Employment Outlook

Thinking about a new career? We have an Employment Outlook tool that shows you which industries and occupations are expected to grow and which ones are expected to shrink over the next decade in Minnesota. This tool also provides access to short-term - one year - employment forecasts. Data are broken down by region, state and nation.

Select this link to use the Employment Outlook tool


About the Employment Outlook

Projections compiled by both occupation and industry for the state and for six regional planning areas. These 10-year forecasts are updated every other year.

Data Source
Projections are developed based on a national trend analysis model. Minnesota's industry and occupational mix are accounted for in the development of projections using Minnesota's Current Employment Statistics data and Occupational Employment Statistics staffing pattern data.

What Can this Tool Provide? 

The Employment Outlook tool helps people to make informed education and career decisions. The tool is:

  • Useful in planning by educational institutions.
  • Useful for business hiring plans.
  • Basis for evaluating alternative economic policies.

How is the Data Formatted
Viewable tables and graphs, downloadable files.

Occupations are classified using U.S. Department of Labor's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) typology. Industries are classified using the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).

Data elements include net employment growth and net replacement demand over the projection period. Net replacement demand is the net need for new entrants to the field of work to replace workers who retire or otherwise leave the field; net replacement demand does not include ordinary “churning” movement of workers between jobs.

Program Notes
The reliability of projections for individual occupations is subject to error due to the assumptions of the trend analysis method. Many unknown factors can and will affect the economy and employment levels over the 10-year projections period.

More About the Data
Additional information about national employment projections can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site at www.bls.gov/emp/.

View PowerPoint presentation about the data.

Data for Other States and US

National Data 

Projections for all 50 states can be found at www.projectionscentral.com.

View Data for Other States and the Nation


For long-term projections, the projection period is 2010-2020 (updated biannually).

Numeric Employment Change
Numeric employment change is the difference in the number of jobs between the base and projected years. A positive number means employment is growing due to the creation of new jobs. A negative number indicates employment is declining in the occupation.

Percent Employment Change
Percent employment change indicates how fast employment is expected to increase or decrease during the projection period. The larger the positive percent change, the faster employment is growing. A large positive percent change is generally an indicator of favorable employment prospects. Likewise, the larger the negative percent change, the faster employment is declining, and the more unfavorable the employment prospects.

Replacement Openings
Replacement openings are an estimate of the need for new work force entrants to replace workers who will die, retire, or otherwise permanently leave the occupation.

Total Openings
Total job openings represent the sum of new jobs and replacements during the specified projection period. Occupations with declining employment will have zero job openings due to growth, and total job openings equal to net replacements.

High Growth/High Pay Occupations and Industry
High Growth/High pay occupations (or industries) are those that represent at least 0.1% of total employment in the base year, have an annual median salary which is higher than the average for the current year, and are projected to grow at a rate which is higher than the average growth rate.

High Demand Occupations
High demand/ High pay occupations are those that represent at least 0.1% of total employment in the base year, have an annual median salary which is higher than the average for the current year, and are projected to have more total openings as a share of employment than the average. In order to highlight these occupations, data from employment projections (2010-2020) have been combined with current Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage data.


Employment Outlook (Projections) Methodology

To avoid misinterpretation of the employment projections, please note the following limitations:

Employment refers to the number of jobs (including both full-time and part-time), not the number of employed persons. Since some people work at more than one job, fewer persons will be employed than the number of jobs listed.

Growth/decline is not expected to be constant over the 10-year period. For some industries or occupations, significant growth or decline may have already occurred early in the projections period.

Projections are more reliable the broader the industry or occupational categories and less reliable as the industries or occupations become increasingly detailed.

Movement of a large or dominant corporation into or out of the state, which cannot be reliably predicted, could greatly alter employment levels within an industry and invalidate the projections for that industry.

Net replacement openings estimate the difference between the movement of experienced workers who change jobs to enter other occupations, retire, or leave the workforce for other reasons and the movement of experienced workers filling the openings. 

The openings that remain unfilled by experienced workers are net replacement openings, available to new workforce entrants. In most occupations, net replacement openings significantly understate the total number of job openings because net replacement openings measure the difference between the number of workers in the workforce who leave an occupation and the number who enter the occupation.

Despite these limitations, the projections in this report represent an extensive and valuable data base for those interested in future employment patterns. This report can be useful for identifying areas of growth or decline, especially relative magnitudes of occupational employment changes. However, the projections are not intended to be precise point estimates of employment for each industry or occupation.

Parameters and Assumptions

Minnesota industry and occupational employment projections rely heavily on national industry and occupational employment projections produced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS produces nationwide employment projections every other year. Minnesota projections are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) national projections, which can be found at http://www.bls.gov/emp/.

Industry Projections

The main steps in preparing industry projections included:

1. Estimating 2012 base year employment figures for all industries at the four-digit North American Industrial Classification (NAICS) level: Industry employment figures were based primarily on data from Minnesota’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. Estimates for agricultural-related employment not covered in the above programs, self-employed workers, and private household workers were derived from 2012 American Community Survey data, 2012 Current Population Survey (CPS) data, and 2012 Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) employment data. Total projection employment for 2012 was 2,915,400 compared to 2,801,700 for LAUS household employment, 2,730,700 for CES employment, and 2,644,900 for QCEW employment in 2012.  All employment estimates are annual averages.

2. Projecting 2022 employment levels for approximately 290 industries.  Linear regression models were used to forecast employment for most of the industries. Since Minnesota follows many of the same trends as the United States, a common variable used in the models was U.S. employment in the equivalent industry. Other Minnesota-specific variables included employment in related industries, population, personal income, labor force, and school enrollment Initial projections were reviewed adjusted as deemed appropriate.

Occupational Projections

Occupational projections were prepared using the Microcomputer Industry/Occupation Matrix processing system developed by the Utah Department of Employment Security, the National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (NOICC), the Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies (ICESA), the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and the BLS. The major steps in preparing occupational projections included the following:

1. Determining an occupational staffing pattern for each detailed industry: Staffing patterns (the distribution of occupations by industry) were based on the 2012 Occupational Employment Statistic (OES) survey. In cases where response to the survey was low or missing in a particular industry, national staffing patterns or patterns from earlier OES surveys were used. The distribution of occupations in industries not covered by the OES survey were derived from 2012 American Community Survey data.

2. Creating a 2012 base year industry/occupation matrix: The occupational staffing pattern for each industry was proportionally adjusted to equal the 2012 base year employment figure for that industry.

3. Developing a 2022 projected year industry/occupation matrix: The BLS provided national occupational change factors (the projected change in the distribution of occupations within an industry between 2012 and 2022). These change factors were applied to the 2012 base year matrix, resulting in a new occupational staffing pattern for each industry. These new staffing patterns were then proportionally adjusted to equal 2022 projected employment by industry.

4. Calculating an estimate for net replacements between 2012 and 2022 for each occupation, based on replacement rates developed by the BLS: National replacement data is available http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_110.htm.


Questions regarding the Minnesota data?  Contact our Labor Market Office at 651-259-7384 or deed.lmi@state.mn.us.