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Sales tax figures

THUMBS UP: Some good news about New Ulm’s economy emerged this week. The New Ulm Park & Rec advisory board heard that revenue from the New Ulm municipal sales tax hit a record high in 2013, with $1,283,483 taken in. The city collects a half percent sales tax to pay off the bonds sold to fund the park and rec facilities projects, which included building the New Ulm Civic Center, expanding the New Ulm Community Center and revamping the New Ulm Recreation Center and Vogel Arena to create the Vogel Fieldhouse.

The amount received was double the amount needed to cover the related debt service costs. The extra funds go into a repair fund for the facilities.

The record sales tax revenue is a reflection of strong retail sales in New Ulm, and is good news for the local economy.

Schell’s honors

THUMBS UP: The August Schell Brewery continues to pull in awards for the beers it creates. This week the brewery received a gold and a bronze award in the 2014 World Beer Cup. Schell’s “Firebrick” beer took a gold medal in the Vienna-Style Lager category, and its Framboise du Nord took a bronze in the German-Style Sour Ale category.

Schell’s has been making a name for itself with the variety and excellence of its German-style beers. Congratulations to the Martis and all involved with the development and production of these special brews.

Jobs in Minnesota

THUMBS UP: The state Department of Employment and Economic Development had some good news this week. The monthly jobs report for March showed the state has added 2,600 jobs in the month just past, bringing the state to over 3 million jobs for the first time in history.

The state’s jobless rate holds steady at 4.8 percent, below the U.S. rate of 6.7 percent.

Professional and business services led all sectors last month with 3,500 new jobs. Other sectors that gained jobs were construction (up 2,700), financial activities (up 1,200), government (up 1,000), information (up 400), manufacturing (up 200) and logging and mining (up 100).

Sectors that lost jobs last month were leisure and hospitality (down 2,700), transportation and utilities (down 2,300), education and health services (down 1,000) and other services (down 500).

This is encouraging news for the state’s economy.