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Southeast Region

southeast-minnesota-mapSoutheast Minnesota is a health care and agricultural powerhouse. The region is home to the renowned Mayo Clinic and some of the world's most recognized food companies and brands.

Advanced manufacturing is especially strong here, with machinery, chemicals, and electronics among the top products.

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A Surge in Vacancies

12/4/2018 3:00:00 PM

Southeast Minnesota has experienced a surge in the number of job vacancies over the last year, with the fourth quarter of 2017 and second quarter of 2018 seeing the second and third highest number of vacancies ever posted since the start of the Job Vacancy Survey in 2001. The most recent survey results showed there were 9,641 vacancies in the Southeast region.

The largest number of job vacancies were in food preparation and serving related, sales, and personal care and service occupations, with just those three groups accounting for two in every five openings in the region. However, these vacancies also offered some of the lowest wages, hovering around $12 and $13 an hour. In fact, the top five occupational groups with the lowest median wage offers account for almost half (46.6%) of the total regional vacancies (Table 1).

Table 1. Lowest and Highest Median Wage Offers for Job Vacancies in Southeast Minnesota, Qtr 2, 2018

In contrast, the next four largest occupational groups – health care practitioners, production, transportation and material moving, and education, training, and library occupations – offered much higher wages, ranging between $17 and $27 per hour while accounting for 28.5 percent of all openings. But as shown in Table 1, the top five occupational groups with the highest median wage offers added up to only 14.1 percent of the total job openings.

When plotted out, a trend line shows that as the number of job vacancies decreases, the median wage offers increase (Figure 1). As noted, there are some exceptions to this general trend. For example, health care practitioners and technical occupations are among the highest paying occupations but also have the fourth highest number of vacancies, with 942 job openings and a median hourly wage offer of $27.35. Conversely, protective service occupations and farming, fishing and forestry occupations both see a combination of a low number of vacancies and low median hourly wage offers – protective service shows 122 job openings with a median wage offer of $11.03 – and only five job openings in farming, fishing and forestry and a median wage offer of $14.10 per hour. 

Figure 1. Qtr 2, 2018 Job Vacancies and Median Wage Offers, Southeast Minnesota

Given the current labor force shortage, it’s not hard to understand why some of the numerous lower-paying job openings may remain vacant while job seekers likely try to pursue higher-paying occupations in demand. Though many of these occupations have a smaller number of openings, the larger paychecks are a great attraction.

For More Information

Contact Mark Schultz.

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