This market tends to ride out recessions better than some other regions by not getting too high in the good times or too low in the troughs. Minneapolis perennially is one of the nation's leaders in new housing activity. This year is no exception, with metropolitan Minneapolis ranking 11th nationally in building permits through this June. A surge in health-care construction has helped offset the manufacturing slide in the St. Louis market, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Millions in health-care construction is on the drawing boards or already underway in the city's prosperous western suburbs. Some is part of a $225-million building campaign by BJC Health Care to upgrade seven of its hospitals in Missouri. The brightest light in the Kansas City construction scene is the $500-million development boom underway near the new Kansas Speedway.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final
1999
Final
2000
Final
2001
Final
2002
Forecast
2003
Forecast
2004
West North Central 3,819.3 3,768.2 3,657.6 3,645.3 3,731.7 3,860.0
Iowa 503.7 497.0 482.4 480.7 492.1 509.1
Kansas 385.0 379.8 368.7 367.4 376.2 389.1
Minnesota 1,358.0 1,339.9 1,300.5 1,296.1 1,326.9 1,372.5
Missouri 1,182.1 1,166.2 1,132.0 1,128.2 1,154.9 1,194.6
Nebraska 155.0 152.9 148.4 147.9 151.4 156.6
North Dakota 97.0 95.7 92.9 92.6 94.8 98.0
South Dakota 138.6 136.7 132.7 132.2 135.4 140.0
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual in thousands
EC M C G
West North Central 53,576 1,228.1 4,884.3 1,472.6
Iowa 7,383 222.4 698.2 224.7
Cedar Rapids MSA 1,566* 17.5 57.1 10.3
Des Moines MSA 1,661 19.4 167.3 33.0
Dubuque MSA 262* 8.9 27.1 3.4
Iowa City MSA 316* 5.1 29.4 25.2
Sioux City MSA 309* 13.0 30.2 7.3
Waterloo-Cedar Falls MSA 302* 15.1 34.6 9.2
Kansas 6,972 176.8 621.2 228.7
Lawrence MSA 337* 3.5 22.1 11.7
Topeka MSA 596* 6.7 50.6 24.7
Wichita MSA 2,555 59.1 130.2 33.3
Minnesota 14,651 348.4 1,369.0 371.2
Duluth MSA 567 6.9 61.0 21.1
Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA 9,402 201.1 923.7 217.0
Rochester MSA 447* 10.2 59.5 7.6
St. Cloud MSA 493* 16.5 45.4 11.0
Missouri 16,178 314.6 1,384.1 360.9
Kansas City MSA 6,597* 77.1 487.3 129.5
St. Louis MSA 8,360* 146.5 725.9 138.2
Springfield MSA 860* 17.6 92.0 19.0
Nebraska 4,772 104.6 449.6 152.3
Lincoln MSA 869* 15.5 78.0 34.7
Omaha MSA 2,748* 32.7 244.9 52.4
North Dakota 1,454 23.6 161.4 64.5
Bismarck MSA 311* 2.7 28.0 10.4
Fargo-Moorhead MSA 753* 8.4 56.8 13.1
Grand Forks MSA 324* 3.4 24.2 10.1
South Dakota 2,166 37.7 200.8 70.3
Rapid City MSA 455* 3.4 32.3 6.5
Sioux Falls MSA 624* 11.9 71.7 10.0
NA — Not available
MSA — Metropolitan Statistical Area
PMSA — Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area
CMSA — Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area
^ — This regional electrical contractor employment number utilizes both 2002 and 2003 employment figures. For directional purposes only.
EC — Electrical contractor employees for March 2003. Actual numbers.
* — Electrical contractor employees for March 2002. Actual numbers.
M — Manufacturing employees for July 2003. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
C — Commercial account employees (professional and business services, retail trade, financial activities, educational and health services, and other services) for July 2003. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
G — Government employees for July 2003. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics