What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz

Opening Belz, Aug. 13

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: August 13, 2014 - 10:16 AM

U.S. corn, soybeans record will set record – Des Moines Register
Stanford researchers say fracking occurring in drinking water – LA Times
A wonky look at gentrification “threshholds” in Chicago – Chicago Magazine
Colorado tax receipts from legal pot are 60% below projections – Denver Post
Oil refiners more dependent on pipelines, less on tankers – Houston Chronicle
Once a lunch lady, now head of the National Education Association – Washington Post
Ruling to protect bats will halt summer logging, industry says –Timberjay
The Journal’s editorial board weighs in on Medtronic and tax inversions – WSJ
BPI to reopen Kansas plant that makes pink slime lean finely-textured beef – Sioux City Journal
Jeff Johnson wins GOP nomination to challenge Dayton for governor – StarTribune
Banks retreat from crucial repo market, worrying the Fed – WSJ

Report: Post-recession, jobs don't pay what they used to

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: August 12, 2014 - 12:42 PM

In general, the jobs lost in the recession paid better than the jobs that have been created in the recovery and economic expansion since.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a report saying as much on Monday. It's not exactly news, but it's another confirmation of, as John Schmid at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel puts it, "why the recovery lacks the feel-good quality of previous rebounds."

Schmid did a yeoman's job distilling and summarizing the findings:

...the average annual wage of jobs lost in 2008-'09 was $61,637, while the average wage of jobs gained through the second quarter of 2014 equaled $47,171.

The pre-recession/post-recession wage gap of 23% goes a long way toward explaining why the recovery lacks the feel-good quality of previous rebounds. The disparity implies that national income collectively fell by $93 billion, according to the study.

The crux of the issue is that manufacturing and construction lost a lot of jobs in the recession, but hotels, restaurants, retail and health care have been doing much of the hiring in the recovery. This chart from the report pretty much tells the story:

One other thing worth mentioning. Look at the average annual wages for professional, scientific and technical jobs. The pay is better than any of the other employment sectors listed, and it's one of the top five gainers in the past six years.

This is true in Minnesota too, where Minneapolis has had a professional jobs boom, and signals that there's still a premium for skill in the U.S. job market. However, more than any other sector, the bullish wage trend for professional jobs highlights the growing gap between skilled workers and those with lesser skills.

Opening Belz, Aug. 12

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: August 12, 2014 - 9:53 AM

Grain shipments still behind in Upper Midwest rail system – StarTribune
Wages have yet to recover from recession, study shows – Journal Sentinel
High rents are not likely to fade soon, Cleveland Fed says – WSJ
Saudis are inching toward shale exploration of their own – Arab News
FICO recalibrates credit scoring, could help consumers – StarTribune
A little collection from John Brooks, Bill Gates’ favorite business writer – New Yorker
Sue: The curse of the $8 million T-rex at the Field Museum – Telegraph
Surfing on the Great Lakes has its own culture – Northwest Michigan Second Wave
The Men in Blazers, Rog and Davo, are headed to NBC Sports – WSJ

Opening Belz, Aug. 11

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: August 11, 2014 - 8:58 AM

In U.S. oil boom, Alaska is the unlikely loser – WSJ
There were only 2 foreclosures in April in Benton County – St. Cloud Times
Is Apple losing its creative mojo? Not so fast – Harvard Business Review
Getting a mortgage is becoming a lot easier – StarTribune
Driverless military vehicles are a real possibility – Journal Sentinel
Schafer: “Benefit corporations” kick in by January, but many Cs are already Bs – StarTribune
These punk archaeologists explain why they dug up the Atari landfill – Atlantic
How technology is changing prostitution – Economist
New Sprint CEO takes reins today in Kansas City – KC Star
Researchers invent a way to stabilize time-lapse GoPro videos – Microsoft

Opening Belz, Aug. 8

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: August 8, 2014 - 9:09 AM

Iraq in crisis. ISIS routs Kurds, Maliki reluctant to step down – NY Times
Global chaos cuts Cargill’s annual profit 19 percent – StarTribune
They’re saying the polar vortex caused a baby boomlet in Pittsburgh – Post-Gazette
Cliffs says Highway 53 over Thunderbird Mine must move – Duluth News Tribune
Environmental disaster after basin bursts at copper mine in British Columbia – Global News
Russian food import ban to hit Poland, Norway hardest – WSJ
Minnesota rental costs rise, but incomes fall – St. Cloud Times
New paper on why housing prices are rising in urban centers – Stanford
Tribe in ND wants royalties for natural gas flaring – Bismarck Tribune
Door opens for new Enbridge pipeline route in northern MN – StarTribune
Loss of mid-wage jobs hampers California’s growth – LA Times

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