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Central Region

central-minnesota-mapCentral Minnesota is a manufacturing stronghold, with several global manufacturing firms operating there.

The region is especially well known for its expertise in food processing, printing, furniture manufacturing, appliances, machinery and heavy equipment manufacturing.

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What Recession? Record Job Openings in Central Minnesota

6/8/2021 9:00:00 AM

Luke Greiner

Central Minnesota employers reported over 14,100 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2020, roughly the same amount as the record highs posted in 2018 and 2019. This flies in the face of the fact that we're still technically in a recession, which officially started in February 2020 and according to the National Bureau of Economic Research has not ended yet. These historically high job vacancy counts are yet another bizarre outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are some other interesting findings from Central Minnesota in the fourth quarter 2020 Job Vacancy Survey.

  • Part-time openings make up a record low share of the total
    • Part-time job openings, which typically soar during economic uncertainty as employers mitigate long-term labor commitments, have fallen to just 36% of all openings, the lowest share ever recorded. But for workers needing part-time flexibility, opportunities are still substantial, with nearly 5,100 part time openings compared to 9,051 full-time openings.
  • Median wage offers are stagnant
    • Despite widespread hiring challenges, employers haven't substantially increased wages, at least yet. The median wage offer for all openings was $15.42, up about $0.60 compared to the 2nd quarter of 2020, but down $0.60 from the fourth quarter of 2019. For full-time openings it was $17.14 and $14.05 for part-time openings.
    • Of 20 occupational categories in Central Minnesota, only five had more than a nickel increase in the median wage offer for all job openings from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. The same was true for full-time openings, however 9 out of 14 occupational categories with part time openings had higher median wage offers, suggesting this is the harder group to recruit for. The most notable increases were in the Personal Care and Service and Production occupations.
  • Low barriers to start working
    • Just over three-quarters of job openings could be attained with nothing more than a high school diploma. In fact 45% made no mention of any educational requirement at all. For full-time jobs the percentage of jobs requiring solely a high school diploma was slightly lower at 72%; it was higher for part-time jobs at 78% of openings. People can get right to work regardless of educational attainment.
  • Sales and Food Prep and Serving Occupations represent 30% of all openings
    • Though demand is down in Sales and Food Prep and Serving due to the pandemic recession, these top two occupational categories continue to have a substantial share of openings in the region. The largest numbers of openings are in some of the lowest paying occupations, the result of many low skilled workers not returning to work and high turnover as workers gain skills and move into better paying occupations.
  • The share of openings offering health insurance benefits increased slightly
    • Half of all openings offered health insurance benefits, up four points from 2019, but roughly consistent since 2012. 80% of full-time openings offer health insurance while just 22% of part-time openings offer the benefit. Steady gains in the share of part-time openings offering health insurance continued, steadily rising since 2017 when only 12% offered it.

To check out more details about the types of openings in your area use DEED's Job Vacancy Survey tool.

Central Minnesota Job Vacancies

For More Information

Contact Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378.

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