Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Momentum West Economic Dashboard Released

The UW- River Falls Center for Economic Research (CER) in partnership with Momentum West has released the October edition of the Momentum West Economic Dashboard. The dashboard is a snapshot of the economic condition of the labor, consumer and housing markets in the 10 county Momentum West Economic Development Region. It presents the latest available data* in one convenient package and can be viewed on the CER's website at
Labor Market and Spending
The state unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.9 percent in August, which is 0.1 percentage points lower than one year previous.  Conditions in the regional labor market are still slightly better than the state average.  The regional unemployment rate decreased in August by .40 percentage points to 6.7 percent.  The change was driven by a .3 year over year percentage increase in total employment and a .2 year over year percentage decrease in labor force. 
Spending in the Momentum West has continued to remain strong since July, as measured by county sales tax revenue.  For the month of September county sales tax revenue increased by 5.2 percent.  Another promising numbers for the region is increases in new vehicle registration by 2.9 percent for the month of September and 21.3 percent from one year previous.
The Housing Market
The Case-Shiller Home Price index for Minneapolis and Chicago, as well as, nationally have shown slight increases in May, June and July, but the index still shows home values are considerably below one year ago.  Median home price in the Momentum West for September is lower than it was a year ago, but the number of homes sold has increased by 33.2 percent from one year ago.
For additional information on the October edition of the Momentum West Economic Dashboard, contact Dr. Logan Kelly at or (715) 425-4993 or Noel Eggebraaten at or (715) 874-4673.

*Please note that most regional data is available with between a one and two month delay, thus the current month's dashboard will have data from previous months.

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