State Budget Surplus Shrinks

State Budget Surplus Shrinks Click to Enlarge

Minnesota’s budget surplus was projected at $1.5 billion in December, but last month, that figure fell by a half-billion dollars, setting up legislative battle lines in the budget fight.

Slower economic growth is not necessarily bad news, according to State Economist Dr. Laura Kalambokidis. Kalambokidis says slower employment growth is a contributing factor, because of an aging population.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 3 percent in January. Officials say the lack of qualified workers is hampering the ability of businesses to grow. Kalambokidis says it’ll be important to lower barriers to entering the workforce… to make the state attractive to outside workers and for employers to offer higher wages and more flexible workplaces.

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