Economic Lookout: Tempered optimism in Rochester

MinnEcon note: Teri Gibbons is a Rochester nurse and source in MPR’s Public Insight Network who keeps a close eye on her local economy. In her first Economic Lookout dispatch, she gives us a thumbnail view of Rochester.

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Economic Lookout
terigibbons.final.jpgTeri Gibbons | Rochester

As I drive around Rochester, I see work in process with public works projects and it provides hope that things are finally improving.

Family members tell me more are eating out and shopping which has increased their hours in minimum wage jobs. If someone wants to be a newspaper carrier there are plenty of openings.

But what about nurses and teachers?

Teachers and paraprofessionals fear budget cuts may mean larger class size and less services. It will be a summer of wondering if the funds will be there for them to return or not.

This has happened before and the funds were available at the last minute but will this be the case again?

Hospitals are hiring from within, shifting staff from areas that were barely adequately staffed for the most part; nursing home positions are not as available as they once were.

So, my question to you is … as we drive on our improved roads to school or to the hospital are we any better off?

I’ll grab a fast food sandwich on my way to Wal-Mart and ponder this.

Teri Gibbons is a registered nurse in Rochester.

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