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Chamber members hear updates on economic situation

UW - River Falls Economic Department Chair Logan Kelly speaks to members of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Kelly gave a presentation on the current state of the economy. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia

After the recession in 2008, and the continued effects of it years after, UW-River Falls Economic Department Chair Logan Kelly said the economy is now back in a spot where people are feeling good.

Kelly held a presentation on the current economy in the region and the nation at a Hudson Chamber of Commerce event on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Economists, Kelly said, label the technical end of the recession as summer of 2009.

"To which the average person on the street says, 'Are you kidding me?'" Kelly said.

This date was the end of the economy getting worse, Kelly said. Improvements, however, weren't felt until 2010-2014.

"2015 was the first year that we started to feel better," Kelly said.

That improvement is seen now in the real estate market.

"We've finally cycled through all the properties that were under water," Kelly said.

Now the economy is seeing the full effect with GDP, consumption and investment all up by over 3 percent in the second quarter of 2017.

When growth gets over this 3 percent mark, Kelly said that's when the economy sees positive implications, and inflation may come into play.

Job creation in both Minnesota and Wisconsin has continued, Kelly said. Minnesota has seen 44,000 new jobs in the last year as of Aug. 17, while Wisconsin has seen 19,000 new jobs.

The Twin Cities area in particular has grown and will continue to expand.

"I think there's no question it's going to grow out along the I-94 corridor," Kelly said.

Though the Cities are in Minnesota, Kelly said growth there will move across the river and create more jobs for Wisconsin. Of the 63,000 new jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin, about 30,000 of that them are in the Twin Cities.

"Really the new economic driver of the area, even the two states, is the Twin Cities," Kelly said. He added when you look at the biggest threats to the economy in the future, structural unemployment is on the list. Structural unemployment is when the skills of the worker don't match the skill demanded by the employers.

"In particular I see this cycle of skill obsolescence getting shorter and shorter and shorter," Kelly said.

Skills that overlap are now required in many positions.

"This kind of overlap is just, it is exploding," Kelly said.

This may mean rethinking how the workforce is educated in order to keep up with the needs.

"The idea of spending the first 20-25 years of your life being educated, and then working for the last 30 years, I'm not sure how much longer that's sustainable," he said.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

(715) 426-1066
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