Economic Outlook: A look at the Rochester economy

A look at the Rochester Economy and What’s to come

A comprehensive look of the day's local, regional and national news, detailed events, late-breaking stories and weather updates are provided by the ABC 6 News Team.

(ABC 6 News) – City leaders across the country got together today to discuss the economy, they talked about what’s working, what’s not and what’s next for the year ahead.

When the world stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic, we turned to our local leaders with questions no one could have answered.

Four years later, many states are doing better than they expected economically. But federal funding is finally coming to an end.

The city of Rochester received $17 million in the 2023 fiscal year; that money helped stabilized the local economy, keep the city running and helped provide COVID testing and vaccine clinics.

“The reality is, that was a very small amount compared to even other cities in the state of Minnesota; certainly Minneapolis and St. Paul got significantly more,” said Rochester Mayor Kim Norton. “But even cities like Duluth and some of the suburbs, got as much. Duluth got three or four times what we got.”

States across the country brought in some major revenue for three years straight.

“We estimate that, over the past three fiscal years, states collectively rang up about 350 billion in revenue surpluses from the 3 major taxes; personal income tax, sales tax, and the corporate income tax,” said Eric Norton a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.

During a webinar Thursday, Mayor Norton joined other leaders from around the country, to talk about how that revenue worked for them, and what’s next.

“Right now, if you want a job in Rochester, you have one. Our unemployment is very, very low,” said Mayor Norton. “At the same time, we have nearly several million dollars to invest in Equity in the Built Environment, global mayors challenge grant, and some federal dollars.”

“If you want to up your game, make more money, we’ll pay for your education, for child care, and supplies, just come and try,” added Mayor Norton.

Despite a strong economy, there can be challenges associated with it.

“At the state level we need to ask them to step up and help with addiction and mental health funding, that will go a long way in supporting people who do end up homeless,” said Mayor Norton. There are a lot of social issues that the state can help us with, housing is going to be more of a challenge because we need it soon, and it takes awhile to build properties, they don’t just happen overnight; they take years.”

Local officials predict the US economy to slow down, interest rates to go up, and a slow in bank credit.