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Research Study

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Twin Cities business conditions are expected to pick up over the next several months according to the predictions of the St. Cloud State University (SCSU) Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators. The leading economic indicator index (LEI) was lifted by an increase in new filings for business incorporations and limited liability companies (LLC) in the Twin Cities. An improvement in a general measure of statewide business conditions also contributed positively to the Twin Cities outlook. Despite poor winter weather, the value of residential building permits expanded in the Twin Cities metro, further lifting the outlook for the regional economy. The Twin Cities index is now 4.9 percent higher than one year ago.

There were 10,406 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the first quarter of 2014 — representing a 0.7 percent increase from one year ago. There were 1,594 new regional business incorporations in the first quarter, a 3 percent increase over year-ago levels. Over the past 12 months, new LLC filings in the seven-county metro area increased by 3.4 percent — rising to 6,106 in the first quarter of 2014. New assumed names totaled 2,270 in this year’s first quarter — a reduction of 8.5 percent from the first quarter of 2013. There were 436 new filings for non-profits in the Twin Cities in the first quarter of 2014, an 8.7 percent increase from one year earlier.

Twin Cities employment increased by 1.4 percent over the year ending March 2014. The regional unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in March, an improvement on its 5.1 percent reading one year ago. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were slightly elevated from one year ago, though down from late 2013. This number has trended down consistently since 2010. Job vacancies continue to rise in the Twin Cities. There is now nearly one vacancy for every two people unemployed in this region. The labor force continues to expand in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, particularly when compared to Greater Minnesota.



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