The Minnesota Chamber released the sixth annual Business Benchmarks report today, a detailed analysis of economic indicators in several categories.
 
This report identifies positive, troubling and mixed trends in the state’s business climate:
 
• Although Minnesota is not in the top 10 tax rates in every category, strong challenges to progress remain, especially in corporate and individual income taxes and overall state and local tax burdens.
• Businesses have proven that innovation is a strength, with many pivoting their products and services to meet COVID-19 demands, but Minnesota’s low entrepreneurship startup rates remain a big concern.
• Investments in infrastructure have helped Minnesota’s competitiveness, and access to broadband continues to improve through private and public investment.
• While some costs of doing business have improved, such as health care and the cost of living, self-imposed headwinds remain, such as high unemployment tax rates.
• COVID-19 impacted the workforce landscape. Minnesota’s labor participation rate remains among the best in the country, but domestic migration and international immigration are stagnant during the pandemic.
• Minnesota must look critically at the systems and policies in place that cause the achievement gap and racial disparities, especially as the state’s workforce evolves.
 
“The diversity of our economy and private sector innovation helped the economy pivot from downward demand so far through the pandemic. It will be necessary to remove barriers to growth as we move into a post-pandemic economy,” said  Minnesota Chamber President Doug Loon.
 
The 2021 Business Benchmarks report will be formally released Thursday at the Minnesota Chamber’s Annual Meeting. The report compiles key indicators that define the state’s business climate – where Minnesota ranks compared with other states – to identify the state’s strengths as well as areas for improvement for Minnesota to compete in the global economy. Comprehensive, objective data were compiled from sources such as state and federal agencies.