Minnesota's unemployment rate last month hit the highest level in more than four years.
A string of layoffs by Twin Cities companies like 3M, ADC Telecommunications, and a host of smaller firms tell the tale - the job market in Minnesota is softening. Claims for unemployent insurance in Minnesota through most of April soared by 67 percent, compared to the same period last year. And though unemployment remains low, state officials expect it to rise. People looking for a new job will tell you it's harder than they expected.
The economic slowdown is taking a toll on Minnesota's job market. Unemployment remains low, but layoffs and jobless claims are soaring and job growth has shrunk by half. The spate of job cuts is also raising concerns about Gov. Jesse Ventura's goal of cutting state funding for a program to help laid-off workers.
Spring is proxy season, when publicly-traded corporations have to reveal what they pay their top brass. Pay packages for CEOs skyrocketed over the 1990s, surpassing gains in corporate profits and the S&P 500. This spring, with investors nursing their wounds from a punishing drop in stocks, CEOs are taking more heat from shareholders over huge pay packages. And some Minnesota companies are in the crosshairs.
A key lawmaker says he plans to hold a hearing on spending by Allina Health System. Sen. Doug Johnson contends that lucrative consultant contracts, expensive golf and resort outings, basketball tickets and other expenses are driving up health care premiums.
Gov. Jesse Ventura stumped for his budget at a meeting of the state's largest business group, and got a more friendly reception than some other business interests have offered recently.
A new state survey finds that job openings outnumbered the unemployed in Minnesota by about 2-1 at the end of 2000.
Northwest Airlines' departing CEO and President John Dasburg says he's leaving the airline after more than a decade because a number of important personal and professional factors came together. In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Dasburg also outlined his conviction that Northwest does not have to merge with another carrier to thrive in a consolidating industry.
Airline industry analysts say they don't expect major changes in the direction of Northwest Airlines. The Twin Cities-based carrier announced Monday that Chief Operating Officer Richard Anderson will replace CEO John Dasburg, who is leaving to head Burger King. Northwest said Chief Corporate Officer Doug Steenland will take the title of president previously held by Dasburg. Anderson and Steenland have been deeply involved in Northwest's response to labor conflict and airline industry consolidation.
Despite the abrupt national economic slowdown, Minnesotans remain fairly upbeat about their personal circumstances. A Minnesota Public Radio and St. Paul Pioneer Press poll indicates more than 80 percent of state residents feel their household financial situation will be the same or better a year from now.
The National Mediation Board has broken off talks between Northwest Airlines and its mechanics union. Contract negotiations that have spanned more than four years are again in limbo, suggesting an agreement between the airline and a powerful labor group remains far off.
How big is your holiday gift budget? A retail industry group expects consumers to spend about six-percent more than last year. But the U.S. economy and retail sales are slowing.
Minneapolis has gained the headquarters of a top-10 national bank. U.S. Bancorp, the largest remaining locally-based financial-services institution, has agreed to be acquired by Milwaukee-based Firstar. The deal also unites Jack and Jerry Grundhofer, the brothers, who have run the two banks separately.
A U of M summit on the economy occurs in the midst of a vigorous debate about whether Minnesota is thriving or falling behind.
The University of Minnesota is launching an effort to commercialize promising University technologies by bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and academia. Amid worries that Minnesota has fallen behind in the high-tech, information-based economy, many observers say the University must play a central role in keeping Minnesota competitive.