skip to content
Primary navigation

Chugging along in 2013

by Amanda Rohrer
May 2014

Minnesota's 2013 job growth was fairly substantial, with an annual average increase of 48,534 (1.8 percent) over 2012. This was an improvement from the 38,868 jobs added in 2012 and was slightly better than the U.S. growth rate of 1.7 percent.

Growth was widely distributed with most industries seeing gains of between 1.4 and 2.5 percent. There were exceptions: Mining and Logging employment declined 0.5 percent. Mining and Logging is a very small industry; the annual average employment in 2013 was only 6,967 for the whole state. It also did very well in the last few years as new mining operations opened up in the Northeast part of the state. The total decline of 33 jobs may simply be the industry settling in to a new normal after abrupt growth. Nationally, the industry grew 2.3 percent, but the mix of Mining and Logging operations varies quite a bit by region.

Information employment also increased much less than other industries with a total gain of only 0.1 percent (67 jobs). Growth in the industry has been stagnant for several years now. Since this industry includes newspapers, telecommunications, software publishing and web development and search engines, the component industries may have dramatically different trends that cancel each other out in terms of overall employment impacts. The low rate of growth is consistent with the national increase of 0.3 percent.

Government employment also was nearly flat, increasing only 0.2 percent for 2013. This is in contrast with the national decline of 0.3 percent in Government employment. Last year saw a similar gain in Minnesota.

The industry that fared the best was Construction which gained 6,283 jobs (6.6 percent) compared to 3.2 percent nationally. Strong growth in this industry is promising for its impacts on other industries - new building usually is a sign of money in the economy - but as a jobs creation engine, construction jobs can be inconsistent and short term.



Table 1: Employment Growth by Supersector, 2011 - 2013

Year-to-Year Change
2012-2013

Minnesota

U.S.

Industry Title

2013

2012

2011

Numeric

Percent

Percent

Total Nonfarm

2,779,617

2,731,083

2,688,250

48,534

1.8

1.7

Total Private

2,366,242

2,318,708

2,277,350

47,534

2.1

2.1

Goods-Producing excl. Ag.

416,258

407,833

398,800

8,425

2.1

1.5

Service-Providing

2,363,358

2,323,250

2,289,450

40,108

1.7

1.7

Private Service-Providing

1,949,983

1,910,875

1,878,550

39,108

2.0

2.2

Mining and Logging

6,967

7,000

6,608

-33

-0.5

2.3

Construction

101,233

94,950

91,567

6,283

6.6

3.2

Manufacturing

308,058

305,883

300,625

2,175

0.7

0.7

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

511,475

503,475

496,883

8,000

1.6

1.5

Retail Trade

287,392

282,800

279,808

4,592

1.6

1.6

Transportation and Warehousing

93,283

91,950

91,408

1,333

1.4

1.8

Information

53,667

53,600

53,783

67

0.1

0.3

Financial Activities

181,217

177,908

174,217

3,309

1.9

1.2

Professional and Business Services

345,208

336,742

329,542

8,466

2.5

3.5

Educational and
Health Service

491,192

477,725

469,417

13,467

2.8

2

Leisure and Hospitality

249,675

245,550

239,558

4,125

1.7

3.4

Other Services
(Private Only)

117,550

115,875

115,150

1,675

1.4

0.6

Government

413,375

412,375

410,900

1,000

0.2

-0.3

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics



In Figure 1 seasonally adjusted employment for the U.S. and Minnesota is displayed. Minnesota employment has largely been on a growth trajectory, except for July of 2012 when there was a decline and return to increases, then again in March and April of 2014 when employment slowed. The overall trend has mostly kept pace with the nation except for the past two months.

Figure 1



Over-the-year rates of growth by quarter show that growth was pretty consistent through the year (Table 2). Total Nonfarm quarterly employment over-the-year growth rates varied only 0.3 percent for the quarters of 2013. At the industry level the growth rates weren't always as resolute. The most inconsistent industries were Construction, Information, Financial Activities, Mining and Logging, and Other Services. Except for Information the inconsistency of these industries can be largely attributed to the overall seasonal pattern. Information in general has a more volatile employment pattern.

