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New Job Vacancy Survey Results

northwest-minnesota-mapApril 2016 - Here are the latest results from DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey, which tracks the number of job openings, wage offers, and education requirements by occupation and industry, by region and statewide. Northeast Minnesota reported 5,335 job vacancies for 4th quarter of 2015, a decrease in job openings compared to the 2nd quarter of 2015 (6,213) and the 4th quarter of 2014 (8,410).

Despite the drop off in vacancies, the newest results indicate that the Arrowhead region is still in a tight labor market. For starters, the median hourly wage offered for all job openings continued to increase considerably. In the 4th quarter of 2015, the median wage offered was $13.80, an increase of $2.27 from the previous result in the 2nd quarter of 2015 and $2.93 more than wage offered for vacant jobs a year ago (Table 1).


Six years ago, employers reported just 1,346 job vacancies in Northeast Minnesota. At the same time, during the height of the recession, there were 16,488 unemployed people in the region, which created a ratio of 11.7 job seekers per job vacancy. That ratio has now dropped to 2.2 job seekers per job vacancy in the 4th quarter of 2015, as there were 5,335 job vacancies for just 12,070 unemployed workers in the region (Figure 1).


Meanwhile, Minnesota reported 96,114 job vacancies and 98,000 unemployed workers in the 4th quarter of 2015, creating a 1.0 job seeker per vacant job ratio, the lowest ratio recorded since the survey was introduced in 2001.

Of the 5,335 job vacancies reported during the 4th quarter of 2015, 36 percent were part-time and 35 percent required one or more years of experience. Interestingly, 43 percent of all job openings in the Arrowhead region required post-secondary education.

The occupation group with the most openings in the area was Health Care Practitioners and Technical Occupations, with 789 vacancies and a median hourly wage offer of $21.64. Almost all of these job vacancies required post-secondary education, which is considerably higher than the other health care occupation groups such as Health Care Support and Personal Care and Service. Those two occupation groups also had about 780 job vacancies in the region, but their median wage offer was in the $11.00 an hour range, and only about half required post-secondary education.

Other occupations in demand included Sales with 513 vacancies and Food Preparation with 484 openings, though many of these positions did not require post-secondary education and had lower median hourly wage offers. At the other end of the spectrum, there were 219 Computer and Mathematical and 235 Architecture and Engineering job openings in the Arrowhead region. More than 50 percent of these vacancies required post-secondary education and median hourly wage offers ranged between $17.50 and $25.50 (Table 2).


These results indicate that the region is still in a tight labor market, with the highest demand being for various health care occupations that are reporting many vacancies. While the median hourly wage offer for all vacancies in Northeast Minnesota is the highest that has ever been reported, there are still many job vacancies that are part-time and/or have lower median hourly wage offers.

For More Information

Contact Erik White at 218-302-8413

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