Creighton U sees brighter Minnesota jobs, economic outlook

Creighton University economists produce a really good economic outlook index for nine Midwest states, including Minnesota. They’ve been good at anticipating ups-and-downs. Today’s report sees a brighter Minnesota jobs and economic outlook.

The report dovetails pretty well with what we’re hearing from sources in MPR’s Public Insight Network. When we recently asked folks to take their economic pulse, the 50-plus responses we got were surprisingly encouraging.

Today, Creighton said its September Business Conditions Index — a leading economic indicator from a survey of supply managers — jumped to its highest level in two years.

In Minnesota, the university reported the state index dipped a bit but was still running at a healthy clip at 55.4. Anything above 50 on the index indicates businesses are expecting growth.

The report also noted that Minnesota’s lost more than 120,000 jobs, 4.4 percent of its nonfarm employment, in the past year. Creighton Economist Ernest Goss adds:

Due in part to discouraged unemployed workers leaving the workforce, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent for August. Based on our surveys over the past several months, I expect the job outlook to improve in the months ahead.

This will stimulate the discouraged to enter the job search process and will cause the state’s jobless rate to rise by 0.3 percent by the end of 2009, even as the employment outlook improves.

That’s a solid forecast for the state. When Minnesota’s jobless rate was jumping, Goss was forecasting that it wouldn’t go above 9 percent and that’s been the case.

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We’re on the lookout for interesting or offbeat Minnesota economic trends. What are you seeing on the economy that’s a little different that’s telling you things are improving or worsening?

Click here, shoot us a note and tell us what you’re seeing, then type “MinnEcon Indicator” in the headline box and send it. And check out the map below to read what people in the Network are telling us about the job climate around them.

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