Table 2: Minnesota Year-over-Year Growth by Quarter

2013 Quarterly Annual Growth Rates

1st Qtr

2nd Qtr

3rd Qtr

4th Qtr

Total Nonfarm

1.9

1.6

1.6

1.7

Total Private

2.1

1.8

2.0

2.1

Goods-Producing excl. Ag.

1.8

1.2

1.9

3.2

Service-Providing

2.0

1.6

1.6

1.4

Private Service Providing

2.2

1.9

2.0

1.9

Mining and Logging

0.7

-1.7

-1.5

-1.4

Construction

4.3

3.3

7.4

10.6

Manufacturing

1.2

0.6

0.1

0.9

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

1.5

1.2

1.8

1.6

Information

0.2

-0.9

-0.7

1.5

Financial Activities

2.9

1.9

1.7

0.7

Professional and Business Services

3.2

2.6

2.3

1.6

Educational and Health Services

2.7

3.0

2.6

2.9

Leisure and Hospitality

2.0

1.4

1.6

1.2

Other Services (Private Only)

0.9

1.4

1.7

2.6

Government

0.9

0.3

-0.4

-0.7

Source: Current Employment Statistics



UNEMPLOYMENT

Following several years of steady declines, the unemployment rate is now holding roughly steady just below 5.0 percent - 4.7 percent seasonally adjusted in April. Although Minnesota's unemployment rate has been consistently better than the U.S. rate, the gap is beginning to close as Minnesota seems to reach normal and the nation as a whole continues to work toward that end.

INITIAL CLAIMS

Initial claims are falling, too. Last January seasonally adjusted initial claims bottomed out at 19,219, below the pre-recession low of 21,727 in December 2007. Except for a spike during the state government shutdown in 2011, seasonally adjusted initial claims have been falling reliably but not very evenly since September 2009. This marks a return to relatively normal levels.

GROWTH INDUSTRIES

In the top 25 growth industries below the supersector level, seven industries were in the construction industry and five were related to construction and building maintenance. Given that construction was the largest growth industry by multiple measures, this is not surprising. It speaks to pent-up demand for housing and to building improvements that are finally being tapped as other parts of the economy recover.

Other growth industries are high-skilled service industries. Insurance Carriers, Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services, Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll, Professional, Scientific, and Technical, and Schools are all industries that deal in information and very specific services. The kinds of jobs being created are likely higher-skilled and may be pulling from the pool of newly minted college graduates or people who had left the labor force rather than take a job below their skill level. In either case, the unemployment rate would remain unaffected since new entrants and non-participants are not counted among the unemployed.

Minnesota's employment in 2013 returned to pre-recession normal. Although growth has been measured, and workers are still picking up the pieces after a tough few years, our measures of economic progress have evened out and are ready to tell a new story.

Table 3: Minnesota Industries with the Highest Rates of Growth

Industry Title

2012-2013 Growth

Numeric

Percent

Residential Building Construction

822

8.7

Nondepository Credit Intermediation

707

8.5

Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

716

6.9

Construction of Buildings

1,450

6.7

Specialty Trade Contractors

3,956

6.6

Construction

6,216

6.5

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

810

5.9

Services to Buildings and Dwellings

1,379

5.2

Building Equipment Contractors

1,245

4.5

Insurance Carriers

2,086

4.5

Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services

746

4.1

Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services

573

3.9

Computer Systems Design and Related Services

1,194

3.9

Social Assistance

2,920

3.8

Ambulatory Health Care Services

4,773

3.6

Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers

872

3.5

Elementary and Secondary Schools

686

3.5

Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors

383

3.4

Credit Intermediation and Related Activities

1,791

3.4

Offices of Physicians

2,153

3.4

Insurance Carriers and Related Activities

2,153

3.3

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

4,369

3.3

Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers

979

3.2

Health Care and Social Assistance

12,277

3.0

State Government excluding Education

1,088

3.0

Source: Current Employment Statistics

back to top