Cautious optimism emerging among MInnesota employersMinnesota employers are cautiously optimistic about the state’s economic future but are not confident the state has fully emerged from the four-year national recession.
Minnesota employers are cautiously optimistic about the state’s economic future but are not confident the state has fully emerged from the four-year national recession.
These findings highlighted the ninth annual Minnesota Business Barometer Survey, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Himle Rapp and Company.
For the first time in several years, the survey showed that optimism is slowly returning among businesses. Thirty-one percent said the economy is getting better compared with 13 percent a year ago.
However, only 21 percent of the respondents reported profits were better than a year ago, while 25 percent reported lower profits than in the previous year. In addition, an equal number of employers reported reducing their number of employees as reported an increase.
As the Business Barometer has found in other years, 84 percent of business owners and managers stated they were very or somewhat optimistic about Minnesota’s economic future over the next 10 years.
“To cash in on this long-term optimism, the governor and Legislature must take timely action to address these concerns, if they want companies to stay and invest in Minnesota now,” said Minnesota Chamber President David Olson.
Survey respondents rated Minnesota as having a good business climate compared with other states but also identified five key barriers that must be addressed to strengthen the business environment:
--Stability and predictability of government regulations
--Rising costs for employers
--Employee training as workforce barrier
--Electricity costs and reliability
Business Barometer respondents identified four primary goals for any tax reform: Simplify; tax voluntary behavior; make revenues predictable; tax activity and not income.
Todd Rapp, president of Himle Rapp, cautioned against oversimplifying the message from Minnesota employers.
“This survey confirms that employers prefer to invest in Minnesota. But they are still hesitating to move forward, in part because they don’t have a better understanding of what may confront them around the corner. The memories of this recession have uniquely mixed long-term optimism with unusual caution about the immediate future.”