Minnesota had the fifth fastest growing economy in 2012. Currently, Minnesota is experiencing healthy growth – creating new jobs for Minnesotans and new opportunities for businesses. In 2012, Minnesota’s gross domestic product grew by 3.5 percent – 1 percent higher than the national average.
As a state, Minnesota has one of the country's lowest unemployment rates too. And the Twin Cities, the state's major economic engine, had the second-lowest unemployment rate among major U.S. metropolitan areas during April.
While these improvements are indicators Minnesota’s economy is moving in the right direction. Gov. Mark Dayton has continued to push new initiatives designed to help create good jobs for Minnesotans.
To help create jobs for Minnesotans, Gov. Dayton and the legislature provided new funding for the Minnesota Investment Fund and the Job Creation Fund, which provide loans and grants to businesses that create new jobs for Minnesotans.
Gov. Dayton also successfully advocated for tax law changes that will help businesses expand and create new jobs. Right now, when businesses invest in new capital equipment, they pay sales tax and get reimbursed later. Beginning 2016 under the simplified law, businesses simply will receive an upfront tax exemption on these purchases.
Though Minnesota’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country, Gov. Dayton’s budget still provides new resources to help Minnesotans struggling to find work.
One example is the Joint Skills Partnership, which works with businesses and schools to train or retrain workers. The program already is making a difference. From 2008 to 2010, the Job Skills Partnership helped 4,360 Minnesotans develop the skills they needed for good jobs – 80 percent of whom were unemployed prior to starting the program.
FastTRAC is another program helping Minnesotans who need new skills to find work. The program brings together colleges and universities, employers, and other partners to help non-traditional learners quickly obtain postsecondary credentials needed for high demand occupations. Many of the students are developing skills for fast growing fields like advanced manufacturing and health care.
Simplifying the state’s tax system and increasing support for job creation programs will help us ensure that all Minnesotans can find good paying employment opportunities.