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U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.5% in February
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate moved down to 5.5 percent for February. There were 295,000 jobs added. Job gains were experienced by the following sectors in February: Leisure /Hospitality (66,000), Education/Health Services (54,000), Professional/Business Services (51,000), Retail Trade (32,000), Construction (29,000), Transportation/Warehousing (18,500), Wholesale Trade (11,700), Financial Activities (10,000), Other Services (9,000), Manufacturing (8,000), Information (7,000), Government (7,000), and Utilities (400). Mining/Logging (-8,000) was the lone sector to experience job losses in February. The revised numbers show 18,000 fewer jobs were created in December (NO CHANGE) and January (-18,000) than originally reported. For the entire BLS February report click here.
February 2015 Newsletter is Now Available
The EDA Center newsletter for February 2015 is now available. Click here for the pdf or here to go to the newsletter archive.
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.
Minnesota Unemployment Drops to 3.6% for December
Minnesota unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent for December. Minnesota employers eliminated 5,200 jobs in December. Three sectors posted job gains: Trade/Transportation/Utilities (4,100), Other Services (400), and Information (300). Government (-4,200), Educational/Health Services (-1,500), Manufacturing (-1,400), Financial Activities (-1,100), Leisure/Hospitality (-900), Professional/Business Services (-600), Construction (-300), and posted job losses in December. Mining/Logging remained steady for the month. Minnesota added 33,260 jobs over the past year, which puts Minnesota's growth at 1.4 percent during that time. This is below the U.S. growth of 2.5 percent over the past year. Minnesota's labor participation rate is up slightly to 70 percent (seasonally adjusted). Click here for more December jobs information.
NEW REPORT AVAILABLE: Economic Composition of Northwest Minnesota: Industries and Performance
To analyze the economic composition of Northwest Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension conducted an analysis of industry outputs, employment and wages, and interdependencies. Following is a report of key findings. This report is presented in partnership with the EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Three industries primarily drive Northwestern Minnesota’s economy -- agriculture, manufacturing, and wholesale trade. These three industries account for 65 percent of total output in the region and 56 percent of all employment. A more in-depth analysis reveals regional strengths and concerns and can be found in the full report here. This is the first in a series of similar reports analyzing the economic composition of all regions of Minnesota.
NEW EDA CENTER REPORT: MAPCED Measurement Tool Project
This project assisted the Minnesota Association of Professional County Economic Developers (MAPCED) in developing a standard system and tools for collecting data about their work. This project was important to MAPCED and MAPCED members because it simplified the process of data collection, provided a method for gathering consistent data for use in advocating additional support of MAPCED members and MAPCED, and allowed MAPCED to more easily document the work of county economic development efforts in Minnesota. For a copy of this report, please click here.
MMB Office Releases October Economic Update
The October Economic Update shows general fund receipts totaled $4.297 billion for the first quarter of FY 2015, which is $46 million less than projections in the February Forecast (a 1.1% decrease). The only higher than projected revenues came from corporate franchise taxes: $401 million, which was $56 million more than projected. Individual income tax receipts totaled $2.297 billion, which is $26 million less than projected. General sales tax receipts totaled $1.157 billion, which was $6 million less than projected. Other revenues totaled $442 million, which was $70 million less than projected. On a positive note, FY 2014 ended with $186 million more in general fund revenues than expected. The Minnesota Management and Budget Office expects slower economic growth than previously estimated in February. IHS Economics (IHS) projected a 2.7 percent real GDP growth in 2014 and 3.3 percent in 2015 in the February Forecast. IHS now expects 2.3 percent real GDP growth in 2014 (which is better than the last update). IHS expects growth in 2015 to be 2.7 percent, which is down from their original projection in February (3.3%). IHS also expects growth to be down slightly in 2016 to 2.9 percent (compared to 3.4 percent in February). The expectation is growth in 2017 will be at 3.1 percent (as it was projected in February). For the October Update at-a-glance, please click here.
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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