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MMB Office Releases July Economic Update
The July Economic Update shows an overall increase in the general fund receipts. The general fund sits at $19.258 billion for FY 2014, which is $168 million above projections in the February Forecast (a 0.9% improvement). Income, sales, and corporate taxes account for $161 million of the surplus. The largest increase in revenues came from individual income taxes ($181 million). Final 2013 income tax return payments were $71 million more than forecast while income tax refunds were $93 million less than projected. General sales tax receipts were $34 million more than forecast. Conversely, corporate franchise tax receipts were $53 million short of February projections. Revenues for the final quarter of FY 2014 were $235 million more than forecast. While the general fund shows improvements, 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 only a 1.7 percent growth in 2014. This would be the weakest growth in any year since the end of the recession. IHS expects growth in 2015 to average 3 percent, which is down from their original projection in February (3.3%). IHS also expects growth to be down slightly in 2016 to 3.3 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 July Update at-a-glance, please click here.
Rural Migration Webinar Scheduled for August 13
The University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality will be hosting a webinar entitled, "Brain Gain of the Newcomers in Rural America" from 12-1 PM Central time on August 13th. The webinar will be led by Ben Winchester, a Research Fellow with the U of M Extension Center for Community Vitality. Here is the description from the webinar website: "The population of rural America has changed significantly over the past 40 years, which is commonly referred to as the rural rebound. Nationally, the rural population has increased by 11% since 1970. While retirement and recreational counties accounted for the bulk of this population growth, the story of rural population change is interesting and nuanced – especially when we consider that 40% of all people move to a new home in any five year span. Since 1970 there have been newcomers aged 30-49 moving into our small towns, which positively impacts our core social and economic structures. At the same time, there is a new urbanity found across the rural landscape in Minnesota that is changing how we look at urban-rural interactions. The next 15-20 years also appears to be a great opportunity for American small towns, as a once tight housing supply begins to open up through the changing residential preferences of the retiring baby boomer generation. Overall, the implications of these changes are positive ones for all of our small towns and open country places as we look to the future." Please contact Ben at benw@umn.edu if you have any questions. Space is limited so make sure you click here to register.
Minnesota Unemployment Drops Again to 4.5% in June
Minnesota unemployment dropped to 4.5% in June. Minnesota employers also added 8,500 jobs in June. Seven sectors posted job gains: Government (3,900), Educational/Health Services (3,500), Trade/Transportation/Utilities (2,200), Financial Activities (600), Information (500), Professional/Business Services (300), and Logging/Mining (200). Other Services (-1,400), Manufacturing (-900), Leisure/Hospitality (-300), and Construction (-100) posted job losses in June. Minnesota added 53,780 jobs over the past year, which puts Minnesota's growth at 1.9 percent during that time. This is comparable to the U.S. growth of 1.9 percent over the past year. Minnesota's labor participation rate dropped to 70.3 percent. Click here for more June jobs information.
U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1% for June
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent for June. Nonfarm payroll employment increased with 288,000 jobs added. Professional/Business Services (67,000), Retail Trade (40,000), Leisure/Hospitality (39,000), and Education/Health Services (38,000) led the way in June job gains. Other Services (-6,000) was the only sector to experience job losses in June. The revised numbers show 29,000 more jobs were created in April(22,000) and May (7,000) than originally reported. For the entire BLS June report click here.
June 2014 Newsletter is Now Available
The EDA Center newsletter for June 2014 is now available. Click here for the pdf or here to go to the newsletter archive.
NEW REPORT AVAILABLE: Economic Impact of Federal Closure of Minnesota National Park Service Sites
Between October 1st and October 16th of 2013 the federal government experienced a shutdown of all non-essential services due to a congressional budget impasse. One of the many services affected by this shutdown was the National Park Service (NPS). According to the National Park Service, 7.88 million fewer visitors visited all NPS sites in October. This represents an estimated $414 million loss in National Park Service spending across the United States. While the National Park Service report shows nationwide visitor and revenue losses (along with many of the larger individual parks) it does not isolate losses incurred at Minnesota NPS sites. The purpose of this economic impact analysis is to examine visitation and revenue losses at three of the NPS sites in Minnesota: Grand Portage National Monument, Pipestone National Monument, and Voyageurs National Park. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and St. Croix National Scenic River were not selected for this analysis for two primary reasons. First, both sites cover an expansive area which would make it difficult in isolating the economic impact to a community or small group of communities. Second, with respect to the St. Croix National Scenic River it would be difficult to differentiate the economic impact felt by Minnesota from the impact felt by Wisconsin. In addition to collecting secondary data relating to visitation/revenue losses, we also conducted interviews to qualitatively assess the impact of the NPS site closures. Click here for the final report.
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.
NEW EDA CENTER REPORTS
We have two new reports available in the publications section of the website. One report highlights an economic futures workshop conducted by U of M Extension Educators supported by The EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. To learn more about the county’s current economic situation and to explore opportunities for economic development, these leaders from Mille Lacs County particpated in the University of Minnesota’s Economic Futures Workshop on Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Onamia, Minnesota. For a copy of this report, please click here. A second report is a result of a request from the Northern Aero Alliance for "a comprehensive analysis of the current status of the aerospace industry in the region, its economic impact, and its potential for the future". This analysis was conducted by the U of M Extension with the support of The EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. For a copy of this report, please click here.
2014 Economic Development Assistance Programs FFO Announced
On November 25th, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has posted the FY 2014 Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity on http://www.grants.gov/view-opportunity.html?oppId=248297&utm_source=EDA+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1a569f4140-2014_Economic_Development_Assistance_Programs_Fede&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_68e7c83ba4-1a569f4140-391698061. The purpose of this FFO is to "support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects" as part of the EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. "Grants made under these programs will leverage regional assets to support the implementation of regional economic development strategies designed to create jobs, leverage private capital, encourage economic development, and strengthen America's ability to compete in the global marketplace." Applicants from both rural and urban areas are welcome to apply. The deadlines for the next four funding cycles are:
  • December 13, 2013 for FY 2014 funding cycle 2
  • March 13, 2014 for FY 2014 funding cycle 3
  • June 13, 2014 for FY 2014 funding cycle 4
  • October 17, 2014 for FY 2015 funding cycle 1

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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