I’ll believe the recession’s over when…

Mark Tuveson likely spoke for a lot of Minnesotans when he told us recently that he was starting to see some positive signs in his corner of the economy. But he wasn’t sold yet on a recovery.

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Tuveson, 53, a source in MPR’s Public Insight Network, works for a small welding and machining job shop in Northeast Minneapolis. He runs the bridgeports, lathes, boiler and, lately, he says he’s been shop foreman.

He told us:

YTD we have laid off 7 workers (basically half the crew) with hours reductions for everyone else. We won’t be hiring anytime soon, but would like to get everyone’s hours back up. We would like to see more business, obviously: more jobs to quote on and more work coming in.

He added he was “somewhat optimistic about the immediate future. We have had a few more jobs come into the company — the most backlogged hours since May of this year.”

That alone may be good news given the hit that manufacturing’s taken in Minnesota.

The state’s lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year, more than any other sector in Minnesota, accounting for about a third of the state’s total job loss in that time.

Those 120,000 cuts are an unhappy record for over-the-year job loss dating back to 1950, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

With any luck we’ll see positive numbers this morning when the state releases the most recent jobless data.

But it may not feel like a recovery here until manufacturing feels it.

As Tuveson says: “Don’t want to hear the recession is over… want to see it.”

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“I’ll believe the recession’s over when… “ Finish that sentence here. Tell us when you’ll be convinced things are turning.

Also check the map below to see what Minnesotans in our network are telling us about the jobs climate around them.

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