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U.S. Unemployment Rate Steady at 5.4% in April
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 percent for April. There were 223,000 jobs added. Job gains were experienced by the following sectors in April: Professional/Business Services (62,000), Education/Health Services (61,000), Construction (45,000), Leisure /Hospitality (17,000), Transportation/Warehousing (15,200), Retail Trade (12,100), Government (10,000), Financial Activities (9,000), Other Services (6,000), Information (3,000), Utilities (1,300), and Manufacturing (1,000). Mining/Logging (-15,000) and Wholesale Trade (-4,500) sectors experienced job losses in April. The revised numbers show 39,000 fewer jobs were created in February (+2,000) and March (-41,000) than originally reported. For the entire BLS April report click here.
April 2015 Newsletter is Now Available
The EDA Center newsletter for April 2015 is now available. Click here for the pdf or here to go to the newsletter archive.
NEW EDA CENTER REPORT: Profile of Second Homeowners in Central and West Central Minnesota-by U of M Extension Educators Ryan Pesch and Merritt Bussiere
University of Minnesota Extension conducted this survey to profile second homeowners and estimate their impact in eight counties of Minnesota’s Central and West Central lakes districts. Those responding to the survey tend to be well-educated (65 percent have a bachelors or graduate degree), predominantly in their 50s and 60s (65 percent of all respondents), and earn a household income above the state average (59 percent earn $100,000 or more annually). A majority of respondents have owned their property for more than 10 years and plan on moving permanently to their second home. The social and economic impacts of second homeowners on the communities near their second homes are significant. We estimate that households have a median annual spending of $3,252, for common categories of household spending, in the county where their second home is located. This estimate is based on survey responses and assumes the shares spent in the second home communities hold for year-round purchasing patterns. The largest components of spending reflect median expenditures in the categories of grocery/liquor ($64 a month), dining and bars ($40 a month), home maintenance ($50 a month), entertainment/recreation ($34 a month), and gas/auto service ($50 a month). On average, respondents utilize their second homes 93 days of the year. The survey also asked about second homeowners’ level of community involvement and attachment. Respondents clearly feel very attached to their second homes, but less attached to the communities near their second homes. Moreover, people responding to the survey are quite active in the communities where their first homes are located (81 percent belong to a community, civic or other organization there) and less so within their second-home communities, where only 17 percent belong to with a community organization. Second-home communities could benefit from the talents and leadership skills seasonal residents bring and should undertake strategies to welcome and integrate them, especially in preparation for their permanent transition to the community. Given that 56% of respondents intend to move permanently to their second home, 46,000 permanent households could migrate to the study area, primarily over the next ten years, if that high percentage of second homeowners sticks with their plans. For a copy of this report, please click here.
Minnesota Unemployment Remains at 3.7% for February
Minnesota unemployment remained at 3.6 percent for February. Minnesota employers added 11,800 jobs in February. Six sectors posted job gains: Trade/Transportation/Utilities (5,600), Leisure/Hospitality(4,200), Construction (1,600), Educational/Health Services (1,100), Government (400), and Professional/Business Services (200). Manufacturing (-600), Other Services (-300), Financial Activities (-300), and Information (-100) posted job losses in February. Mining/Logging remained steady for the month. Minnesota added 45,414 jobs over the past year, which puts Minnesota's growth at 1.7 percent during that time. This is below the U.S. growth of 2.4 percent over the past year. Minnesota's labor participation rate is up to 70.2 percent (seasonally adjusted. Click here for more December jobs information.
MMB Office Releases February Budget and Economic Forecast
The Minnesota Management and Budget Office (MMB) has released the February Budget and Economic Forecast. A combination of more revenues and less spending has led to a higher projected budgetary balance. For FY 2016-2017, revenues are expected to be $42.497 billion, which is $616 million more than projected in November. Projected spending in FY 2016-2017 is expected to be $41.128 billion, or $115 million less than projected in November. This increases the projected balance for the next biennium to be $1.869 billion, which is well above the projection of $1.037 billion in November. Individual income tax receipts are projected to be $22.057 billion, $393 million more than expected in November. General sales tax receipts are projected to be $10.92 billion, $124 million more than expected in November. Corporate franchise tax receipts are projected to be $2.567 billion, $31 million less than expected in November. Statewide property tax receipts are projected to be $1.699 billion, $11 million less than expected in November. Other revenues are projected to be $3.522 billion, $45 million more than expected in November. The overall economic outlook for the U.S. has improved since the last economic forecast. Macroeconomic consultant IHS Economics expects real GDP growth to be 2.4 percent for 2014, 3 percent for 2015, 2.7 percent for 2016, and 2.8 percent for 2017. This is higher than the projections in November for 2014 and 2015 (2.2% and 2.6%, respectively), but lower in 2016 and 2017 (2.8% and 3%, respectively). Expectations also improved or remained the same for 2018-2019. Currently, IHS expects 2.6 percent in 2018, and 2.8% in 2019 (compared to 2.6%, and 2.6%, respectively). For more information, please go here to get the summary of the February Forecast and the complete report.
All Economic Composition Reports are Now Available
With the support of The EDA Center, the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality now has Economic Composition reports for all regions of Greater Minnesota available. The reports completed are: North Central, Northeast, Northwest, HeadwatersSouthwest, Southeast, South Central, Mid-Minnesota, Upper Minnesota River Valley, East Central, Central, and West Central regions. Please click on each region or go to the research publications page to go to each report.
75F Named Winner of the 2014 Minnesota Cup
The prize for the best breakthrough business idea of 2014 at the Minnesota Cup goes to 75F. 75F is a Mankato, Minnesota based company, who “is an HVAC sensor technology that uses wireless zone controllers to monitor airflow temperatures in building zones to regulate building temperatures at ecologically friendly and energy efficient levels”. 75F, the Minnesota Cup winner is from the Energy/Clean Tech/Water category division was awarded the $50,000 grand prized of the Minnesota Cup, $30,000 as the Energy/Clean Tech/Water division winner plus an additional grant of $25,000 from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation for a total of $105,000. The seven finalists in the Minnesota Cup competing for the final prize were:
  • Energy/Clean Tech/Water: 75F - Deepinder Singh, Blue Earth County
  • Food/Ag/Beverage: Trovita Health Science – William Brown, Hennepin County
  • General: YOXO - Jeff Freeland Nelson, Ramsey County
  • High Tech: Elevate - Joe Stanton, Dakota County
  • Life Science/Health IT: Andas Inc - Joseph Jensen, Hennepin County
  • Social Entrepreneur: Verde Environmental and Medsaway - Carter Anderson, Dakota County
  • Student: Jonny Pops - Connor Wray, Rice County
Minnesota Exports Totaled $5 Billion in Q1 of 2014
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reported a 2 percent increase in exports between the 1st quarter of 2013 and the 1st quarter of 2014. This is less than the 2.6 percent growth in the U.S. during the same time period. Total exports for the 1st quarter of 2014 reached $5 billion. Five of the top ten countries receiving exports from Minnesota grew in the 1st quarter. The top ten countries include: Canada ($1.234 billion, -12%), China ($523 million, -2%), Mexico ($433 million, 49%), Japan ($319 million, 23%), Belgium ($250 million, 41%), Germany ($215 million, 24%), South Korea ($163 million, -4%), Australia ($139 million, 24%), United Kingdom ($136 million, -4%), and Philippines ($132 million, -5%). Exports to all other countries totaled $1.474 billion and decreased 2 percent. For the entire report, please click here.

This document was prepared by the University of Minnesota, Crookston under award number 06-66-05709 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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