The Minnesota Index advanced for the 51st straight month in December but the rate of growth has slowed over the last few months. The index advanced 0.1 percent for the third straight month in December after averaging 0.2 percent advancement during the summer. The U.S index jumped 0.3 percent for the third straight month. Minnesota’s index has trailed the U.S. index for the last four months. Minnesota employment increased in December along with average weekly manufacturing hours but the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged slowing the index.
Minnesota’s index in December was 2.5 higher than a year ago while the U.S. index was 3.1 percent higher than 12 months ago. The 2.5 percent increase was the lowest over-the-year increase since December 2010. The index will be revised when employment data is revised in March so the slowdown in the index may be revised away like last year. Most other indicators are not pointing towards a slowdown in Minnesota. The index was up 2.9 percent on annual average basis in 2013.
See the feature article from the Minnesota Employment Review, May 2010, for more information on the Minnesota Index.