MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Take a look at any construction site across Minnesota and you’ll see our economic recovery in the works. What’s obvious with every building going up and every load of concrete delivered, is that more and more Minnesotans are going back to work.

Jim Paulsen, a capital management economist with Wells Fargo, said employment is the key to continued recovery.

“The thing we’re going to get in 2012 that we haven’t had up to this point is a sort of slow and steady decline in the unemployment rate,” said Paulsen.

In fact, he said it’s very possible that the nation’s unemployment rate will dip below 8 percent for the first time in a long time. Paulsen believes that the country will add jobs at a rate of more than 200,000 per month in 2012, a pace that is about double what was being created in 2010.

As more Americans go back to work, it builds confidence among consumers and employers and removes some of the fear that’s been driving the markets.

“I think if that chatter goes away, even if it’s not robust but sustainable, then suddenly the housing market looks better and people will go, ‘Well maybe we can buy that new house,'” Paulsen said.

Realtors are taking a more cautious approach to 2012, including the newly-elected president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors Cari Linn.

“Hopefully we’re going to be turning the corner this year,” Linn said.

Commenting on the latest report from Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller home-price index, which shows that Minneapolis home prices declined by 2.8 percent in October, Linn said that the inventory of unsold homes is down sharply. She said it’s approaching what is considered to be a “balanced market” of buyers and sellers. It’s that balance of inventory that will eventually pave the way for prices to slowly rise.

“That pendulum is not going to swing way up the other way in 2012. If it does that’s great, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Linn.

Instead, Linn said she expects to see a slight rebound to home prices.

On another front, retailers saw a much-improved holiday season. Sales were expected to be up an average of 3.4 percent from the same period a year ago. Still, not all retailers are reporting robust holiday sales. Sears and Kmart reported disappointing holiday sales and expect to close 100 underperforming stores during the course of the new year.

But clearly, Paulsen said, confidence is slowly beginning to return and consumers are spending again, taking another step on the long road to economic recovery.

“If we develop an attitude in the country that maybe it’s bottomed, then I think you might see a little pop in housing this year,” Paulsen said.

Comments (25)
  1. Jack says:

    It will be brighter all right come december 2012.

    1. So is that says:

      when the old parole runs there Jack?

      1. jackactionhero says:

        The Earth will cross the ecliptic galactic plane it hasn’t crossed in 25,800 years as of December 21, 2012.

  2. insignificant says:

    “economist from Wells Fargo” is a great excuse to run from this dis-info article about the state of recovery of the economy,eh?…Run from this dribble

    1. thebigcrashcomingsoon says:

      yeah,man, the unemployment numbers aren’t counting alot of other people. His numbers sound Obummerish!

    2. Well says:

      Why don’t you give the guy a call? No doubt you two could have quite the in-depth discussion as to the basis for his opinion. And the basis for yours, eh?

  3. no kiddin' says:

    no-get-rid-of-the-huge-bankster-wallstreet-ponzi-schemes, no recovery

  4. Bernanke/Gietner/GoldmanSachs says:

    “confidence to spend”.Uh Huh.Confidence coming from stories like the one above ,drawing a picture on a blank sheet of paper.Uh Huh.Don’t tell America whats really going down.

  5. Think! says:

    Since CCO won’t allow my FACTUAL comment….I will just say CCO is a bunch of kool aid drinkin’ liers. Print that!

    1. Yeah says:

      No doubt that’s exactly why.

      1. Think! says:

        and they wonder why 2008 came out of no where for most with no warning…shhhhh, quiet.

  6. Kevin says:

    obama……obama……theres always obama…….your obama awayyyyyyyyyyy……

  7. Pundit says:

    As long as ObamaCare lurks in the future, things will NOT get better.

    1. Fer Sure says:

      Perish the thought that more Americans will be able to obtain more affordable medical insurance coverage.

      That would be terrible, wouldn’t it?



    2. Tom says:

      @ Pundit

      Apparently you have seen some REAL facts that have come out about Obama Care. That it is saving us money. But of course conservatives are againest anything that makes sense.

  8. Joe's Mom says:

    The headlines read “New Construction is Up”, “New Construction is Down”, “Property Taxes are Up”, “Property Values Decline”, “More New Jobs Tomorrow!’, “The Middle Class is Shrinking”, “The Rich are Getting Richer”, “The Poor are now Destitute”. WHAT T F? If you believe all of these headlines, you must be at least bi-polar. I’m probably just nuts for reading them in the first place!

  9. highschool dropout says:

    I believe things are looking up. I was offered 2 jobs within an hour of each offer. One for an insurance company and the other in a law firm.
    If I can get a job anyone can.

    Oh I forgot to mention, I have NO College degree, heck I have no HS dipolma, i’m a dropout! It really does depend on how motivated people are, and I’m very motivated.
    So get off your lazy behinds all you people with degrees, and look. A job isn’t coming to you, you go to it!

    1. nah says:

      Use that motivation you speak of to go get your GED and, yeah, a college degree. You will need it.

    2. @ dropout says:

      you enjoy scrubbing the lobster grease off the toilets there in the firms for minimum wage there,drop-out.Let us know how that goes.

  10. funny says:

    Bill Hudson.Bwa!ha!ha!ha He goes to Wells Fargo Bank to find out about the state of the economy.

    1. womp news source says:

      Well,as people are wasking up and tossing their news papers in the trash and turning towards independant news sources,perhaps these prettypeople in lamestream media will see what it’s like to be a hard worker and no one is hiring,or purchase that american dream house ,just to have some corrupted bank seize it because they budge little when a family hits hard times.Quite deserving of them in my humble opinion because they refuse to research and give the truth what’s really behind this recession(depression for some)

      1. dupedfromascreen says:

        By the looks of posts,not only here ,but on threads like yahoo news,many people are keeping an eye on every piece of “news” the mainstream media’s are printing/saying,and it isn’t looking good for them,bro/sis

        1. runwithit says:

          yeah,media loves to take every single word,like out of a politicians mouth, and scrutinize,Their getting a taste of their own medicine,only i don’t think they realize the “scale” yet

  11. StraycatStrut says:

    Bummer…. Being an avid Joe Biden fan….. and his famous speeches / words in the spring / summer of 2010…. “This is the summer of recovery” …. seems that Democrats do not think the economy is all that bad. So as usual… they have their heads up their “asset” and are blinded by the Obama “flash in the pan”…. or “clueless” take your pick.

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