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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 a rise in new filings for business incorporations and limited liability companies (LLC) in the Twin Cities. Improvement in two general measures of statewide business conditions also contributed positively to the Twin Cities outlook. Lower initial jobless claims further enhanced projected economic growth in the seven-county metro area. The Twin Cities index increased 5.38 points in the second quarter and is now 13.3 percent higher than one year ago.

There were 10,137 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the second quarter of 2014 — representing a 2.5 percent increase from one year ago. There were 1,449 new regional business incorporations in the first quarter, a 1.5 percent increase over year ago levels. Over the past 12 months, new LLC filings in the seven-county metro area increased by 8.0 percent — rising to 6,146 in the second quarter of 2014. New assumed names totaled 2,145 in this year’s second quarter — a reduction of 11.1 percent from the second quarter of 2013. There were 397 new filings for non-profits in the Twin Cities in the second quarter of 2014, an 11.8 percent increase from one year earlier.

Twin Cities employment increased by 1.8 percent over the year ending June 2014. The regional unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in June, an improvement on its 5.2 percent reading one year ago. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were well below year ago levels, falling by 8.2 percent to 8,107 in June. The average weekly wage in the Twin Cities fell slightly over the last year to $1,103. Despite this, metro wages are much higher than in any of Minnesota’s other planning areas. The labor force continues to expand in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. At 1,657,577, the Twin Cities labor force accounts for nearly 55 percent of the state’s work force.



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