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Research & Analysis

Economic Analysis produces objective research and analysis on a broad range of topics related to Minnesota's economy and budget. We provide accurate and timely assistance to decision-makers, the media, and citizens in locating and understanding the latest economic, demographic, and fiscal trends. Click through the tabs below to learn more about our work.

Budget Reserve

In 2008, as part of analyses prepared for the State Budget Trends Study Commission, economists at Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) examined the volatility of Minnesota’s tax structure. This research provides an empirical basis for estimating the appropriate size for the state’s budget reserve, an important risk management tool available to state financial managers to reduce disruptions in state services caused by the short term volatility inherent in cyclically sensitive tax revenue streams.

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Latest: January 2014 Budget Reserve Report

January 15, 2014

>>  Read Complete Document (pdf)   

To adequately manage the volatility underlying Minnesota’s general fund tax structure, Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) recommends a budget reserve policy of 4.9 percent of the current biennium’s general fund non-dedicated revenues, or a reserve account of $1.925 billion for the current 2014-15 biennium.

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By comparison, the state’s current budget reserve and cash flow accounts total $1.011 billion, or 2.6 percent of non-dedicated revenues in the FY2014-15 biennium. That places Minnesota’s formal budget reserve policy well below MMB’s recommendation for an appropriate size reserve and what rating agencies believe to be consistent with sound financial practice. MMB will continue to periodically evaluate the adequacy of the Minnesota’s budget reserve based on any changes to the state’s tax base or mix of taxes.

Related Publications

>>  Methodology Paper (Coming Soon)

>>  January 2013 Budget Reserve Report (pdf)

>>  January 2012 Budget Reserve Report (pdf)

>>  2009 Budget Trends Study Commission Report (pdf)

>>  Forecasts & Updates Library

Publications & Presentations

Coming Soon.

Economic Indicators

Economic indicators provide key insight into the performance of Minnesota's economy. Prior to the production of each Budget & Economic Forecast we examine a variety of state and national economic indicators. The following links provide access to the latest data available for many of the important factors we consider.

Employment  
Data Tool Description Source Link
Current Employment
Statistics (CES)
Program develops monthly survey estimates of total non-farm employment by industry, as well as average weekly hours and average hourly/weekly wages earned in various industries for national, state and local areas by place of work. Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Quarterly Census of
Employment & Wages
(QCEW)
Program compiles employment and wage statistics from a quarterly census of employers covered under the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program, which includes about 97 percent of Minnesota employment. Data are available by industry, ownership type, and national, state and local area. Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Job Vacancy Survey (JVS) Program develops semi-annual survey data on hiring demand and job vacancy characteristics. Data are available by industry and occupation as well as by state and sub-state regions.  Minnesota
Data

Source: MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) Program develops monthly survey estimates of job openings and labor turnover, including job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations, for national and census regions. Regional & National
Data

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Occupational
Employment Statistics
(OES) Survey
Program develops semi-annual survey estimates of employment and wages for about 800 occupation classifications. Comparable statistics are available by national, state, Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and sub-state regions. Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Unemployment & Labor Force  
Data Tool Description Source Link
Local Area
Unemployment
Statistics (LAUS)
Program develops monthly survey estimates of labor force, employment, unemployment, and unemployment rates for national, state and local areas by place of residence.  Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Statistics Program provides demographic statistics on people filing initial and continuing claims for unemployment insurance benefits, including information on the occupation, industry, education level, race, sex and region of claimants. Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: MN Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)
Income & Output  
Data Tool Description Source Link
State & Local Area Personal Income Program compiles data on the personal income received by all persons, or on behalf of all persons, who live in Minnesota (by place of residence) and is measured before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes. Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by State Program compiles data on GDP by state, which is the state counterpart of the Nation's gross domestic product (GDP), the most featured and comprehensive measure of economic activity. GDP by state is derived as the sum of the GDP originating in all the industries in a state. Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Beige Book Report published by the Federal Reserve which gathers and summarizes anecdotal information on current economic conditions by District and sector.  Regional
Data

Source: Federal Reserve Bank 
Demographics & Housing  
Data Tool Description Source Link
State Population Estimates Program produces annual estimates of the population for the United States, its states, and local areas. Demographic components of population change (births, deaths, and migration) and housing unit estimates are also produced.  Minnesota
Data
National
Data
Source: U.S. Census Bureau & Minnesota State Demographic Center
American Community
Survey (ACS)
Program compiles annual survey estimates of demographic, housing, social, and economic information for all states and local areas with population groups of 65,000 people or more.  Minnesota
& National
Data

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
Building Permits Survey Program compiles data on the on the number of new housing units authorized by building permits. Data are available monthly, year-to-date, and annually at the national, state, and selected metropolitan area levels. Minnesota
& National
Data

Source: U.S. Census Bureau 
Inflation, Prices, and Productivity  
Data Tool Description Source Link
Consumer Price Index (CPI) Program produces monthly data on the average change in the prices paid for goods and services by households. Consumer price indexes are available by spending item for the U.S., the four Census regions, and some local areas. Regional & National
Data
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Producer Price Index (PPI) Program produces monthly data on the average change in the selling prices for goods, services, and construction received by domestic producers. Producer price indexes are available by industry for the U.S. National
Data
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Employment Cost Trends  Program produces quarterly indexes measuring the change in labor costs (Employment Cost Index - ECI) and quarterly data measuring level of average costs per hour worked (Employer Costs for Employee Compensation - ECEC). Employment costs data are available by compensation type as well as industry and occupation characteristic for the U.S. National
Data
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Labor Productivity and Costs Program produces quarterly and annual measures of labor productivity and costs (LPC) measures for sectors of the U.S. economy. Output per hour and unit labor costs are available for major sectors (U.S. business, non-farm business, manufacturing sectors) and by industry. National
Data
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Tax Revenue & Budget  
Data Tool Description Source Link
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Produces independent (nonpartisan) analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. National
Data
Source: Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Statistics Provides a wide range of data that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system. National
Data
Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Minnesota Dept. of Revenue Research & Statistics Provides a wide range of data, reports, and analysis that describe and measure elements of Minnesota's tax system. Minnesota
Data
Source: Minnesota Department of Revenue