Posted at 4:04 PM on March 8, 2011
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Jobs & unemployment
We are terrible prognosticators here at MinnEcon. Last fall, we convinced Ms. MinnEcon to give up her seat for the first round of the playoffs to a friend from New York, arguing there'd be plenty of other playoff games to attend once the Twins beat the Yankees.
We don't guess well. But we do trust in the stories and insights of Minnesotans on the economy. Pretty much each month the past two years we've asked Minnesotans to tell us what their household economy looks like in the month ahead.
Your responses have helped us find stories we wouldn't have seen otherwise.
So give us a heads-up on the coming month and tell us: How's April looking for you?
In late January, we asked Minnesotans in MPR's Public Insight Network what February looked like for them and we started getting responses showing some optimism creeping back, especially on the question, "Does the recession feel like it's over in your home?"
It's not scientific but it reflects a basic reality: The people who feel like the recession's over are people who have jobs. The people who can't see the end of the recession are those without jobs or who can't find full time work.
It's something we wrote about Monday -- the wide, persistent gap in Minnesota and across the country between the "traditional" unemployment rate and the much broader measure that includes people who are working part-time but want full time as well as "discouraged workers" -- people who've stopped looking but who would take a job if they could find one.
About one in 7 working age Minnesotans are in that boat, roughly twice the traditional jobless rate.
Tell us your current financial outlook and if you expect things to improve. Think you'll save more or spend more than in the prior month? If you're employed, are you seeing at your job that tells you something about where the economy's headed?
Post below or contact us directly at MinnEcon and share a story.
We'll write a post, or two, later this month from the responses we get. Every response makes us smarter about the economy.