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Minnesota Unemployment Remains at 4.8% in March
Minnesota unemployment remained at 4.8% in March. Minnesota employers added 2,600 jobs in March. Seven sectors posted job gains with Professional/Business Services (3,500), Construction (2,700), Financial Activities (1,200), Government (1,000), Information (400), Manufacturing (200), and Mining/Logging (100) adding jobs over the past month. Leisure/Hospitality (-2,700), Trade/Transportation/Utilities (-2,300), Educational/Health Services (-1,000), and Other Services (-500) posted job losses in March. Minnesota added 41,582 jobs over the past year, which puts Minnesota's growth at 1.5 percent during that time. This is below the U.S. growth of 1.6 percent over the past year. Minnesota's labor participation rate increased again to 70.6 percent in March. Click here for more March jobs information.
U.S. Unemployment Rate Stays at 6.7% for March
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the U.S. seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed steady at 6.7 percent for March. Nonfarm payroll employment increased with 192,000 jobs added. Professional/Business Services (57,000), Education/Health Services (34,000), Leisure/Hospitality (29,000), and Retail Trade (21,300) led the way in March job gains. The Manufacturing (-1,000) sector experienced the largest losses in March with Nondurable goods manufacturing losing 9,000 jobs. The revised numbers show 37,000 more jobs were created in January(+15,000) and February (+22,000) than originally reported. For the entire BLS March report click here.
March 2014 Newsletter is Now Available
The EDA Center newsletter for March 2014 is now available. Click here for the pdf or here to go to the newsletter archive.
Minnesota Cup Accepting Applications
The Minnesota Cup is a competition open to entrepreneurs, inventors, new small business owners or small business owners from the state of Minnesota who are generating less than $1 million in yearly revenue. The Minnesota Cup competition began accepting applications on March 24th. People interested in applying have until May 9th to submit their entries. This is the 10th year of the Minnesota Cup and applicants will compete in one of 8 divisions for a total of $300,000 in prize money. The 8 divisions include:
  • Energy, Clean Tech & Water
  • General
  • LifeScience & Health IT
  • Student
  • Food, Agriculture & Beverage
  • High Tech
  • Social
  • International

For more information and to apply, please click here.

Minnesota Exports Totaled $5.4 Billion in Q4 of 2013
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reported a 6 percent increase in exports between the 4th quarter of 2012 and the 4th quarter of 2013. This is more than the 4 percent growth in the U.S. during the same time period. Total exports for the 4th quarter of 2013 reached $5.4 billion. Seven of the top ten countries receiving exports from Minnesota grew in the 4th quarter. The top ten countries include: Canada ($1.476 billion, -7%), China ($743 million, 35%), Mexico ($439 million, 32%), Japan ($276 million, 2%), Germany ($211 million, 21%), Belgium ($192 million, 14%), South Korea ($157 million, -7%), United Kingdom ($134 million, 17%), Australia ($119 million, 6%), and Philippines ($118 million, -8%). Exports to all other countries totaled $1.567 billion and grew 2 percent. For the entire report, please click here.
MMB Office Releases February Economic Forecast
The February Economic Forecast released by the Minnesota Management and Budget Office projects the general fund balance to reach $1.233 billion for FY 2014-2015. The general fund balance is expected to be $408 million more than the November 2013 Forecast. Individual income tax receipts are expected to be $19.56 billion which is $188 million more than expected in the November 2013 Forecast. General sales tax receipts are expected to be $10.361 billion which is $167 million more than expected in the November 2013Forecast. Corporate franchise tax receipts are expected to be $2.714 billion which is $38 million more than expected in the November 2013 Forecast. Statewide property tax receipts are expected to be $1.665 billion which is $4 million less than expected in the November 2013 Forecast. Other revenues are expected to be $3.513 billion which is $27 million less than expected in the November 2013 Forecast. For the February Forecast at-a-glance, please click here.
NEW REPORT AVAILABLE: Economic Emergency Program: Little Fork Medical Center Closure
The City of Little Fork, Minnesota owns the Little Fork Medical Center, consisting of a nursing home, assisted living facility, medical clinic and pharmacy, and a chemical and alcohol in-patient treatment center. Due to financial considerations, the Little Fork Medical Center is in jeopardy of closing. The Little Fork City Council and the Koochiching County Board of Commissioners are considering the potential effects the closing will have on the community. One consideration is the effect the potential closure will have on the local economy. This is especially urgent, since Koochiching County is already facing a major economic challenge as a result of downsizing at the Boise Inc. paper mill. To assist decision-makers, University of Minnesota Extension has prepared this economic emergency report. This report is presented in partnership with EDA Center at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Click here for the final report.
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 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.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.