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Anoka County Continues to Grow

7/15/2019 3:00:00 PM

Tim O'Neill

With just over 7,500 establishments supplying over 125,500 jobs, Anoka County is Minnesota’s fourth largest-employing county. And it’s growing. Since the end of the Great Recession in 2010, Anoka County has gained 20,190 jobs, growing by 19.2 percent. With that growth, the county has surpassed its 2007 pre-recession peak of employment by over 9,300 jobs.

More recently, between 2013 and 2018, the county witnessed average annual employment growth of 1.9 percent, which outpaced the state’s average annual growth during that time of 1.4 percent. Within the past year of available data, between 2017 and 2018, Anoka County gained 3,047 jobs, expanding by 2.5 percent. This growth far outpaced statewide employment growth during that time of 1.0 percent (Figure 1). In fact, out of Minnesota’s 87 counties, Anoka County added the second-most jobs between 2017 and 2018, only being surpassed by Hennepin County.

Figure 1. Anoka County Employment Trends, 2000-2018

Where are these jobs being added? Over the past five years, Health Care and Social Assistance has added 2,559 jobs, making it the county’s largest-growing industry sector during that time. Adding 1,846 jobs, Construction was not only the county’s second largest-growing industry sector, but also the fastest-growing. (Construction grew three times faster than Anoka County’s total employment growth over the past five years). Educational Services and Manufacturing each added about 1,140 jobs between 2013 and 2018, virtually tied for third.

A Tight Labor Market

While Anoka County continues to experience employment growth, its unemployment rate continues to drop. As of 2018, the county had an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent, which was the lowest annual rate in 18 years. With such low unemployment, employers across the county are dealing with the challenges of a tight labor market. In other words, there aren’t enough workers to fill current job vacancies. In Anoka County, those occupations with the most job vacancies include Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers, Registered Nurses, Retail Salespersons, First-Line Supervisors of Retail Salespersons, Elementary School Teachers, Stock Clerks and Order Fillers, Customer Service Representatives, Nursing Assistants, Social and Human Service Assistants, and Personal Care Aides.

With Anoka County’s high concentrations of employment in Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing, Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing, Specialty Trade Contractors, Repair and Maintenance, and Construction of Buildings, there is also high demand for numerous production and construction jobs. Welders, CNC Operators, Machinists, Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Construction Equipment Operators, Construction Managers, Industrial Engineers, Automotive Service Technicians – and the list goes on.

Anoka County’s tight labor market and continued employment growth promise students and current job seekers countless educational and career pathways. School districts, teachers, parents, and students should continue to keep an eye on the county’s employment trends and in-demand occupations to make the best, most-informed decisions.

For More Information

Contact Tim O’Neill at 651-259-7401.

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