Despite strong employment growth in the St. Cloud area, local firms’ future outlook has weakened considerably in recent months. Employment grew 2.9 percent over the past 12 months, demonstrating the area’s ability to create jobs in the midst of a regional labor shortage. Construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and educational and health sectors led the area in employment growth while manufacturing, wholesale trade, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and information industries shed jobs. The leading economic indicator series fell 0.42 percent in the last quarter. Surveyed firms are less optimistic about future business activity. Local firms expect flat employment, slower capital expenditures and a weakening national outlook over the next six months.
Special Survey Questions:
1. In general, how would your firm characterize the match between the education level of your employees and the education they need to perform their jobs?
2. Please respond to the following statement: Over the next five years cybersecurity issues will become more important to our firm.
3. Does your firm expect to hire any additional cybersecurity professionals over the next five years?
Banaian, King and MacDonald, Richard A., "St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report, Vol. 18, No. 3" (2016). St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report. 71.