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Silver Lining to the Iron Ore Downturn

northwest-minnesota-mapJune 10, 2015 - Recent events have rocked the mining industry in Northeast Minnesota, with layoffs and salaried positions being cut. Despite the downturn in this particular industry, the overall economy in the region is seeing an increase in the number of job openings and a drop in unemployment, perhaps providing some relief for those who have been affected by the idling of mining companies throughout the Arrowhead.

We can determine the most common occupations throughout the mining industry by using DEED's Occupational Staffing Pattern tool. Table 1 highlights the particular occupations that are needed for mining purposes including: truck drivers, mechanics, equipment operators, electricians, excavators, and construction laborers. Some of these positions are not entirely dependent on the mining industry - Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers and electricians, for example, are in demand in other industries in the region.

Staffing pattern matrix for the mining industry

Other occupations that are more directly related to mining activities and might not find as much demand in different industries. Earth Drillers are vital jobs within the mining industry, but may have limited opportunities for employment elsewhere. There are, however, skills that an earth driller has that might transfer to different occupations completely, creating more job possibilities.

DEED's JobSTAT tool helps jobseekers see new opportunities by matching occupations that rely on the skills that are used with their past job(s) and with new jobs, including information on local job openings, typical wages, and training options in the region. For the Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers occupation, the skills used match up well with Solderers and Brazers, an occupation that is in demand in other industries in the region. For those looking to making a career change, the JobSTAT tool can help to identify those positions with similar skill sets and analyze potential skill gaps.

A silver lining to the setback of mining layoffs is that there are job openings available and businesses looking to hire in the region. MinnesotaWorks, the state of Minnesota's free online job bank, is a great resource to seek those opportunities out. Whether you are looking for a similar job position, or seeking out a new career, DEED has got you covered with the tools to make that transition!

For More Information

Contact Erik White at 218-302-8413.

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