The Central Minnesota planning area is expected to experience strong economic growth over the next several months according to predictions of the Central Minnesota Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). The leading index rose by 6.20 points in the most recent period, with four components producing positive readings. Among other things, strength in a general measure of statewide business conditions, an uptick in national durable goods orders, higher St. Cloud metropolitan area residential building permits, and lower regional initial jobless claims helped lift the Central Minnesota planning area LEI higher in the second quarter.
There were 1,440 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Central Minnesota in the second quarter of 2017 — representing a 1 percent decrease from one year ago. There were 148 new regional business incorporations in the second quarter, a 9.2 percent reduction from year ago levels. New limited liability company (LLC) filings in Central Minnesota increased 9 percent relative to the second quarter of 2016. New assumed names totaled 376 over the recent quarter—a decrease of 17.9 percent compared to the same period in 2016. Current quarter new filings for Central Minnesota non-profit were 29.3 percent higher than one year ago.
Sixty-five percent of new business filers in the Central Minnesota planning area completed the voluntary Minnesota Business Snapshot (MBS) survey in this year’s second quarter. Results of this voluntary survey indicate that 4.2 percent of new filers come from communities of color. More than 7 percent of new filings were made by military veterans. About 1 percent of new filers come from the disability community and 3.7 percent of new filings were made by the immigrant community. Thirty-five percent of new business filings in Central Minnesota in this year’s second quarter were initiated by women. MBS results also show that most new business filers in Central Minnesota have between 0 and $10,000 in annual gross revenues (although 101 new filers have revenues in excess of $50,000). The most popular industries for new businesses in Central Minnesota are construction, retail trade, and other services. Employment levels at most new firms are between 0 and 5 workers, and 43 percent of those starting a new business consider this a part-time activity.
Central Minnesota employment was 1.8 percent higher in June 2017 than it was one year earlier and the June regional unemployment rate was 3.8%--much lower than one year ago. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were 16.6 percent lower in June than they were in the same month last year. The Central Minnesota labor force rose by 1.5 percent over the past year, but average weekly wages flattened out. Regional bankruptcies continue to decline.
MacDonald, Richard A. and Banaian, King, "Central Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Report - Second Quarter 2017" (2017). Central Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Report. 14.