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U.S. Unemployment Rate Remained at 5.8% for November
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent for November. Nonfarm payroll employment increased with 321,000 jobs added. All but one sector experienced job gains in November: Professional/Business Services (86,000), Retail Trade (50,200), Education/Health Services (38,000), Leisure /Hospitality (37,200), Manufacturing (28,000), Construction (20,000), Financial Activities (20,000), Transportation/Warehousing (16,700), Other Services (15,000), Government (7,000), and Wholesale Trade (2,500). Mining and Logging remained steady. The revised numbers show 44,000 more jobs were created in September (+15,000) and October (+29,000) than originally reported. For the entire BLS November report click here.
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.
November 2014 Newsletter is Now Available
The EDA Center newsletter for November 2014 is now available. Click here for the pdf or here to go to the newsletter archive.
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.
Minnesota Unemployment Drops to 3.9% for October
Minnesota unemployment was at 3.9% for October. Minnesota employers added 9,500 jobs in October. Six sectors posted job gains: Trade/Transportation/Utilities (5,200), Educational/Health Services (4,500), Manufacturing (2,300), Other Services (1,200), Construction (900), and Mining/Logging (100). Leisure/Hospitality (-2,100), Professional/Business Services (-1,300), Government (-700), Financial Activities (-400), and Information (-200) posted job losses in October. Minnesota added 49,697 jobs over the past year, which puts Minnesota's growth at 1.8 percent during that time. This is below the U.S. growth of 2 percent over the past year. Minnesota's labor participation rate is at 69.9 percent (seasonally adjusted). Click here for more October jobs information.
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.
U.S. EDA Soliciting Applications for 3 Separate Funding Opportunities
In early September, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker announced the EDA will be providing $15 million in funding for the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition. This includes 3 separate competitions:
  • i6 Challenge ($8 million)- “a national competition based on the most impactful national models for startup creation, innovation, and commercialization”
  • Science & Research Park Development Grants ($5 million)- “provides funding for feasibility and planning for the construction of new or expanded science or research parks, or the renovation of existing facilities”
  • Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds ($2 million)- “provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that are offered to innovation-based, growth-oriented start-up companies in exchange for equity”
According to the posted FFO: “Eligible applicants for EDA financial assistance under this FFO include:
1. a State;
2. an Indian tribe;
3. a city or other political subdivision of a State;
4. an entity that—
a. is a nonprofit organization, an institution of higher education, a public-private partnership, a science or research park, a Federal laboratory, or an economic development organization or similar entity; and
b. has an application that is supported by a State or a political subdivision of a State; or
5. a consortium of any of the entities described in subparagraphs (1) through (4).
For Science and Research Park Development Grants only, in addition to the types of applicants listed above, the following applicants are also eligible to apply:
6. a Hospital;
7. a Commercial organization; or,
8. a consortium of any of the entities described in subparagraphs (1) through (7).”
There were webinars with more information about these programs. The webinars were recorded and can be viewed at http://ssti.org/webinar-library under the EDA Regional Innovation Grants heading. For the application package and more information, please go to http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=263990.
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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