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Despite housing lag, most signs show Minnesota economy rebounding

Minnesota is creating jobs, unemployment is falling, and the number of workers for every job opening is shrinking. That additional work has not yet turned the housing market around, but experts say the overall outlook for the state is strong.
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Minnesota is creating jobs, unemployment is falling, and the number of workers for every job opening is shrinking. That additional work has not yet turned the housing market around, but experts say the overall outlook for the state is strong.

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Report sees modest growth in Minnesota economy; construction jobs rebounding

A new report by BMO Capital Markets paints a picture of Minnesota's economy as slowly but surely recovering. The unemployment rate of less than six percent is helped by fresh hiring in the construction industry and an easing of job cuts among government employees. Housing is still considered a weak spot, but at least prices are recovering and there are signs that more building is on the horizon.

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The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows more than 20 percent of Twin Cities employers are planning to add workers to their payrolls this summer. Less than five percent of Minnesota employers plan to cut staff in July, August or September. Finance & Commerce reports jobs prospects look especially strong in construction, durable and non-durable goods manufacturing and professional and business services.

Federal Reserve Bank predicts Minnesota economy will grow nearly 3 percent in 2012

In its forecast for the new year the Fed says agriculture and mining look strong in Minnesota but the housing construction market remains sluggish.

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The Obama administration is meeting with business leaders from every state to discuss jobs and the economy. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says at their session "the Minnesotans weren't shy." General Mills, Cargill, and Surly Brewing were among the companies represented.

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The economy remains strong in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states because of the health of agricultural businesses there. The overall economic index on the new monthly Rural Mainstreet survey rose to 58.5 in May from April's already healthy 57.1. Any score above 50 on the index suggests growth in the months ahead.