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Job Vacancy Survey Findings

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During second quarter 2019, employers reported a total of 146,513 vacancies, up 3 percent from second quarter 2018 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Minnesota Job Vacancies and Unemployed,
Second Quarter 2001 to Second Quarter 2019

 Figure 1. Minnesota Job Vacancies and Unemployed, Second Quarter 2001 to Second Quarter 2019

These 146,513 vacancies translate into a job vacancy rate of 5.3 percent, or 5.3 job openings per 100 jobs. This rate is up from 5.2 percent one year ago.

Statewide, there were 0.7 unemployed persons for each vacancy, meaning that there are more open positions than unemployed individuals in Minnesota. While this ratio indicates that the labor market is still very tight, it is slightly up from one year ago when there were only 0.6 unemployed person for each vacancy. The reason for this slight uptick is that, although the number of job vacancies continues to increase, the number of unemployed has increased over the year. Table 1 provides historical data.

Table 1: Job Vacancies in Minnesota, 2001 to 2019

Number of Job Vacancies

Number of Vacancies
per 100 Jobs

Number of Unemployed
per Vacancy

2nd Quarter 2001

115,072

4.5

0.9

4th Quarter 2001

79,793

3.1

1.4

2nd Quarter 2002

69,715

2.8

1.9

4th Quarter 2002

56,166

2.2

2.0

2nd Quarter 2003

53,246

2.1

2.6

4th Quarter 2003

50,439

2.0

2.6

2nd Quarter 2004

66,543

2.6

2.0

4th Quarter 2004

51,137

2.0

2.3

2nd Quarter 2005

59,513

2.3

2.0

4th Quarter 2005

61,554

2.4

1.8

2nd Quarter 2006

64,958

2.5

1.7

4th Quarter 2006

55,736

2.1

2.0

2nd Quarter 2007

62,569

2.4

2.1

4th Quarter 2007

50,594

1.9

2.5

2nd Quarter 2008

51,722

2.0

2.9

4th Quarter 2008

31,066

1.2

5.5

2nd Quarter 2009

31,358

1.2

7.9

4th Quarter 2009

25,885

1.0

8.2

2nd Quarter 2010

41,397

1.6

4.8

4th Quarter 2010

33,804

1.4

5.8

2nd Quarter 2011

54,670

2.2

3.6

4th Quarter 2011

49,890

2.0

3.2

2nd Quarter 2012

62,949

2.5

2.6

4th Quarter 2012

58,864

2.3

2.6

2nd Quarter 2013

72,569

2.8

2.1

4th Quarter 2013

60,397

2.3

2.1

2nd Quarter 2014

84,696

3.3

1.6

4th Quarter 2014

88,927

3.4

1.1

2nd Quarter 2015

97,997

3.7

1.2

4th Quarter 2015

96,114

3.6

1.0

2nd Quarter 2016

97,580

3.6

1.2

4th Quarter 2016

97,374

3.6

1.1

2nd Quarter 2017

122,929

4.5

0.9

4th Quarter 2017

113,774

4.2

0.8

2nd Quarter 2018

142,282

5.2

0.6

4th Quarter 2018

136,917

4.9

0.6

2nd Quarter 2019

146,513

5.3

0.7

Regional Findings

Regionally, 86,044 or 58.7 percent of all job vacancies were located in the Twin Cities seven-county area, while the remaining 60,468 vacancies, or 41.3 percent, were located in Greater Minnesota. Compared to one year ago, the number of job vacancies increased by 4.8 percent in the Twin Cities and 0.4 percent in Greater Minnesota.

The Twin Cities’ job vacancy rate was 5.0 percent and Greater Minnesota’s was 5.8 percent. The Twin Cities had 0.6 job seekers for each vacancy and Greater Minnesota had 0.8 job seekers for each vacancy.

Findings by Industry, Occupation and Size

Statewide, the Health Care & Social Assistance industry had the most job vacancies, followed by Accommodation & Food Service, Retail Trade and Manufacturing (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Minnesota Job Vacancies by Industry Sector, Second Quarter 2019

Figure 2. Minnesota Job Vacancies by Industry Sector, Second Quarter 2019

By occupational group, Food Preparation & Serving had the most job vacancies followed by the Sales & Related, Transportation & Material Moving, Office & Administrative Support, and Personal Care & Service occupational groups.

