St. Cloud-area businesses continue to experience steady growth, and the local six-month-ahead economic outlook remains strong. Payroll data indicates overall St. Cloud metropolitan area employment grew at a 1.6 percent annual rate over the year ending October 2017. The construction sector once again led local job growth, followed by strong gains in wholesale trade and the educational and health sector employment. The financial activities, information, government, transportation/warehousing/utilities and retail trade sectors all experienced year-over-year job losses. The leading economic indicator series declined slightly over the last quarter. Surveyed firms indicate strong business activity in the current quarter with higher capital expenditures, a lengthening workweek, improved national business conditions and increased difficulty attracting qualified workers.
Banaian, King and MacDonald, Richard A., "St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report Vol. 19, No. 4" (2017). St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report. 76.