State of Manufacturing Survey Released

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 6:41 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The newly released State of Manufacturing report shows that many Minnesota manufacturers have lessened hope in the economy.

"Continued challenges of healthcare costs, but also complimented by the continued challenge of finding qualified and skilled workers," said Enterprise Minnesota President and CEO, Robert Kill.

Enterprise Minnesota has been releasing the survey since 2008. The survey interviewed 400 industry executives and 19 focus groups throughout Minnesota.

They found that the majority of the manufacturers were less hopeful in the economy than they were two years ago. The survey also cites concerns of rising healthcare costs, a shortage of qualified workers and a lack of confidence in Washington politics.

"We started to sense people were concerned about the state shutdown, the near federal shutdown, the challenges economically in the countries in Europe," said Kill.

However, the survey also says that most Minnesota manufacturers say they are confident in their companies.

In particular, the Iron Range focus group reported a mostly good year in manufacturing.

It's an outlook that Hibbing Fabricators President, Sandy Bryant, can relate to.

"We're looking at expanding and putting new customers on," said Bryant, "In fact, we just acquired a new customer on the East Coast."

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.