So, what did we learn from our survey last week? We asked you about your timing for return to office. Responses remain fairly mixed. As I talk with business leaders, the one sense I’m getting is that larger companies are delaying, smaller companies are coming back sooner (or already back in the office). Across all company sizes, hybrid approach to “return to office” is the generally agreed-upon approach moving forward.
Of the respondents, we had an equal mix from companies across all sizes. Unfortunately, we were not able to assign responses to company sizes.
44% of respondents are back in office already (or are “essential” and never left)
7% are targeting September
20% are targeting October
26% are undetermined at this time
And are you tracking – or even requiring - vaccinations for your employees? A running list of Minnesota employers requiring COVID-19 vaccines for employees. And, yes, you could face legal consequences for lying about your vaccination status.
See you in the trenches.
As the COVID Delta variant spreads, masks now recommended in all but 3 Minnesota counties. And, yes, the entire metro’s counties now recommend masks.
As of Thursday, August 18:
Monetary policy: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak at the Kansas City Fed’s annual symposium on Aug 27. Why it's worth watching: Chair Powell will deliver remarks at the conference. The theme this year is "Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy," a timely topic given the uneven economic recovery from the country's coronavirus lockdown.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on the labor market: continues to be tight but there are signs it’s starting to stabilize. And what’s next?
Minnesota saw solid job growth in July, adding 14,500 jobs. State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate now dropped to 3.9% (5.4% nationally). And U.S. jobless claims hit new pandemic low.
Consumer spending numbers are due out Friday. Why it's worth watching: Consumer spending grew 1% last month, but the delta variant could change how often people are comfortable returning to pre-pandemic habits. For the next several months, economists will be watching consumer spending figures, along with other indicators, to see if the economy continues to improve or if it starts to falter.
Events and meeting industry is facing new headwinds with the Delta variant – though both the industry and the airlines are still ahead of where they were 5 months ago.
What is manufacturing telling us this month? Orders are up 17% year-over-year; in June, 17 of the 18 manufacturing industries reported growth. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for July was 58.4. Strong, certainly a positive indicator of growth, but not quite “humming along,” constrained by supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.
Prime Therapeutics just pushed their return to office until January 2, 2022.
Planning for the Hillcrest golf course redevelopment project calls for 1000 units of housing and 1000 jobs. This week the Saint Paul Port Authority announced the site is aiming to be carbon neutral as well. The vision is for the Hillcrest site to be the nation's first made-from-scratch, carbon-neutral, mixed-use development. Many renewable energy solutions are expected to be deployed, including rooftop solar arrays, a geothermal heating and cooling network, energy-efficiency and electric vehicle charging stations, planners at the St. Paul Port Authority,
Federal: House Democratic leaders are set to move forward with a vote on President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion budget despite pushback from moderates to consider a rule that would allow the chamber to simultaneously consider both the budget resolution, which includes the party's social spending proposals, and the bipartisan, Senate-passed infrastructure package. The plan - a move to mollify moderates calling for passage of the physical infrastructure spending first - would be to vote this week on the budget resolution to kick-start social spending negotiations and come back to the roads and bridges later.
Read more updates in our weekly Chamber Advocacy Update.
State Fair adds five more new food vendors to 2021 lineup, despite losing 150-200 vendors. We are seeing some pull backs in terms of participation and volunteers from state offices like the DNR. And WCCO Radio will not be broadcasting live. I’ll most definitely be there, and some of my friends are equally as enthusiastic about NOT attending. Sigh… deep breath.
Watch this video to hear what Ben Fowke has to say as he retires from Xcel, and get ready to welcome veteran Bob Frenzel, as their new CEO!
Join GreaterMSP for the ConnextMSP virtual launch event Tuesday, September 14 12:00 - 1:00 pm. ConnextMSP brings together employers, college and career readiness programs, and higher education partners to support young adults as they navigate their early career journey and reach their full potential. Next month’s launch of ConnextMSP is the result of more than five years of research and in collaboration with many regional partners. Greater MSP and other economic development organizations like the St Paul Area Chamber are committed to helping employers attract and retain talent from our region and beyond.
How are employers thinking about where people will work in the future? Read more from this exclusive survey.
How to serve the “unbanked” and “underbanked”? It turns out these are very different groups, with diverging needs and priorities. And the banking industry is focused on how better to serve both.
This region’s bank giants encouraged – and now welcomes – First Independence Bank, a Black-owned bank from Detroit, into this market.
This ranking lists “Minneapolis” as #2 best Midwest city for startups. I consider this a celebration for the entire region, since examples given are from across the metro.
City of Saint Paul is issuing permits at a strong pace. $31.4M worth of commercial-industrial permits in July alone. This number is down from this time last year, but year-to-date is 13% ahead of last year.
Planning for the Hillcrest golf course redevelopment project calls for 1000 units of housing and 1000 jobs. Last week the Saint Paul Port Authority announced the site is aiming to be carbon neutral as well. The vision is for the Hillcrest site to be the nation's first made-from-scratch, carbon-neutral, mixed-use development.