Minnesota has lost nearly 52,000 high-paying factory jobs since 2000. The manufacturing sector was one of the bright spots in Minnesota's economy during the 1990s, but has hemorrhaged jobs since the recession.
Minnesota's economy added 8,500 jobs in October -- the biggest gain since February, 2000. The state's jobless rate held steady at 4.6 percent, as layoffs continue at a high rate, and as more people enter the workforce to begin a job search. Even so, state officials calls the job gains impressive.
University of Minnesota officials say they're surprised the U's largest union has gone on strike. Clerical workers represented by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 3800 began a second day of picketing Wednesday. Labor relations experts say the strike reflects the financial squeeze that a tough economy and rising health costs are putting on workers and employers alike.
Executives from Minnesota's manufacturing industry gave Gov. Tim Pawlenty their wish list for state government during three separate roundtable discussions. The governor was looking for ideas on how to shore up an important part of Minnesota's economy. The high-paying sector has lost nearly 48,000 jobs since the start of the recession in 2001.
A federal judge has given control of the Mall
of America to the family that developed it, and ordered Simon
Property Group to turn over a share of its profits from the past
four years from one of the nation's most prized retail properties.
Roseville police officials continue their investigation of Sunday's fatal crash and multiple collisions involving an 88-year-old driver. Two people are dead. Three more were treated at a Saint Paul hospital, including the driver. The Roseville crashes are prompting calls to evaluate increased testing of elderly drivers in Minnesota.
Since the recession began, Minnesota has lost more than 67,000 jobs. The layoffs come in a variety of sizes -- some wipe out hundreds of jobs, others just a handful. In many cases, those left behind have to do the same or more work with less--less help and tighter budgets.
An audit of Xcel Energy says a small number of employees recorded inaccurate information that resulted in unreliable reporting of power outages. State regulators commissioned the audit last fall. The decision to examine Xcel's records followed accusations that the company falsified the length of power outages so it would to meet state-ordered reliability standards. Xcel says it has found instances where company documentation procedures were not followed consistently.
Officials at a small Twin Cities museum hope to reopen in August, after the events of Sept. 11, 2001 forced them to close temporarily. The Minnesota Air Guard Museum had to return its hangars and exhibition space to the Air Force. Our next edition of The Enthusiasts features volunteer Ray Peterson, who has devoted thousands of hours to the museum over nearly 20 years. The museum's displays feature the Minnesota Air National Guard's history, aircraft, and a rare Blackbird spy plane.
Seventy-five years ago, Golden Valley-based General Mills formally came into being. Over the next several months, the company is celebrating three quarters of a century on the New York Stock Exchange. General Mills' Minneapolis roots actually date back to just after the Civil War. Over the years, the company has produced enduring brand names like Betty Crocker, Wheaties and Cheerios. And General Mills has produced a lot of things that have nothing to do with food, including toys, golf shoes, and even a small submarine.
Grocery shoppers are sampling the changes Roundy's has made to 30 Twin Cities Rainbow Foods stores. Earlier this month, Wisconsin-based Roundy's acquired the stores from Fleming Companies in a bankruptcy auction. Roundy's is taking on a market where the competition is expected to keep getting tougher.
Although, Minnesota's job market has been engulfed in gloom for more than two years, we found a bright spot. Demand for people who can repair high-end mechanical watches is high, and graduates of a small watchmaking program in St. Paul tell job-hunting stories that would make a dot-comer nostalgic.
As the spring and summer storm season approaches, the number of Minnesotans who have lost their homeowners insurance has soared, along with premiums. More state residents have to rely on a safety-net insurance program created by the state.
State regulators blasted Xcel energy officials over an auditor's preliminary conclusion that the company's outage reporting system is 'corrupt.' The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission also expressed concern that employees of the Minneapolis based utility are reluctant to speak to the auditors, for fear of reprisal. The PUC voted to continue the investigation and required Xcel to encourage employees to come forward.
In selling his no-tax-increase budget plan, Gov. Tim Pawlenty often points out that Minnesota's tax burden is higher than other states in the region. But despite the higher taxes, Minnesota also has been more prosperous than those states. Some experts say Minnesota's use of tax dollars has strengthened the state's economy. Others question whether that's still the case.