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Second Quarter Regional Economic Reports Show Quarter-to-Quarter Growth in Minnesota

September 15, 2015

"When I’m on the road traveling throughout Minnesota, small business owners always tell me they just want to be able to set up and run their businesses with minimal hassle and with maximum information."

SAINT PAUL — Today, Secretary of State Steve Simon released the 2015 second quarter Minnesota Regional Economic and Business Conditions Reports, which show the vast majority of the state experienced quarter-over-quarter economic growth.

Across the state there was growth in payrolls and a decline in the unemployment rate from one year ago; and after showing signs of weakness in the first part of the year, five of six planning areas are expected to see positive economic growth in the coming months. To view each region’s full report online, click here.

"When I’m on the road traveling throughout Minnesota, small business owners always tell me they just want to be able to set up and run their businesses with minimal hassle and with maximum information," said Secretary of State Steve Simon. "These reports provide Minnesota’s entrepreneurs and business owners with the insight and relevant economic data, trends, and forecasts for their areas."

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.

"After some weakness in most planning areas in the previous two quarters, five of six areas swung to expansion in the second quarter," said King Banaian, report co-author and dean of the School of Public Affairs at St. Cloud State University. "Weakness in agricultural commodity prices may have influenced some readings in Greater Minnesota, but employment is still rising consistent with a mature expansion."

In June, Secretary Simon and the SCSU School of Public Affairs announced that they would be producing a second volume of the economic and business reports.

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Twin Cities
Twin Cities business conditions are expected to experience stronger growth over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) rose by 3.4 points in this year’s second quarter, and is now 6.2 percent below its level of one year ago.

There were 10,306 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the second quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.7 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 0.9 percent over the year ending June 2015. The regional unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in June, an improvement on its 4 percent reading one year earlier.

Central
Central Minnesota business conditions are expected to see moderate economic growth over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. While the Central Minnesota LEI fell by 1.38 points in this year’s second quarter, four of the five components of the LEI turned positive after experiencing some weakness in the first part of the year.

There were 1,396 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Central Minnesota in the second quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.9 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 1.9 percent over the year ending June 2015. Compared to one year ago, 7,006 more residents of Central Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in June, slightly lower than the 4.3 percent rate reported one year ago.

Northeast
Business conditions in Northeast Minnesota are expected to improve over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Northeast Minnesota LEI rose by 8.22 points in this year’s second quarter after being in negative territory for the previous two quarters.

There were 559 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northeast Minnesota in the second quarter of 2015 — representing a 2 percent improvement from one year ago.

Employment increased by 0.4 percent over the year ending June 2015. The regional unemployment rate increased to 5.6 percent.

Northwest
Northwest Minnesota business conditions are expected to improve over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Northwest Minnesota LEI increased by 2.06 points in this year’s second quarter, and is now 7.3 percent above its level one year ago.

There were 1,129 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northwest Minnesota in the second quarter of 2015 — representing a 3.7 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 3.2 percent over the year ending June 2015. The regional unemployment was 4.4 percent in June, unchanged from its level one year ago.

Southeast
Southeast Minnesota business conditions are expected to improve over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Southeast Minnesota LEI rose by 9.88 points after recording a negative reading in this year’s first quarter.

There were 864 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southeast Minnesota in the second quarter of 2015 — representing a 2.6 percent improvement from one year ago.

Employment increased by 1.2 percent over the year ending June 2015. Compared to June 2015, 3,238 more residents of Southeast Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in June, an improvement from 3.9 percent in the year earlier period.

Southwest
Southwest Minnesota business conditions are expected to be steady over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Southwest Minnesota LEI remained basically neutral, declining by a modest 0.85 points, in the second quarter. This is much improved from the first quarter reading of the index, when it fell by 22.22 points.

There were 646 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southwest Minnesota in the second quarter of 2015 — representing 8.8 percent more new filings than one year ago.

Employment increased by 4.1 percent over the year ending June 2015. 8,539 more Southwest Minnesota residents have jobs than did one year ago. The regional unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in June, an improvement on its 4.1 percent reading in June 2014.

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

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