"Economic lookouts" gauge the state's economy

Hans Hagen
Hans Hagen is careful not to build residential housing without an order from a customer, but on a bad bet his competition flooded the market, driving the value of his homes down.
MPR Photo/Annie Baxter

The economy continues to weaken. With soaring gas prices, the real estate slump and mortgage troubles, the economic slowdown is affecting everyone.

MPR selected a group of people from around Minnesota to give us a first-hand perspective on the effects of the slowdown. And we'll be checking in with them periodically over the coming months.

MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke three of them. Trisha Dillion of Rochester, Minnesota, is a health-care consultant for the Mayo Clinic, as well as clients in Chicago and Washington, D.C. She also has four children.

Steve Piragis is the owner of Piragis Northwoods Company, an outfitter in Ely, Minnesota. He's on the board of Boundary Waters Bank, and sees firsthand the challenges and opportunities facing firms in his area.

Jon Zitur lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He works for a large, local lumber company. Lumber companies can be early indicators of where the economy is headed.

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