Job growth figures in Minnesota have caused wide spread concern. Maybe caution is a better word. This article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press has a good take from both sides.
As I have said many times on this blog, I am a glass half full kind of guy. 3.9% unemployment? I remember when anything under 5.0% was considered “full employment”. I grant that if your one of those without a job or with a low paying job that this is bad news. We must continue putting people to work and increase skill levels to get folks into higher paying jobs.
Which gets me to the Minneapolis Fed release of its 2006 economic forecast. Two quotes from the release:
The economy in the Ninth Federal Reserve District is expected to continue expanding in 2006, despite concerns about higher energy and materials prices, and a likely slowing in home building and residential real estate. The Ninth District includes Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The outlook for labor markets in 2006 is positive, reflecting expectations for increased economic growth… While a majority of respondents to the poll expect to increase employment at their companies, many are beginning to indicate difficulty finding qualified workers.
Once again we have language regarding the difficulty in finding skilled/qualified workers.
Looks like we need to do a better skills and job retraining.