There’s a lot to digest in Wednesday’s 77-page Minnesota economic forecast. But I’m struck by a few sentences:
Employment in Minnesota is now expected to fall by more than 150,000 jobs between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2010, 30,000 more than projected last February. If this forecast holds true, more than a decade of job creation will be lost (emphasis mine).
Here’s a chart of Minnesota seasonally adjusted monthly employment using data from from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
We’ll see the November data on Dec. 17. But if state officials made anything clear, it’s don’t bet on a bounce back. Things will not be OK for awhile.
The combination of substantial current and expected job losses and what is expected to be a slow recovery, leaves Minnesota employment below its pre-recession level through 2013.
I know other states are going through the same thing. But job growth has been one of Minnesota’s selling points to the nation. Entrepreneurs, scientists, manufacturers and raw material producers all helped build and create employment and wealth. That delivered the money to run government and provide a high quality of life.
What happens if that’s no longer the case?
As we’ve noted before, this recession is exposing a long-term weakness in Minnesota — an aging state labor force that won’t grow enough to meet the economy’s needs.
And now a decade of job growth is close to being wiped out.
Meanwhile, here’s video of Gov. Pawlenty’s response to the budget numbers and the Democrats’ response (thanks to MPR’s Tom Scheck).