Rybak says city's economy is strongby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the city's economy is strong, despite the declining health of the national economy.
Rybak made his proclamation this morning during his annual state of the city address.
The Mayor said average wages are up three percent over last year, and he mentioned that downtown office vacancy is at 14 percent, one percent lower than last year.
Rybak gave a lot of credit for the city's gains to the presence of Minneapolis-based medical technology companies and health care providers. He said these industries employ 12 percent of the city's workforce.
"The total investments made in Minneapolis by our health care institutions last year, Allina, Abbot Northwestern, Fairview University, Hennepin County Medical, Coloplast and Children's totalled nearly one billion dollars," Rybak said.
Rybak said violent crime is down, but crime is still a challenge for many parts of the city.
He also said low graduation rates among students of color is a serious problem.