Steady economic growth is expected over the next several months in the Twin Cities according to the prediction of the St. Cloud State University Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). The Twin Cities LEI rose 2.54 points in the second quarter after a strong reading in the previous quarter. Three of five index components increased in the second quarter. Lower initial claims for unemployment insurance in the region had a favorable impact on this quarter’s LEI. Strength in the Minnesota Business Conditions Index--a general measure of statewide business conditions—also had a positive effect on the index. Increased new filings of business incorporation and LLC also helped lift the Twin Cities LEI.
There were 10,835 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the second quarter of 2017—representing a 6.4 percent increase from one year ago. There were 1,475 new regional business incorporations in the second quarter, 0.9 percent fewer than year ago levels. Second quarter new LLC filings rose to 6,975 in the seven-county metro area—an 11.6 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2016. New assumed names were 2.5 percent lower in the second quarter and there were 12 fewer new non-profit filings in the Twin Cities than one year ago.
Sixty percent of new business filers in the Twin Cities planning area completed the voluntary Minnesota Business Snapshot (MBS) survey in this year’s second quarter. Results of this voluntary survey indicate that almost 13 percent of new filers come from communities of color. Nearly 5 percent of new filings are veterans. About 2 percent of new filers come from the disability community and more than 8 percent of new filings are made by the immigrant community. Thirty-four percent of new business filings in the Twin Cities planning area in this year’s second quarter were initiated by women. MBS results also show that most new business filers in the Twin Cities have between 0 and $10,000 in annual gross revenues (although 652 new filers have revenues in excess of $50,000). The most popular industries for new businesses in the Twin Cities are construction, retail trade, real estate/rental/leasing, professional/scientific/technical, arts/entertainment/recreation, 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.
Twin Cities planning area employment increased by 2.7 percent over the year ending June 2017. At 3.5 percent, the planning area’s unemployment rate was lower than one year earlier. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were lower than year ago levels, falling by 7.1 percent to 6,867. Average weekly wages in the Twin Cities were lower than one year ago, although average weekly work hours and average hourly earnings rose for private sector workers in the 16-county Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA over the year ending June 2017. The planning area labor force increased by 2.5 percent over the year ending June 2017. Annual bankruptcies started to rise in the Twin Cities over the past twelve months. The relative cost of living in both Minneapolis and St. Paul increased.
MacDonald, Richard A. and Banaian, King, "Twin Cities Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Report - Second Quarter 2017" (2017). Twin Cities Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Report. 14.