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Construction jobs gain in Minnesota

■ Construction jobs gain in state

The Minnesota unemployment rate remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 5.8 percent in October, according to figures released recently by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The jobless figure remained behind the U.S. rate of 7.9 percent in October.

Employers cut 8,100 jobs statewide in October. Those job losses, however, were partially offset by improvements in the September employment figures, which were revised from 5,900 jobs gained statewide to 11,000 jobs gained. Minnesota has added 34,700 jobs in the past year, an increase of 1.3 percent, compared with an increase nationally of 1.4 percent.

“Last month’s numbers are a reminder that the economic recovery on a month-to-month basis is at times uneven,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark in a news release. “We’re encouraged, though, by the steady growth in many sectors, particularly construction, which has increased employment by more than 4 percent in the past year. Our labor force participation rate held steady and our unemployment rate consistently remains below the national average.”

Construction led all sectors last month, gaining 1,200 jobs. That was followed by information (up 800), trade, transportation and utilities (up 400), and logging and mining (up 200). Financial activities held steady.

Job losses occurred in professional and business services (down 5,300), government (down 2,500), leisure and hospitality (down 1,100), other services (down 900), education and health services (down 600), and manufacturing (down 300).

During the past year, the following sectors have added jobs: education and health services (up 18,600), professional and business services (up 6,500), construction (up 4,400), government (up 3,400), financial activities (up 3,000), information (up 1,600), other services (up 400) and manufacturing (up 400).

Year-over-year job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (down 3,000), trade, transportation and utilities (down 400), and logging and mining (down 100).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the St. Cloud MSA (up 2.3 percent), Mankato MSA (up 1.5 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (up 1.2 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.1 percent) and Rochester MSA (up 0.5 percent).

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at

■ BLAEDC - Managing growth

panel discussion Nov. 27

Running a business is always full of challenges but managing one that’s experiencing significant growth presents a different set of issues that can be overwhelming and, worse yet, detrimental to the business.

That’s the topic for a panel discussion titled “Growing, Growing, Gone! Managing growth without losing your mind…and your business,” which is scheduled for 5-7 p.m., Nov. 27, at Ascensus in the East Brainerd Mall (the old J.C. Penney store). The event will include presentations from each panelist, a 30-minute question-answer session and then networking and light refreshments at 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC), the free event is open to all business people but is targeted at those who are facing, or expecting to face, growth. The panel is a group of local business experts who will share their perspectives and offer invaluable advice during the discussion, which promises to be lively and informative. The panel has countless stories and insights about what it takes to successfully manage growth without running yourself and your business into the ground.

Dave Johnson, retired president of Anderson Brothers Construction Company in Brainerd, will moderate the discussion. Panelists are:

Ed Egan — retired vice president of business operations for QualComm. He successfully coordinated a number of acquisitions worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Bud Pierce — retired president of McLaughlin Body company. The company is a leading independent cab producer with 400 employees. The company primarily designs and manufactures cabs for highway and off road equipment including combines, tractors and military trucks.

Howard Miller — retired vice president of marketing, sales and facilities for Schwan Food Company, one of the world’s largest branded frozen food companies with 22,000 employees and more than $4 billion in revenue.

Karen Kirt — owner of Suite Spaces, a local office design company, who works with small to large executive, educational, healthcare, financial and personal spaces.

Steve Christenson — executive vice president of Ascensus, a leading provider of retirement services, including recordkeeping and administrative services to more than 27,000 defined contribution plans and 1.5 million IRAs.

“We’re really excited to give small business owners and entrepreneurs a chance to hear from our panel of experts who have a wealth of business experience and will be sharing some excellent information with the audience,” said BLAEDC Executive Director Sheila Haverkamp. “Entrepreneurial businesses are a major key to the growth of our local economy and creating jobs. Of the 27 million U.S. business, all but 17,000 are small businesses with less than 500 employees, so it’s critical to our economic future to promote and assist the entrepreneurial spirit locally.”

The event is the second in a series of panel discussions, meetings and group discussions that BLAEDC is promoting through its new Executive Initiative, which features more than 30 retired or relocated business executives who are volunteering their time to help BLAEDC grow business and create jobs.

Please RSVP to Erika at

Established in 1985, BLAEDC is a community-driven, non-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the area’s economic base by expanding business, building community and growing jobs in Crow Wing County.

For more information, contact BLAEDC at 828-0096.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889