The occupations with the most job vacancies during second quarter 2019 were Retail Salespersons with 7,811 vacancies, Combined Food Preparation & Serving Workers with 7,186 vacancies and Personal Care Aides with 6,181 vacancies.

By size, firms with 1 to 9 employees had the highest job vacancy rate at 8.4 percent, followed by firms with 10 to 49 employees at 7.8 percent. The largest firms, those with 250 or more employees, had the lowest vacancy rate at 2.8 percent. These large firms also had the lowest share of part-time vacancies (31 percent of vacancies) and the highest median wage offer ($19.79 per hour) and were the most likely to offer health insurance (74 percent of vacancies).

Characteristics of Job Vacancies

Along with the number of vacancies, employers also report on the characteristics of their job vacancies. Some key characteristics of second quarter 2019 Minnesota job vacancies are as follows:

    • Thirty-five percent are for part-time employment. Part-time is defined as fewer than 35 hours per week.
    • Thirteen percent are for temporary or seasonal work.
    • Thirty percent require some level of post-secondary education or training beyond a high school diploma. This means the majority of vacancies require no education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent.
    • Forty-five percent require one or more years of work experience.
    • The median (50th percentile) wage offer for all job vacancies is $15.00 per hour. Wage offers are highly correlated with experience and education requirements (see Figure 3).
    • Fifty-seven percent of vacancies offer health insurance. Health care benefits are by far less common for part-time job vacancies than for full-time job vacancies.

Figure 3. Minnesota Job Vacancies by Education and Experience Required with Wage Offers, Second Quarter 2019

Figure 3. Minnesota Job Vacancies by Education and Experience Required with Wage Offers, Second Quarter 2019 

Trends in Vacancies and Wage Offers

Some of the most notable one and five year changes in the number of vacancies and wage offers are listed below.

Median wage offers:

  • The median wage offer is up 3.2 percent from one year ago. This compares to 1.3 percent inflation (based on the Consumer Price Index).
  • Over the year, median wage offers rose the most in vacancies requiring vocational training, up 10.3 percent, followed by a high school diploma, up 4.3 percent.
  • Median wage offers are higher than they have ever been for vacancies requiring no education ($12.43 per hour), a high school diploma ($14.62 per hour) or vocational training ($18.71).
  • Over a five-year period, second quarter 2014 to 2019, median wage offers rose the most for vacancies with no education requirement, up 38.1 percent. Median wage offers for all vacancies rose 24.5 percent and the cost of living rose 5.1 percent over the five-year period.

Number of job vacancies:

  • The number of job vacancies requiring a high school diploma or less rose by 3.7 percent or 3,643 vacancies over the year, while the number of job vacancies requiring vocational training or a college degree rose by 1.4 percent or 587 vacancies over the year.
  • Over a five-year period, second quarter 2014 to 2019, vacancies requiring a high school diploma or less rose by 93 percent or 49,652 vacancies, while those requiring vocational training or a college degree rose by 39 percent or 12,164 vacancies.

Which Occupations Are in Demand?

Jobseekers and employers want to know who is hiring and for what fields of work. Job vacancy counts alone are not a complete picture of labor market demand since larger occupations tend to have higher numbers of vacancies.

Occupations in Demand (OID) provides a ranked list of occupations currently in demand, along with links to occupational descriptions, wages and programs of study. Lists are available for Minnesota as well as the six Planning Regions. These lists use measures of demand from Job Vacancy Survey statistics as well as other sources of data including Unemployment Insurance claimants and Occupational Employment Statistics.

What is the Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey?

Employers provide information on their job vacancies twice a year to enable us to estimate hiring demand and job vacancy characteristics by industry, occupation and firm size in Minnesota. The information is gathered through a survey of about 10,000 firms stratified by 13 regions of the state, 20 industry sectors, and 4 size classes.

These data provide job seekers and counselors with information on occupations showing hiring demand within their region. The information also helps employment, training and education providers understand current labor market conditions in their region and tailor services to better meet customer and employer needs. Finally, the data provides a leading labor market indicator.

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