Twin Cities business conditions are expected to remain solid over the next several months according to a variety of economic indicators. Despite a small decline in the Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) in the third quarter, the LEI is well above its 2013 level. Improvements in single-family building permits and a decline in initial jobless claims have had a positive impact on this quarter’s LEI, while recent weakness in both new business formation and in a general measure of statewide business conditions has had a negative influence on the index. The Twin Cities LEI fell by 0.92 points in the third quarter but remains 6.1 percent higher than it was last year.
There were 9,223 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the third quarter of 2014—representing a 2.0 percent decline from one year ago. There were 1,394 new regional business incorporations in the third quarter, a 1.3 percent decrease over year ago levels. Over the past 12 months, new LLC filings in the seven-county metro area declined by 0.9 percent—falling to 5,517 in the third quarter of 2014. New assumed names totaled 1,938 in this year’s third quarter—a reduction of 4.2 percent from the third quarter of 2013. There were 374 new filings for non-profits in the Twin Cities in the third quarter of 2014, or 7.9 percent fewer filings than one year earlier.
Twin Cities employment increased by 1.8 percent over the year ending September 2014. The regional unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in September, an improvement on its 4.6 percent reading one year ago. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were well below year ago levels, falling by 24.5 percent to 7,212 in October. Job vacancies have increased in the Twin Cities. There are now 68.74 vacancies for every 100 unemployed in the seven-county metro. The labor force continues to expand in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Over the past year, the Twin Cities labor force increased by 12,461 to a total of 1,640,788 (which represents approximately 55 percent of the state’s work force).
MacDonald, Richard A. and Banaian, King, "Twin Cities Area Economic and Business Conditions Report - Third Quarter 2014" (2015). Twin Cities Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Report. 3.