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Research Study

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Steady economic growth in Northeast Minnesota is expected over the next several months according to the predictions of the Northeast Minnesota Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). Four of the five components of the LEI increased as the overall index rose 0.68 points in the second quarter. An improvement in a general measure of statewide business conditions, a rise in a supply managers’ survey, lower initial jobless claims in the region, and increased new filings of incorporation all helped lift this quarter’s index.

There were 681 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in Northeast Minnesota in the second quarter of 2017 — representing an 11.8 percent increase from one year earlier. Fifty-eight new regional business incorporations were filed in the second quarter—11.8 percent more than in the same period of 2016. New limited liability company (LLC) filings in Northeast Minnesota rose 29.8 percent to a level of 392. New assumed name filings fell 12.1 percent and there were two fewer non-profits filings compared to one year earlier.

Sixty-four percent of new business filers in the Northeast Minnesota planning area completed the voluntary Minnesota Business Snapshot (MBS) survey in this year’s second quarter. Results of this voluntary survey indicate that 4.1 percent of new filers come from communities of color, while nearly 9 percent of new filings come from veterans. Over 4.5 percent of new filers come from the disability community and less than 1 percent of new filings are made by the immigrant community. Forty-three percent of new business filings in Northeast Minnesota in this year’s second quarter were initiated by women. MBS results also show that most new business filers in Northeast Minnesota have between 0 and $10,000 in annual gross revenues (although 42 new filers have revenues in excess of $50,000). The most popular industries for new businesses in Northeast Minnesota are construction, retail trade, other services, real estate/rental/leasing, professional/scientific/technical and arts/entertainment/recreation. Employment levels at most new firms are between 0 and 5 workers, and more than half of those starting a new business consider this a part-time activity.

Northeast Minnesota employment was 1.2 percent higher than year ago levels in June. The regional unemployment rate was 5.2% (considerably lower than one year ago) and the labor force rose by 0.2% from one year earlier. June 2017 initial claims for unemployment insurance were nearly 11.3 percent lower than the same month last year but the region’s average weekly wages flattened out. Annual bankruptcies in Northeast Minnesota continue to fall.



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