percent in December, an improvement on its 3.1 percent reading one year earlier.

Central
Central Minnesota business conditions are expected to see slower economic growth over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. For the second consecutive quarter the Central Minnesota LEI fell, this time by 2.70 points, and is now 9.84 percent below its level of one year ago.

There were 1,329 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Central Minnesota in the fourth quarter of 2015 — representing an 11.5 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 2.5 percent over the year ending December 2015. Compared to one year ago, 9,042 more residents of Central Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in December, which is unchanged from the rate reported one year ago.

Northeast
Business conditions in Northeast Minnesota are expected to weaken over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. For the second consecutive quarter, the Northeast Minnesota LEI fell, this time by 9.44 points, and is now 20.5 percent below its level one year ago. A jump in initial jobless claims in the region and a large decline in filings for new business incorporation weighed on the fourth quarter LEI.

There were 487 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northeast Minnesota in the fourth quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.9 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 1.1 percent over the year ending December 2015. The regional unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, higher than the 4.7 percent rate reported one year ago, as the labor force rose by 2.8 percent.

Northwest
Northwest Minnesota business conditions are expected to be steady over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Northwest Minnesota LEI was essentially unchanged in this year’s fourth quarter, falling by just -0.24 points, and is now 1.5 percent below its level one year ago.

There were 923 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northwest Minnesota in the fourth quarter of 2015 — representing a 7 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 3.6 percent over the year ending December 2015. The regional unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in December, significantly lower than its 6.3 percent level one year ago.

Southeast
Southeast Minnesota business conditions are expected to remain steady over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. After falling by 11.23 points last quarter, the Southeast Minnesota LEI increased by 0.8 points in the fourth quarter, which is 14 percent lower than its level one year ago.

There were 740 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southeast Minnesota in the fourth quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.9 percent decline from one year ago.

Employment increased by 1.9 percent over the year ending December 2015. Compared to December 2014, 5,105 more residents of Southeast Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in December, an improvement from 3.2 percent in the year earlier period.

Southwest
Southwest Minnesota business conditions are expected to improve over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Southwest Minnesota LEI increased by 5.11 points, and is now 4.2 percent lower than one year ago. A rise in Mankato area single family residential building permits and fewer initial jobless claims in the fourth quarter helped drive the leading index higher.

There were 550 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southwest Minnesota in the fourth quarter of 2015 — representing 2.3 percent fewer new filings than one year ago.

Employment increased by 3.4 percent over the year ending December 2015. 7,171 more Southwest Minnesota residents have jobs than did one year ago. The regional unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in December, an increase on its 3.7 percent reading in December 2014.


-----

Contact: Ryan Furlong, 651-297-8919, ryan.furlong@state.mn.us

Newsroom Archive