Minnesota Business Community Lacks Confidence

The has released their 7th annual Minnesota Business Barometer Survey and to be honest, I am a bit shocked at the low level of confidence.

I would have that it would be a bit better, not great, but better than the numbers show:

  • 30% said the state’s economy was improving
  • Nearly the same number said
  • 20 % said they were more profitable than last year
  • 30 % said they were less profitable
  • Just over 40% said Minnesota was emerging more slowly than other states from the recession

There is some good long term news:

  • 79% said they were optimistic about Minnesota's economic future over the next 10 years
  • 18% said they were pessimistic

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The Great Recession: December 2007 To June Of 2009

Woo Hoo, is dead. Well, at least according to the experts who make the call.

A committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research has decided that it started in December of 2007 and ended June of 2009.

Click Business Cycle Dating Committee, National Bureau of Economic Research to see the full report and here is the introduction:

CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 - The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

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Anecdotal Analysis Of The Minnesota Job Market Q3 And Q4 2010

Over the past six weeks between Recruiter and HR events, meetings with senior management in companies of all sizes and industries, what I hear from job seekers and what I see from job postings here is an anecdotal analysis of the Minnesota job market as we end the 3rd quarter of 2010, ready???

I don’t have a (definitive) clue.

My Magic 8 Ball has a cracked lense and some moisture has gotten in there making it difficult to see the answer to my (all of our) question.

Yep, that’s what I have come up with.

Hold on here is some information you can use to come up with your opinion and do me a favor, tell me what you are seeing.

Please note that this is not scientific and specific to skill set, industry, education attained or salary range unless otherwise stated. But it does come from enough varied sources that I feel comfortable giving an opinion.

What I know I know:

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2010 U.S. And Minnesota IT Jobs See Increase In Q3 To Continue In Q4

While the Minnesota and U.S. IT employment did not get hit as hard as the 2001-2003 recession no doubt many jobs were lost.

Here in Minnesota we saw a noticeable tone change to the positive this spring, specifically March 2010. By noticeable I mean it went from “sucks” to “eh, the light at the end of the tunnel may not be a freight train coming at us after all.”

Yeah, it was that bad but we have seen a significant number of jobs posted and filled in Q2 and Q3 and expect this to continue into Q4.

I am talking about the IT job market in general, the aggregate. Certainly throughout the “Great Recession” we have seen pockets of strength:

  • .Net
  • Java
  • C++
  • PHP
  • Mobile
  • SharePoint

Many with those skill set had no idea that there were bad times going on.

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Minnesota Jobs And Employment Report: July 2010

It’s been a while since I blogged about jobs reports and with some mixed signals we are getting in the local and national economy it is time to start following them again.

Today the State of Minnesota (all states), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), released job numbers for July 2010.

9,800 jobs were created for the month. June numbers were revised up from -3,700 to -800.

The unemployment rate is at 6.8% unchanged from June.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.5%

40,900 jobs have been created since the beginning of 2010 and we are +29,100 over the past 12 months.

Job Gains - July (Year to Date):

5,500 (+14,200) Education and Health Care

4,300 (+11,100) Professional and Business Services

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Minneapolis Ranks #1 In Medical Device & Minnesota #6 In Quality Of Life

Business Facilities magazine (July/August 2010) ranks cities and states on a number of different categories.

We missed on a few I thought we should be on and a few we need to get better with so we can be ranked.

From the 2010 Business Facilities Rankings Report:
Metro Rankings

Top 10 Metro – Medical Devices and Equipment

#1 Minneapolis, Minnesota

#2 New Haven, Connecticut

#3 Salt Lake City, Utah

#4 San Jose, California

#5 Madison, Wisconsin

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Texas #1 In CNBC Top States For Doing Business 2010, Minnesota Ties for #8

CNBC has announced its America’s Top States For Doing Business 2010 with Texas finishing in first place.

Rounding out the Top 5:

#8 is tied with Utah.

Our neighbors:

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Minnesota Recruiters Hiring And Jobs Survey | Spring 2010

Minnesota Recruiters logo on white

Leading up to Minnesota Recruiters Conference 10 held April 30th, 2010 at Best Buy Headquarters I sent out a Survey Monkey link to gauge what hiring looked like during Q1 of 2010 along with expectations of Q2 and 2010 in general, what jobs and skill sets were most an least in demand and how Recruiters and HR professionals felt about their own job security.

This is not a scientific survey. The survey link was sent multiple times to the Minnesota Recruiters email list of 1900 Recruiter and HR professionals with a 10% response rate.

While not scientific the results do show what most in the Recruiter and HR community have been seeing and talking about over the past weeks and points of conversation during the conference.

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Do Unemployment Benefits Create Lazy Job Seekers?

A couple of weeks ago the San Francisco Federal Reserve released an Economic Letter (research paper) titled Extended Unemployment and UI Benefits and the Internet blew up. Not literally but close.

Let me get my personal view out of the way.

I believe that 95%+ of unemployed people want to work and are working hard to find a job. I do believe there are those who have no problem getting a check to stay at home. I base my number on the folks I see, hear from and do job search, LinkedIn and Social Media sessions with/for.

I see that most folks really do want to get back to work.

More than that (and this is me taking a shot at my conservative friends) we are not talking about a lot of money. Minimum wage or so. Do you really think that most people want to stay home for that?

Moving on…

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US Job Growth An Ongoing Concern

I still need to post a bunch of employment statistics from recent weeks and with this post am jumping ahead a bit.

This afternoon I had a long chat with a reporter who was curious about why my optimism about job growth was so low.

Sure it is likely we are out of the recession, corporate profits are up and some temporary hiring (a forward looking indicator) has started but we have a long, long way to go.

Here is a recent chart of job losses and duration by recession:

2008 2010 Recession Job Losses

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