Twin Cities jobs market looking better than we think?

When will Minnesota recoup all the jobs lost during the Great Recession? It’s largely an educated guessing game at this point.

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Some experts believe it will happen this year. We’ve been taking our cues from Minnesota’s very good economists who believe it will be mid-2013 before we see the job numbers restored.

Today, though, there’s a new Forbes.com ranking that lists the Twin Cities as as one of the nation’s best job markets currently.

While the statewide jobless rate sits at 7.1 percent, the metro area is at 6.5 percent. Forbes writes:

In the Twin Cities area “employment is expected to recover fully by mid-2011, far earlier than nationally,” according to a recent Moody’s Economy.com analysis of the region.

Look for growth in manufacturing and professional services jobs like accounting. Did we mention that the metro is home to the Mall of America, a retail and tourist destination, which is expanding?

We’ll get a better look at Minnesota’s picture next week when the state releases unemployment data for December. We’re still concerned that the jobless rate looks decent only because tens of thousands of Minnesotans have exited the labor force since April.

Here’s a look at the latest, flatter job growth projection by state economists compared to the one in February (Click on the graphic for a larger view).

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The Forbes ranking, though, offers some hope that compared to other metro areas in the nation, 2011 may be better than expected for The Cities.

By the way, Washington, D.C. is the best metro area job market currently, according to Forbes. Las Vegas tops the “worst” list with most of California and Florida’s major cities close behind.

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