Minnesota Chamber: State’s ‘Initial Recovery Is Underway’

Minnesota Chamber: State’s ‘Initial Recovery Is Underway’

A new dashboard paints a cautiously optimistic picture for Minnesota’s unemployment rate, among other economic indicators.

The U.S. economy may have experienced its worst GDP drop-off in the second quarter, but recent data suggest that Minnesota is in a better financial position than the country as a whole.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Chamber Foundation released a new dashboard that charts a host of economic indicators, such as unemployment, new business filings, and new job postings. In June, Minnesota’s unemployment rate sat at 8.5 percent, below the national average of 11.1 percent.

The dashboard doesn’t yet track Minnesota’s GDP ranking.

But it does show a year-over-year uptick in new business filings in June, which tracks with earlier data compiled by the Minnesota Secretary of State. According to Minnesota Chamber data, there were 6,530 filings for new businesses in June 2020 versus 5,880 for the same month in 2019.

Though national economic data paints a pretty grim picture, Minnesota Chamber officials maintain that the dashboard shows that Minnesota’s “initial recovery is underway.”

“While some counties like Cass, Itasca, and Lake (which rely heavily on hospitality), have been hit particularly hard, the state’s overall unemployment rate remains well below the U.S. rate of 11.1 percent,” wrote director of economic research Sean O’Neil in a data summary. “Minnesota’s diverse economy and concentration of jobs in sectors relatively less impacted by COVID-19 are likely a contributing factor.”

The chamber data also show a decline in bankruptcy filings in 2020. While the number of filings was roughly the same in March 2020 and March 2019, it began to decline afterwards this year. In April 2019, for instance, there were 954 bankruptcy filings versus 683 in April 2020.