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Secretary Simon, SCSU Announce Renewal of Economic and Business Conditions Reports

June 16, 2015

“I’m excited to continue this great partnership with the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs so that Minnesota business owners, entrepreneurs, and consumers have this vital economic data right at their fingertips."

SAINT PAUL — Today, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs announced that they have agreed to produce a second volume of the Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Reports, which analyze the state on a quarterly and regional basis to present customized economic reviews and forecasts.

“I’m excited to continue this great partnership with the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs so that Minnesota business owners, entrepreneurs, and consumers have this vital economic data right at their fingertips,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon. “My job as Secretary of State is to make it as easy as possible for Minnesotans to set up and run their businesses, and these reports play a critical role in making that a reality.”

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. The economic reviews and forecasts are based on a comprehensive examination of several datasets, including business filings.

“We are pleased to continue this partnership with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State,” said King Banaian, report co-author and dean of the School of Public Affairs at St. Cloud State University. “We saw above-average economic growth in last year’s reports as the recovery picked up steam. In our now more mature economic expansion we are seeing growth return to a more normal pace.”

The announcement includes a new set of reports (Volume 2, Issue 1), which predict a slowing of economic growth in each of the state’s six planning areas over the next several months. While each region of the state saw a year-over-year increase in employment during the first quarter of 2015, the pace of employment growth is likely to soften across Minnesota in the coming months.

During the first quarter of this year all six planning areas of the state saw a decline in their regional Leading Economic Indicators (LEI), according to the set of reports. This decline and the fact that the LEI in most regions of the state have shown a high degree of quarterly volatility, both suggest these regions may have hit an economic soft patch and are likely to experience less rapid growth in coming quarters. To view each region’s full 2015 first quarter report online, click here.

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Twin Cities
Twin cities business conditions are expected to grow at a slower pace over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) fell by 5.23 points in this year’s first quarter, and is now 4.1 percent below its level of one year ago.

There were 10,494 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the first quarter of 2015 — representing a 0.8 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 1.7 percent over the year ending March 2015. The regional unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in March, an improvement on its 4.6 percent reading one year earlier.

Central
Central Minnesota business conditions are expected to ease over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Central Minnesota LEI fell by 17.52 points in this year’s first quarter, and is now 7.90 percent below its level one year ago.

There were 1,478 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Central Minnesota in the first quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.9 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 3.3 percent over the year ending March 2015. Compared to one year ago, 11,775 more residents of Central Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in March, well below the 6.4 percent rate reported one year ago.

Northeast
The growth in Northeast Minnesota business conditions is expected to relax over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Northeast Minnesota LEI fell by 16.49 points in this year’s first quarter, and is now 15.7 percent below its level one year ago.

There were 547 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northeast Minnesota in the first quarter of 2015 — representing a 1.5 percent improvement from one year ago.

Employment increased by 0.6 percent over the year ending March 2015. The regional unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, and is now 0.9 percent below its level one year ago.

Northwest
Northwest Minnesota business conditions are expected to flatten over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Northwest Minnesota LEI fell by 8.01 points in this year’s first quarter, and is now 4.4 percent below its level one year ago.

There were 1,102 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northwest Minnesota in the first quarter of 2015 — representing a 7.6 percent increase from one year ago.

Employment increased by 4.5 percent over the year ending March 2015. The regional unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in March, and is now 0.9 percent below its level one year ago.

Southeast
Southeast Minnesota business conditions are expected to slow over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Southeast Minnesota LEI fell 9.67 points, and is now 7.5 percent lower than one year ago.

There were 887 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southeast Minnesota in the first quarter of 2015 — representing a 4.7 percent improvement from one year ago.

Employment increased by 2.4 percent over the year ending March 2015. Compared to March 2014, 6,360 more residents of Southeast Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in March, an improvement from 4.9 percent in the year earlier period.

Southwest
Southwest Minnesota business conditions are expected to soften over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Southwest Minnesota LEI fell by 22.22 points in the first quarter, and is now 18.1 percent below its level one year ago.

There were 690 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southwest Minnesota in the first quarter of 2015 — representing 9.4 percent more new filings than one year ago.

Employment increased by 5 percent over the year ending March 2015. More than 10,000 additional Southwest Minnesota residents have jobs than did one year ago. The regional unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in March, an improvement on its 5.4 percent reading in March 2014.


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

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