Small businesses struggling to hire qualified workers

Desy Papper

The NFIB’s small business optimism index rose 2.4 points in March to 98.2, marking the first return to average levels since last November. 

However, the NFIB’s business uncertainty index increased during the same period, primarily driven by business owners being more uncertain about whether it is a good time to expand their business and make capital expenditures in the coming months.  

“Main Street is doing better as state and local restrictions are eased, but finding qualified labor is a critical issue for small businesses nationwide,” says NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small business owners are competing with the pandemic and

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Fed Leaders Agree: Economics Has a Racial-Disparity Problem | Business News

Desy Papper

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Federal Reserve policymakers on Tuesday underscored their concern that Black and Hispanic people are sharply underrepresented in the economics field, which lessens the perspectives that economists can bring to key policy issues.

“If we don’t have a diverse group of people in the field, we won’t have the right topics to focus on,” said Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

At a webinar sponsored by the 12 regional Fed banks, the officials and many outside economists addressed the problem on the same day that a study

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U.S. needs to invest in semiconductor ‘infrastructure,’ Biden tells business leaders facing crippling shortages

Desy Papper

The U.S. needs to address an ongoing shortage of semiconductors by investing in its chip “infrastructure,” President Joe Biden said during a virtual summit meeting with auto executives and other business leaders Monday afternoon.

“These chips, these wafers … batteries, broadband — it’s all infrastructure. We need to build the infrastructure of today and not repair the one of yesterday,” Biden said. “The plan I propose will protect our supply chain and revitalize American manufacturing.”

The event was called to address an immediate crisis that has impacted key industries, including consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals and auto manufacturing. Few sectors have been

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RICHARDSON: Properly prepare for the future | Local Business News

Desy Papper

Leaders don’t micromanage—they oversee what’s going on to reassure managers when things are going well. Oversight also allows leaders to address issues before major mistakes are made.

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If Eddie had not given his general manager multiple chances over many years to make decisions, the manager would not have been prepared while Eddie recovered. And what if Eddie had not recovered? If the manager wasn’t prepared to step up, the entire organization might have failed. Dozens of people might have lost their jobs.

I know it’s hard to let go of

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Star Tribune names Kim to lead business news coverage

Desy Papper

Courtnay Kim, a 20-year veteran of the Star Tribune newsroom, has been named assistant managing editor of business news, taking leadership of coverage of the Minnesota business community digitally and in print.

With 17 reporters and editors, the department is one of the largest business-news operations at a newspaper in the country. Kim is the first woman of color to be appointed to the role at the Star Tribune.

“Courtnay is a thoughtful, aspirational editor who knows our community well and wants to serve it with the best journalism,” said Rene Sanchez, editor and senior vice president of the Star

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