Economic Impact of Colleges on the St. Cloud Economy
Colleges play a role in a community's economy. St. Cloud State University Professor of Economics and Interim Dean, King Banaian joined me on WJON. He says the role schools like St. Cloud State, St. John's, St. Ben's and St. Cloud Tech and Community College play in the community include two things; demand for goods and services in a community and they provide a labor force. Banaian explains many of the restaurant and hospitality and retail part-time jobs are taken by college students. He says another impact colleges make is they buy stuff in the community like food, gasoline, books and pay for their staff. Banaian says the economic impact of colleges in the area is about 4 to 5% of the economy.
Gas prices have stabilized over the past week locally and Banaian expects that trend to continue for at least a few more weeks. He say the switch from summer to winter blend will force the price up in the range of $3.70 to $4.00 locally in early November. Banaian expects a spike in price and then for that price to fall slowly in a similar way that it did a few weeks ago. He says that is a normal pattern when blends change from summer to winter and vice versa.
Recession, inflation and interest rates are all things economists track. Banaian expects the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates one more time this year with the hopes of reducing inflation. He says it is unclear if we can have a recession with an unemployment rate of less than 4%. Banaian believes the sector who would be most adversely affected by higher interest rates and a slowed economy would be the manufacturing industry which could lead to job cuts.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with King Banaian it is available below.