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Northeast Region

northwest-minnesota-mapHome to the state's second-largest metro, the Northeast Region has a strong industrial sector, tied largely to the area's abundant natural resources.

Most of the manufacturing base centers on mining and forest products industries. More than half of the sector's employment is in paper and machinery manufacturing.

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Job Vacancies Rising

5/16/2019 3:00:00 PM

Erik White

Recently released data from DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey shows an increase of job vacancies in the Arrowhead region for 4th quarter of 2018 from previous fourth quarters. With 8,110 job vacancies in the region, the number of job vacancies now outnumber the unemployed. The current ratio of 0.7 job seekers per job vacancy is the lowest ever recorded in the 4th quarter in the region – an indication of a very tight labor market (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Job Seekers Per Vacancy, 2008-2018

Of the 8,110 job vacancies reported in Q4 of 2018, 47 percent were part time. The median wage offer of $13.71 is one of the highest median wage offers recorded in the survey for the region and nearly a dollar more than the median wage offer in the fourth quarter of 2017. This indicates employers are competing with one another for the limited supply of workers by offering higher wages. Just over a third of job vacancies required post-secondary education with the same percentage requiring one or more years of experience, and 42 percent of job openings requiring a certificate or licensure.

Based on the total number of vacancies, the top occupational groups include: Food Preparation and Serving Related, Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Support, and Personal Care and Service.  Combined, these three occupational groups made up 40 percent of all openings, but with the exception of Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Support, the median hourly wage offers were lower and the percent of part-time job vacancies was greater.

The Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Support occupations include: Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, pharmacy technicians, radiologic technologists, doctors, and surgeons. The median wage offer for this occupational group was $26.22, more than $12.50 higher than median wage offer for all occupations in the region. With higher wages come higher requirements: 98 percent of these vacancies require post-secondary education and 99 percent require a certificate or licensure. 

Other high-wage occupational groups with job vacancies include Installation, Maintenance, and Repair with a $20.14 median wage offer and nearly 200 vacancies; Business and Financial Operations with a $22.44 median wage offer and 183 job vacancies; and Management occupations with a median wage offer of $22.13 and 132 job openings. Lastly, there were 114 job vacancies for Architecture and Engineering occupations with a median wage offer of $28.07, and only 24 vacancies for Computer and Mathematical occupations with a median wage of $27.99 (Table 1).

Table 1. Northeast Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey Results, QTR 4, 2018

New data shows an increasingly tight labor market in Northeast Minnesota where there are more job openings than job seekers, and wages are increasing as businesses compete to attract workers. Median wage offers are also increasing because of a larger number of openings in high-wage occupation groups such as Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Support, another positive sign for job seekers.

For More Information

Contact Erik White at 218-302-8413.

Northeast MN



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