Insight News

Feb 07th


Reducing Black unemployment: No easy solutions

After remaining virtually unchanged throughout 2011, the Black unemployment rate fell from 15.8 percent last December to 13.6 percent in January, a drop of 2.2 percent. But from January to February, the figure eased back up to 14.1 percent , an indication that the persistent problem of Black unemployment is not likely to go away soon.

African-Americans, who voted for President Obama at a rate of 95 percent, have been quietly sulking over his inability to lower the Black unemployment rate. They saw the rate rise from 9 percent in December 2007, at the beginning of the recent recession, to 14.9 percent in June 2009 when the recession officially ended, to 15.8 percent in December 2011. Meanwhile, White unemployment rose from 4.4 percent in December 2007 to 8.7 percent at the end of the recession before falling to 7.5 percent last December. It was 7.4 percent in January and 7.3 percent in February.


From resolutions to reality: Financial planning in 2012

New Year resolutions can be difficult to make, and even harder to keep.  This year, as I made resolutions around my health; spending time with family and friends; and spiritual growth, I also made a point to include financial related goals.  For 2012, my family set two financial goals: to eliminate credit card debt and meet with a financial specialist to review our plans for retirement and college savings.  I say family because my husband and I felt it was very important to include our five and seven year old sons in the process. They each established their own financial goal – my seven-year old decided he would save money to buy and care for a guinea pig (wonderful!).


Inspiration Bank: Great stories motivate

An inspiration bank is a collection of ideas that propel people forward when the going gets tough.  Everyone has an inspiration bank; some just don’t realize how powerful it can be.  By diving into a great story and keeping it with you, the inspiration is yours to cash in on when you wake up one miserable Tuesday morning and cannot see a way to put your feet on the floor, one in front of the other.  Recently, my nephew TJ deposited a pretty good story into his inspiration bank.  It seems like a story about hockey, but it is not.  It’s about hard work and bad luck and people achieving improbable goals.


Northeast Bank Wins Award

Northeast Bank Wins Award

Last month, Northeast Bank was honored by the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce with the receipt of the 2012 Excellence in People Development Award. The award was received on behalf of the Bank by Andrea Murphy at an official Roaring 20’s-themed awards gala held on February 24, 2012. Our award submission was based on our philosophy of people development, our generous education reimbursement program, and our extensive internal and external training and development options. Specific examples were also noted regarding our many members of management that started off in entry-level positions before being promoted to their current roles.

From left to right: Tim Roche, President of the Chamber; Andrea Murphy, Northeast Bank AVP; Joe Brauer, Board Chair.  Photo credit: NEB

Commerce Commissioner encourages military families to defend their financial futures

Commerce Department launches new online financial guide for military servicemembers and their families

The Minnesota Department of Commerce this week launched a new section of its website dedicated exclusively to providing financial tips and tools for military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

“Knowledge is power, and information is often the best defense for the financial wellbeing of any family,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “We know the stresses of deployment can have a significant impact on the budgets of military families. With a long list of uncertainties to navigate, it is essential for military personnel and their families to utilize all available resources to make informed financial decisions before, and after deployment. That’s what this effort is all about.”


Making Bold Moves: Creating Multimillion Dollar Success in 500 Days or Less

Making Bold Moves: Creating Multimillion Dollar Success in 500 Days or Less

“In building NobleStrategy, [Bill Parrish] not only built a force in the construction management industry, he built one of the few black-owned companies that have become a leader in the $90 billion-dollar green economy—one of the sectors that President Obama has encouraged companies, large and small, to enter in order to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world…The lessons you can learn in this book come at an apt time. As the black jobless rate stands at 16%, legions of African-Americans will have to embrace entrepreneurship as a means of finding employment and wealth-building opportunities… I encourage you to open the pages of this book… if you want to gain insight into the lives of entrepreneurs and what it truly takes to succeed.” -- Excerpted from the Foreword Introduction (pgs. ix-x)


What Did I Say? Soft skills matter

What Did I Say?  Soft skills matter


Your coworker stomps out of the room.  You look at the group and ask, “What did I say?”  It is not what you said that bothered someone… it is how you said it.  Hard skills are the measurable skills people engage in to perform their everyday tasks; soft skills are the attitudes and approach people take to communicating and accomplishing things.  Hard skills like counting, measuring, typing are trainable.  Soft skills are more engrained and take real effort to teach. 

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