Community Economic Health and Statistical Analysis

The Center for Small Towns is utilizing funding from West Central Initiative’s Labor Force Development Council to research who’s living and working in rural Minnesota and why. Rebecca Haider, who serves as the Center’s Data Services and Outreach Coordinator heads the project, looking for ways to better improve employment and employment prediction services in the area. 

Rebecca Haider works primarily with data, doing
statistical analysis at the Center for Small Towns.


Working together with UMM students Nick Hinnenkamp, Hannah Knott, and Rachel Bohling, CST has been working on the project since January of this year. They were primarily interested in studying economic development region 4, which is the home and focus of West Central Initiative. The group has been looking at how many people are currently working in different economic sectors, the average weekly wages for different sectors, the number and types of amenities in an area, and how each of these relate to fluctuations in the population of younger and older age groups. 

Everyone here at the Center for Small Towns, and folks throughout the rural development industry spend a lot of time talking about population, and how rural migration affects all other aspects of rural life. The Center for Small Towns was excited to take on specific economic and statistical research into how people are moving throughout the economic sectors, and what kind of impacts that can have. 

Currently Rachel and Rebecca are putting together a presentation to summarize months of statistical analysis and findings for the Labor Force Development Council’s December meeting. The two will also be showcasing a model for population change, and explore other variables that may influence economic success in the area.

If you’re interested in Rebecca’s work, or are curious about rural migration trends and economic success feel free to contact us for more information!

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