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Brace for more snow

ST. PAUL (NWS)The next chance for accumulating snow arrives Wednesday night and lasts through Thursday as a strong low pressure system will spin through the region. The Nat- ional Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch across southern/southeastern Minnesota ahead of the storm.  

"Confidence continues increasing for several inches of snow Wednesday night into Thursday across the region, particularly from southern Minnesota into western Wisconsin," says the National Wea- ther Service in the Twin Cities.

 

The Twin Cities is not in the watch, but Mankato Faribault, Red Wing and Rochester are included. Snowfall rates could exceed 1-inch per hour Wednesday night, and it'll likely be a heavy, wet snow. 

The weather service is calling for a strong likelihood of 2+ inches of snow in the Twin Cities while the odds of getting 6+ inches are greater within the watch area. 

Minnesota job growth lapses in December

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ST. PAULMinnesota’s private sector employers continued adding jobs in December, even as the state lost jobs overall, ending a 14-month streak of job growth that saw Minnesota employment outpace the national average, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

 

Overall, Minnesota employment was down 0.2 percent from November, following an increase of 6,500 jobs that month. While the private sector gained 900 jobs in December, it was due to losses in government jobs (down 6,100) that drove the jobs decrease. Those losses were entirely in local government.

The US gained 223,000 jobs in December, up 0.1 percent from the previous month, with the private sector adding 220,000 jobs, up 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Comparing Minnesota to US job growth, Minnesota is up 3.2 percent over the year (OTY) with the private sector up 3.6 per- cent. US employment grew 2.9 percent OTY with the private sector up 3.2 percent.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate ticked up two-tenths of a point to 2.5 percent in December 2022, but remains historically low. The labor force participation rate remained steady at 67.9 percent with 3,367 people entering the labor force. Nationally, the unemployment rate inched down one-tenth of a point to 3.5 percent and the labor force participation rate went up one-tenth of a point to 62.3 percent.

"Minnesota’s job growth took a holiday break in December, but the private sector grew and indicators point to a strong underlying economy," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "The governor and lieutenant governor’s economic budget proposal includes a bold set of strategic priorities that will bring more jobs, workers, and opportunity to our state."

Minnesota’s unemployment rate ticked down for Hispanic workers to 3.8 percent, continued a 6-month decline for Black workers to 3.9 percent, and ticked up for white workers to 2.3 percent in Minnesota in December, based on 12-month moving averages.

Inflation continues to outpace wage growth. In Minnesota, average hourly wages for all private sector workers rose 32 cents to $35.57 in December over the month. Average hourly earnings rose $1.27 OTY, up 3.7 percent. Over two years, average hourly earnings increased $3.28 or 10.2 percent.

 

Nationally, private sector wages rose 11 cents (0.3 percent ) over the month to $32.73. They rose 4.6 percent OTY and 9.8 percent over two years. The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, a common measure of inflation, rose 6.5 percent OTY and 13.9 percent over two years.

Over the month in Minnesota, these are the noteworthy super sectors that gained or lost jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis:

  • Gains were in Trade, Transportation and Utilities, up 2,400 jobs (0.5 percent); Financial Activities, up 1,400 jobs (0.7 percent); Education and Health Services up 4,000 (0.7 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality up 4,300 jobs (1.6 percent).

  • Losses were in Construction, down 2,600 jobs (2 percent); Manufacturing, down 1,100 jobs (0.3 percent); Professional and Business Services, down 6,200 jobs (1.6 percent); and Government, down 6,100 jobs (1.5percent) over the month.

 

Over the year Minnesota gained 91,936 payroll jobs, up 3.2 percent. The private sector gained 87,587 jobs, up 3.6 percent OTY. All super sectors posted positive OTY employment growth with the excep- tion of Construction and Other Services. 

  • Leisure & Hospitality continued to post the highest OTY growth of all the super sectors, up 10 percent with the addition of 23,084 jobs. This growth was driven by Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, up 30.4 percent OTY while Accommodations and Food Service was up 6.3 percent.

  • Education and Health Services grew 4.7 percent with the addition of 25,676 jobs OTY. Educa- tional Services added 5,041 jobs (7.2 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance added 20,635 jobs (4.4 percent) OTY. Nursing and Residential Care Facilities grew 3.1 percent OTY, up from last month and the fourth month in a row to show OTY growth after losing jobs OTY since April 2020.

  • Manufacturing posted 12,494 additional jobs, up 3.9 percent OTY. All published sectors showed growth OTY, though the Durable Goods sector drove the growth, adding 10,923 jobs, or 5.4 per- cent. Manufacturing employment growth continued to be stronger than the nation, which was at 2.9 percent OTY.

  • Construction lost 3,468 jobs, down 2.8 percent. Losses in Construction were in both Heavy and Civil, down 11.4 percent, and Specialty Trade Contractors, down 2.3 percent OTY.

 

US employment grew 2.9 percent OTY with the private sector up 3.2 percent in December. All super sectors showed OTY gains nationally. Minnesota’s OTY job growth in December outperformed that of the nation in total payroll employment and private sector employment as well as in six super sectors: Manufacturing, Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Financial Activities, Professional and Business Services, Education and Health Services, and Leisure and Hospitality.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expan- sion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on Twitter.

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Black History Month Words in Action contest underway 

The Black History Month Words in Action contest is currently in progress. Participants in grades K–12 select a quote by a Black American civil rights leader and express what it means to them through art, writing or audio/video.

 

Submissions are being accepted through Feb. 6, 2023

Students are tasked with presenting what actions they can take individually, and what we can do as a community to remember and carry forward the legacies of those who committed themselves to championing racial equity and social justice.

Contest winners will be recognized at a City Council meeting and featured on the City's website and social media platforms. Cash prizes are made possible through the generous support of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation.

 

Rep. Ilhan Omar applauds President Biden's pardon of federal pot offenses

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ST. PAUL (MNS)—Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN applauded President Biden's announced a pardon of federal pot possession offenses, and called on the nation's gov- nors to do the same.

 

She initiated the process of reviewing how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.

"This is a monumental decision, a sea change in a decades-long failed war on drugs that has dispropor- tionately impacted communities of color," Omar said in a statement.

 

"A pardon of thousands of people across this country who were charged with simple marijuana possession will repair families, bring communities back together and help countless people reenter the workforce.

 

"It is exactly the type of bold, courageous leadership we need in the presidency and President  Joe Biden deserves enormous credit for listening to the voices of advocates, formerly incarcerated [persons] and communities whose lives have been upended by the failed war on drugs. 

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Rep. Ilhan Omar. Courtesy US House 55 Dist.

"I was proud to vote for and help pass a bill to fully decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, and will continue to push for humane drug policies that treat substance misuse as a public health issue. 

"The only way to repair the harm caused in communities across the country is to end the War on Drugs, and invest intentionally in education, housing, healthcare, and employment. This is a massive step in the right direction," the statement concluded.

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