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Pawlenty selects two for economic team

Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson and Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy to lead the Governor's Economic Outlook Analysis Team.

They will consult with the state's economic advisors regarding recent volatility in financial markets and the impact on Minnesota.

"The instability in financial markets requires that we do everything possible to protect the interests of Minnesotans and work to ensure our state emerges from this economic crisis well-positioned for the future," Governor Pawlenty said. "Thus far, many Minnesota-based financial services companies are weathering this storm, unlike some Wall Street firms.

"I have asked Commissioners Wilson and McElroy to review state actions that would be helpful and to meet with representatives from Minnesota companies to discuss how the solution being negotiated in Washington will impact the availability of credit and other issues."

The Governor said that the Economic Outlook Analysis Team will look into the potential effect of the financial turmoil on jobs and economic development in the state, review any impact on state-regulated financial services companies, and provide recommendations to the Governor on any possible actions.

According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota's finance and insurance industry has added more than 4,000 jobs in the last 12 months to total around 144,000.

The state has the 13th highest number of jobs in this industry, and of the 12 states ranked higher, nine have seen job loss in the industry since August 2006..

The industry represents about 5.2% of the state's jobs.