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Job Vacancies

Job Vacancy Survey (JVS) Virtual Training Session

Job openings in Minnesota soared to a record high in the second quarter of 2021 as demand for workers greatly outpaced hiring. As the state’s economy continues to recover from the pandemic recession, employers in Minnesota reported more than 205,000 vacancies as they struggled to fill open jobs.

This was an 84% increase compared to the second quarter of 2020, and a 40% increase compared to the second quarter of 2019, prior to the pandemic. In contrast, the number of unemployed workers is down 59% compared to the second quarter of 2020, and up only 33% compared to the second quarter of 2019 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Minnesota Job Vacancies and Unemployed, Second Quarter 2001 to 2021

These 205,714 vacancies translate into a job vacancy rate of 8.0%, or 8 job openings per 100 jobs. This is the highest rate on record, and is double from 4.0% one year ago.

Statewide, there were 0.6 unemployed persons for each vacancy, meaning that there were nearly twice as many open positions as unemployed individuals in Minnesota. After a short reversal during the peak of the pandemic recession in summer 2020 when there were 2.7 unemployed persons for each vacancy as unemployment spiked and employers paused hiring activity, this is back to pre-pandemic levels when the state experienced three straight years of less than one jobseeker for every vacancy.

The current rate suggests that the labor market is extremely tight, and it is likely that many employers are finding it difficult to fill open positions.

Regionally, 119,505 or 58.1% of all job vacancies were located in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, while the remaining 86,209 vacancies, or 41.9%, were located in Greater Minnesota during second quarter 2021. Compared to one year ago, the number of job vacancies increased by 81.4% in the Twin Cities and climbed 87.9% in Greater Minnesota.

The median (50th percentile) wage offer for all job vacancies rose to $16.64 per hour. The median wage offer is up 4.3% from one year ago, showing that employers are raising wages to attract workers. Wage offers are highly correlated with experience and education requirements, but rose over the year for both higher-paying and lower-paying occupations.


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