MINNEAPOLIS--()--Business leaders in Minnesota are twice as optimistic about the economy today as they were three months ago, according to a quarterly Twin Cities Business survey to which 774 businesses responded.
Some 40 percent of respondents expect economic conditions in Minnesota to improve in the first quarter ending March 31, up from only 20 percent who were optimistic that activity would pick up during the fourth quarter of 2011. One-third of respondents expect global business conditions to improve this quarter—again, nearly twice as many as those who three months earlier believed the global economy would improve.
Such optimism is stimulating hiring. The Twin Cities Business survey found 37 percent of responding businesses plan to add to their full-time employment levels this quarter—up from 29 percent who planned to increase headcount during the last quarter of 2011. Yet finding such qualified talent is expected to be harder, according to 26 percent of respondents—up from 21 percent who believed finding qualified employees in Minnesota would be difficult during the fourth quarter.
One-quarter of responding businesses plan to raise prices, a 32 percent increase from those who planned to do so in the fourth quarter of 2011. Additional information from the survey—including a list of Minnesota industries most actively hiring this quarter—can be found in February’s edition of Twin Cities Business, online at TCBmag.com and in print at select newsstands.
Each quarter, Twin Cities Business conducts an economic indicator survey to examine business planning and sentiment among leaders from all industries in Minnesota. In the most recent survey, an e-mail link to an online survey was sent to 17,680 Minnesota businesses in mid-December, and reminder e-mails were sent the following week to those who had not yet completed the survey. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce provided some of the e-mail addresses used in this outreach. As of Dec. 22, 2011, 774 businesses responded, resulting in a 4.4 percent net response rate. Of those who responded, 85 percent represented privately held businesses and 15 percent publicly traded ones.
About Twin Cities Business
Minneapolis-based Twin Cities Business publishes news, analysis, features and commentary about the state’s most interesting business issues, leaders and opportunities daily at TCBmag.com, twice weekly in its “Briefcase” e-newsletter, and monthly through the award-winning Twin Cities Business magazine.