Minneapolis Federal Reserve President: Northland Economy "Doing Well"

Ryan Juntti
Updated: April 03, 2018 07:39 PM

DULUTH - The Northland received positive news on Tuesday about the state of the economy that bodes well for the future.

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Results from a long-term economic research study were unveiled at the ninth Regional Economic Indicators Forum (REIF) at the DECC's Harbor Side Ballroom in Duluth. The study was gathered by economists and student researchers at the College of St. Scholastica, University of Minnesota-Duluth, and UW-Superior. 

Numbers indicate the labor force for the Duluth-Superior MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) has grown over the past two years. The MSA includes St. Louis, Carlton, and Douglas Counties. 

"I think the economy's doing well," said Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President, CEO. "This economy is a big part of our region," he said.

Kashkari says at one point times were tough for the Northland's economy, but he believes things are turning around.

"Historically in recent years there's been challenges with mining being low, seems like things are recovering, people are going back to work," said Kashkari.

Kashkari says he wanted to hear from local leaders and college students about what they think the state of the Northland's economy is.

Local leaders and college students asked questions related to affordable housing in Duluth, interest rates, and how regulating steel impacts the taconite industry.

One of those in attendance who asked Kashkari a question was Opeyemi Omiwale, a junior at UW-Superior, and one of the student researchers who helped conduct the survey. 

"It's just seeing how much knowledge he has about different things," said Omiwale. 

She hopes to one day start her own business, and wanted to learn from him.

"It was really an honor to see how much he has achieved, and how he achieved it step-by-step," said Omiwale.

Kashkari says he learned from audience members like Omiwale as well, about creating more job opportunities.

"We're very interested in drawing more people in off the sidelines to get good jobs, and hopefully their wages will go up, so that their families are going to do better off and the economy overall," said Kashkari. 

The results of the study will be brought back to Washington D.C. where they will be used to judge how the U.S. economy as a is doing as a whole. 


Ryan Juntti

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