The lowest unemployment rate since 2008. The biggest increase in housing starts since 2007. The lowest number of foreclosures since 2006.
The upshot? The city’s economy is on the upswing.
“Things are starting to turn the corner,” said Green, who has been a member of the commission for more than 10 years.
The biggest growth in the employment sector—where Woodbury’s unemployment is 1.2 percentage points better than Washington County’s (and 3.9 better than the national number)—was in the health care and education fields, Green said.
Commercial investment was also up in 2012—155 businesses secured permits for additions or reconstruction—with the total value of that work estimated at more than $20 million.
Little of that was new construction, Green said, but the figure will likely see a boost in 2013 with Cabela’s coming to Woodbury, along with a new grocery store and retail space as part of the urban village plans. The 26,000 square feet of new construction in Woodbury in 2012 wasn’t a huge number, he said, “but certainly better than it was in 2011.”
“Definitely positive signs,” Green said.
Meanwhile, the city’s decision to open up Phase 2 for new housing should prove to be a “big catalyst for accelerated growth of the city,” Green said.
Continuing with housing, Woodbury had the fourth highest of number of new homes in the metro area in 2012, and the flip side of that was the lowest number of foreclosures since 2006, Green said.
Looking forward, Green said it’s unlikely Woodbury returns to the heyday of the mid-1990s, but he anticipates a “steady rate of growth going forward.”
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