Minnesota's state economist starts a new chapter

11:41 AM, Jun 5, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. --  He's served five different governors, and as Tom Stinson points out, the leaders of three political parties thanks to the Ventura administration.

Tom Stinson is stepping down as Minnesota's state economist, but as he says, "I'm not retiring."  Stinson will continue as a professor at the University of Minnesota.

Speaking on KARE11 Sunrise, Stinson said Minnesota's greatest strength has been its highly educated workforce.  With many baby boomers due to retire in the coming years, Stinson says Minnesota's advantage could erode.

Stinson says high school graduation rates in Minnesota are around 70-percent.  Of particular concern to him are graduation rates for students of color, which he says hover around 50-percent.  Stinson says without a strong and educated work force, the state's economy will suffer.

With the great recession now in the rear view mirror, Stinson says there are lessons that need to be learned.  In his view, the stimulus package was necessary, and one he believes should have been bigger.

Currently, Stinson says government cuts through the sequester are putting a drag on the recovery. 

Stinson will be able to study those issues as he turns now to teaching at the University of Minnesota.  He won't have far to go if he wants input from the new state economist.  That would be Laura Kalambokidis, who is also a professor at the University of Minnesota.


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