State economist: Stimulus package welcome reliefby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minn. state economist Tom Stinson said the president's proposed stimulus package will be welcome relief for the state's economy.
Stinson said the housing market slump and the high rate of home foreclosures in the state have also hurt the job market. He said job growth likely won't pick up until the construction industry does.
"We look for the construction industry nationally to turn around end of next summer maybe or early fall but in Minnesota given the weather situation it would make sense that people would delay starting up until February or march 2009, so you're going to have that drag," said Stinson.
President Bush on Friday called for about $150 billion worth of tax relief to stimulate the U.S. economy. Congress is also working on a broader measure that could include increases in unemployment insurance and food stamps.
Lawmakers are considering tax breaks for businesses investing in new equipment and a $500 rebate for individuals.
Details for couples and people with children are still being negotiated.