The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is starting to pay dividends.
Like a lot of industries these days, the trucking and transportation sector is thinking about its future workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the United States is 55. Who exactly is going to fill those and other driving jobs when baby boomers start turning in their ignition keys in the next few years?
Minnesota employment rebounded with solid growth in March after a slow start to the year that might have been related to the state’s worst winter in three decades.
With the recovery in full swing, Minnesotans are heading off to work each day in record numbers. Minnesota’s nonfarm wage and salary employment reached a record high last year and was just 5,200 workers short of crossing the 3 million mark in February.
There are many ways to measure the economic success of a state, from looking at the unemployment rate to tracking job creation and measuring the value of goods and services produced. Another indicator is the number of business expansions over the past year. If 2013 is any indication, then Minnesota’s economy is on a hot streak.
Minnesota knows water, and not just because it has 10,000 lakes.
Some of the leading water technology companies in the country have operations in Minnesota, including Ecolab, 3M, GE, Pentair and Aeration Industries. More than 15,500 people work in the Minnesota water sector, and the state ranks among the top 10 exporters of water and water technology in the United States, producing foreign sales of $729 million in 2012.
Minnesota exports came on strong late last year, growing at their fastest quarterly rate in more than two years.
Kathleen Motzenbecker, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, said this morning that state exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew to $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. U.S. export growth during that period was 4 percent.
Despite one of the coldest Januaries in recent memory, Minnesota employers continued to add jobs during the month.
DEED released figures this morning that showed the state gained 600 jobs in January – the sixth consecutive month of job growth in Minnesota. Total employment in the state is now over 2.8 million for the first time in history.