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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 Lasting Sting

8/9/2021 9:00:00 AM

The recession caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 had a substantial and severe impact on Southeast Minnesota's labor market. From workers being laid off to businesses closing both temporarily and, unfortunately, permanently, the virus seeped its way into the very fabric of our personal and professional lives. Mask mandates were a very public effect, but the impact was much deeper, including substantial job loss across most of the industries in the region. Even with a seemingly successful vaccine, the region is still hurting from the initial loss of jobs from the first to the second quarter of 2020, the sting of which was still being felt in the beginning of 2001.

Southeast Minnesota Year-over-Year Job TrendsWith the newly published first quarter 2021 data from DEED's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, we can now analyze the impact the virus had in terms of job counts during the months before the pandemic took hold (first quarter 2020) to those a year later (first quarter 2021). As shown in Figure 1, job counts were experiencing rather steady growth over the last decade beginning with a first quarter 2011 job count resting at 221,638. From the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2020, the number of jobs swelled by almost 21,680 for a growth of 9.8%. However, then COVID-19 struck with the quickness and aggression of a rattlesnake and job loss ensued. Over the year, from the first quarter 2020 to first quarter 2021, the region experienced a massive loss of jobs to the tune of 11,565 fewer jobs, or a decline of 4.8%.

Southeast Minnesota Quarterly Job TrendsWhile the number of jobs declined over this time frame, data also shows that the end count in the first quarter of 2021 was still higher than the count was in the second quarter of 2020 after the initial swarm of job loss, demonstrating that the region has gained some of the jobs that were lost from the first to the second quarter of 2020. In fact, the number of jobs gained from the second quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 includes 10,598 gained jobs for an increase of 4.8%, almost half of the jobs lost (see Figure 2).

Overall, 13 of the 20 industry sectors in the region are still down jobs from the first quarter of 2020 to 2021, led by large losses in Accommodation and Food Services (-3,828 or -19.7%), Manufacturing (-2,090 or -5.5%), Educational Services (-1,672 or -8.1%) and Health Care and Social Assistance (-1,421 or -2.1%). Together, these four industry sectors accounted for over three-quarters (77.9%) of the net job loss in Southeast Minnesota. However, the largest percent of lost jobs was experienced by Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, which saw a job decline of -24.3% (see Table 1).

Of the remaining industry sectors that gained jobs over the year, the gains were relatively minimal compared to some of the numeric losses that were seen. Gains were led by an uptick of 693 jobs in Administrative Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, an increase of 9.5%, followed by a rise of 293 jobs in Retail Trade for an increase of only 1.1%. The remaining five industry sectors each saw gains of less than 100 jobs.

Table 1. Southeast Minnesota Job Loss by Industry Sector (1st Qtr. 2020-2021)

Industry Sector 1st Qtr. 2021 1st Qtr. 2020 Numeric Change Percent Change
Total, All Industries 231,752 243,317 -11,565 -4.8%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 3,071 2,980 +91 +3.1%
Mining 103 101 +2 +2.0%
Construction 8,335 8,928 -593 -6.6%
Manufacturing 35,808 37,898 -2,090 -5.5%
Utilities 1,292 1,319 -27 -2.0%
Wholesale Trade 6,219 6,590 -371 -5.6%
Retail Trade 26,049 25,756 +293 +1.1%
Transportation and Warehousing 7,727 7,926 -199 -2.5%
Information 2,604 3,065 -461 -15.0%
Finance and Insurance 4,368 4,348 +20 +0.5%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 1,330 1,428 -98 -6.9%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 3,474 3,395 +79 +2.3%
Management of Companies and Enterprises 4,179 4,171 +8 +0.2%
Administrative Support and Waste Mgmt. 7,956 7,263 +693 +9.5%
Educational Services 19,031 20,703 -1,672 -8.1%
Health Care and Social Assistance 65,667 67,088 -1,421 -2.1%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 2,827 3,734 -907 -24.3%
Accommodation and Food Services 15,609 19,437 -3,828 -19.7%
Other Services (except Public Administration) 5,882 6,524 -642 -9.8%
Public Administration 10,214 10,656 -442 -4.1%
Source: DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Southeast Minnesota experienced job loss like never before due to the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent recession. Despite gaining back almost half of the jobs lost from the first to the second quarter of 2020, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages data from the first quarter 2021 shows that the region still has a ways to go before reaching full recovery. As time moves on, hopefully those industry sectors that continue to fall victim to the job losses will continue to endure and recover more of those lost jobs.

For More Information

Contact Mark Schultz.

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