SE Minnesota fares well on third quarter growth

Published 10:04 am Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Southeast Minnesota region is expected to see normal or increased economic growth over the next several months, according to new reviews and forecasts released Thursday by Secretary of State Steve Simon and the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs Research Institute.

Their report showed that southeast Minnesota’s economy was expected to see an acceleration over the next several months, according to a variety of economic indicators. The Southeast Minnesota’s LEI (leading economic indicators) increased by 2.34 points in the third quarter of 2016, led by a rise in the number of residential building permits in Rochester as well as higher new filings of incorporation and LLC in the Southeast Minnesota region.

There were 821 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Southeast Minnesota in the third quarter — representing a 2.1 percent increase from one year ago.

Still, employment fell by 0.9 percent over the year ending September 2016. Compared to September 2015, 2,415 fewer residents of Southeast Minnesota now have jobs. The regional unemployment rate was 3 percent in September, marginally higher than the 2.8 percent level recorded in the year earlier period.

Southwest Minnesota also showed growth, while the four remaining regions — Northwest, Northeast, Central and Twin Cities — had slower growth predicted.

Across the state there was growth in payrolls, higher earnings per hour, and more average weekly hours worked in the private sector over the last year. Business filings also increased in five of the six regions.