More MN Businesses Look to Hire, Invest this Quarter

Twin Cities Business' Quarterly Economic Indicator survey found that, compared to the previous quarter, more Minnesota businesses expect to hire, invest in infrastructure, and raise prices during the first quarter of 2012.

Business leaders in Minnesota are twice as optimistic about the economy today as they were three months ago, according to a quarterly Twin Cities Business survey to which 774 businesses responded.

Some 40 percent of respondents expect economic conditions in Minnesota to improve in the first quarter ending March 31, up from only 20 percent who were optimistic that activity would pick up during the fourth quarter of 2011. One-third of respondents expect global business conditions to improve this quarter-again, nearly twice as many as those who three months earlier believed the global economy would improve.

Such optimism is stimulating hiring. The Twin Cities Business survey found that 37 percent of businesses that responded plan to add to their full-time employment levels this quarter-up from 29 percent that planned to increase headcount during the last quarter of 2011. Yet finding qualified talent is expected to be harder, according to 26 percent of respondents-up from 21 percent who believed finding qualified employees in Minnesota would be difficult during the fourth quarter.

One-quarter of businesses that responded plan to raise prices, representing a 32 percent increase from those who planned to do so in the fourth quarter of 2011. Additional information from the survey-including a list of Minnesota industries most actively hiring this quarter-can be found in February's edition of Twin Cities Business, online at, and in print at select newsstands.

Twin Cities Business conducts this independent survey quarterly to provide a look at business planning and sentiment among leaders across all industries in Minnesota. It is the only survey of its kind in Minnesota.