Minnesota Index dipped for the fourth straight month in April slipping to 137.9. The index peaked last December at 138.4. Despite wage and salary employment recording its largest monthly gain of the year and average weekly manufacturing hours jumping the index still retreated as the unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage points for the fourth straight month. The Minnesota index declined by 0.1 percent while the U.S. index increased 0.3 percent in April.
April reading was up over-the-year 1.6 percent for Minnesota and 3.1 percent for the U.S. The over-the-year gap between the two indexes implies that over the last 12 months the U.S. economy has been expanding twice as fast as Minnesota’s economy. Minnesota’s index is down 0.4 percent since last December. Kansas, Hawaii, and Michigan are the only other states to show a drop in their indexes since last December. Minnesota’s economy has slowed noticeably over the last six months. Whether the slowdown is related to labor shortages or other forces remains open to debate.