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Some good news for a change

After much speculation it has finally been reported that the “major event” which had been rumored to be booked for the Twin City area for summer of 2014 is …. the U.S. girls’ junior volleyball championships.

Meet Minneapolis, which is Minneapolis’ visitors and convention association, made the announcement on Wednesday.

Just to give you an idea of the impact an event like this can have on the area, here are a few statistics about this particular Championships tourny:

  • it is expected to bring 9,500 – 10,000 atheletes.
  • 20,000 spectators.
  • expected to generate around $60.6 million in local business activity.
  • including $2.25 in sales tax alone.
  • Minneaplois and 13 other cities in the metro area have pre-booked some 54,200 room nights at 65 hotels.

 

This last time an event of this magnatude was held in the Cities was in 2008 for the Republican National Convention.

The 8 day tournament will be held from June 25 – July 2.

Well done Meet Minneapolis!

Minnesota jobs

The Twin Cities had amoung the lowest levels of unemployment in the nation. According to a study of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Cities ranked 3rd lowest unemployment numbers for this past October. The rate for the entire state came in at 6.4% while the Cities recorded a low 5.4% rate.

 

Only Omaha (4.3%) and Madison (5.1%) came in lower. Sounds like really good news – but what I haven’t seen yet is pay stats for all these jobs. My fear is that that they also rank lowest in pay compared to other States. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but from what I’ve seen the “high” number of Minnesota jobs available in the area are lower paying. And while low paying jobs are better than no jobs at all, I just don’t want the area to become a magnet for low pay companies.

Minnesota mortgage fraud

We haven’t seen this very often. An agent from Rosemount was sentenced to 3 years probation for fraud in the sale of houses, mostly in North Mineapolis. He was aparently invloved with 2 other men who owned a Roseville real estate company.

 

His part of the fraud? He agreed to close on up to 175 houses when he knew that many of the applications submitted for loans were fraudulent.

 

I would imagine if every mortgage broker in the US who pushed through loan applications knowing or suspecting the information contained in thoses applications was false were sent to jail, we would need to build a LOT of new jails to house them all.

 

Unfortunately only a very few who were responsible for the mess we are in will ever receive any punishment at all for their abuses.

Occupy Wall Street comes to Minneapolis

Somewhere in the area of 300 people converged on Hennepin County MN Center Plaza to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

The same, by now familiar themes were addressed in speeches by several of the protesters. Corporate greed and malfeasence, and their influence on polotics and policy in the USA.

A few police were on hand – but like most of the protests throughout the country, it was well behaved and civil.

A sign of the times

Well surprise surprise – the National Labor Relations Board has decided in favor of American Crystal Sugar Co in the company’s dispute with the Union representing it’s workforce. The workers have been locked out for 2 months and is being run by “replacement” workers. I imagine the union members have another name for them.

Aug 1 the Union rejected the company’s contract offer. Then American Crystal locked out the 1300 union employees. The Union claims that the Company hasn’t been negotiating in good faith. The NLRB ruled that the Union didn’t provide adequate evidence to this allegation.

I can’t really claim to know the specifics of this case, and I suppose it is possible the Unions demands are excessive. But from everything that has happened and is happening throughout the country in relation to collective bargaining, I would be surprised if their demands were really that outrageous.

Just looks like a continuation of the trend of weaker and weaker unions. All depends on your perspective as to whether you think that is a good thing or not.

The 7 Minnesota companies who employ the most people.

Fairview Health Services of Minneapolis ranked 7th

employs over 20,000 Minnesotans

Wal-Mart is 6th with almost 20,500.

Allina Health System employs 23,302 people in Minnesota and comes in 5th in the list of largest employers.

Target Corp is 4th employing 30,500 Minnesotans.

Mayo Foundation of Rochester accounts for 32,893 jobs for Minnesota and is 3rd on the list.

The good ole Federal Government comes in numero dos with 34,000 jobs for Minnesotans. (And I can only guess they provide, by far, the best pay for their employees.

And who is #ONE in the number of jobs provided to Minnesotans? The State of Minnesota, of course. The state government accounts for 40,208 jobs. (For the time being anyway. It will be interesting to see what the next few years bring).

Who are the richest people in MN?

Barbara Carlson Gage and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, according to Forbes list of the 400 richest people in the US. They are owners of Carlson Cos based in Minnetonka. According to Forbes they are each worth 3 Billion$.

Not too shabby but not in the same league as a say Christy Walton – of WalMart fame – who has a net fortune in the area of 24.5 Billion$.

A few other individuals from the great state of Minnesota are also included in the list of 400 richest.

Whitney MacMillan at #150 with a measly 2.6 Billion. One of the heirs to Cargill.

Richard Schulze of Best Buy came in with a rank this year of 212with 2 Billion dollars.

Ranked 227 was Stanley Hubbard of St. Paul – chairs Hubbard Broadcasting.

And waaay down at #242 is Glen Taylor of Mankato. With a paultry 1.8 Billion he saw his fortune drop by almost 20% from last year. As the owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and also Tatlor Corp. I think he will be ok.

While several on the list did see their net worth decline from last year, the 2 Carlson siblings saw their fortunes skyrocket from 1.6 Billion last year. That’s almost double in a year.

Not bad.

30 year fixed rates goes up to 4.6%

Freddie Mac says 30 year fixed loan rates have increased to 4.6% from 4.51%.

Average 15 year are up to 3.75% ( the lowest point of the year so far was 2 weeks ago, at 3.67).

5 year adjustables are at 3.30, while 1 year adjustables are at 3.01.

These don’t include points.

(as of 7/7/11)

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