We talked recently about anecdotal evidence that Minnesota’s economy may be turning around. So, OK, here’s the other side: Data show the state remains weak relative to most of its neighbors.
An analysis and map by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia bear this out. The Philly Fed builds an index based on employment and unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing and wage and salary data. Minnesota and Iowa are among 22 states showing the biggest declines the past three months.
True, it’s a look back. But it’s an indication that Minnesota’s recovery is rolling slower compared to Wisconsin and the Dakotas.
Bob Belbeck, a marketing professional from Delano, reminded me there are plenty of Minnesotans who are employed (state unemployment is down to 8 percent) but not necessarily doing great. He described his job situation as “very shaky,” writing:
I have multiple part-time jobs that add up to less than 1/2 what I was making 3 years ago. It is enough money, but it gets depressing. You reach a point where you don’t know what kind of jobs to apply for anymore.
If you count all of us that are underemployed the unemployment rate is much. much higher than 10%.
Happily, he said his debts were paid but he was “buying nothing of real value” and was “living off the garden.”
State economist Tom Stinson told MPR recently that Minnesota’s economy and job market won’t be roaring back.” Things aren’t getting worse but “we’re not making a rapid breakout…This is going to be slow process as we come out this recession.”
My colleagues at the MPR show In the Loop are asking their listeners about what they hope to return to once the recession ends — projects, dreams, etc. they had to put on hold. Tell them what you’re hoping to get back to.
Or just tell us what the economy’s like around you these days.