Southeast 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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7/28/2022 9:00:00 AM
Newly updated data for DEED's Job Vacancy Survey for the fourth quarter of 2021 shows that the Southeast region of the state had the second highest number of job vacancies on record, tipping the scales at 18,827 openings. This was the highest number ever reported in the fourth quarter, but was 2,683 openings lower (a drop of 12.5%) than was seen in the second quarter of 2021, , which just so happens to be the quarter where the highest number of vacancies on record occurred.
This fourth quarter estimate made up 8.8% of the total vacancies in the state, placing it fourth of the six planning regions in the state in terms of percent of total jobs (ahead of the Southwest and Northeast regions). By comparison, the 7-County Metro accounted for the largest percentage of total job openings with 59.3%.
Across all occupations, 29% of the job openings were part-time, while only 6% were temporary or seasonal. And while post-secondary education was required for 30% of the region's job vacancies, almost half (46%) required one or more years of experience. In addition, half required a certificate or license.
The median wage offer for vacancies across all occupations was $17.39, which is the highest on record and 5.5% higher than the median wage offer a year ago and 59.5% higher than was seen a decade ago. Southeast's median wage offer is the second highest of the six planning regions in the state, falling behind the 7-County Metro where the median wage offer is $19.27 (see Table 1).
|Table 1. Southeast Job Vacancy Survey (4th Qtr. 2021)|
|Occupational Group||Vacancies||Median Wage Offer||Percent Part-Time||Percent Temporary or Seasonal||Percent Requires Post-Secondary Education||Percent Requires 1+ Years Experience||Percent Requires Certificate or License|
|Total, All Occupations||18,827||$17.39||29%||6%||30%||46%||50%|
|Food Preparation & Serving Related||2,887||$13.19||52%||1%||2%||25%||6%|
|Healthcare Practitioners & Technical||1,406||$29.93||39%||3%||95%||57%||85%|
|Transportation & Material Moving||1,403||$17.73||51%||4%||3%||42%||71%|
|Sales & Related||1,254||$15.09||44%||4%||2%||23%||19%|
|Office & Administrative Support||1,067||$17.50||14%||2%||4%||56%||63%|
|Business & Financial Operations||1,041||$23.57||29%||0%||82%||76%||79%|
|Construction & Extraction||833||$23.45||0%||6%||0%||55%||89%|
|Architecture & Engineering||776||$34.70||0%||0%||98%||99%||86%|
|Installation, Maintenance, & Repair||684||$24.62||6%||2%||53%||78%||87%|
|Educational Instruction & Library||631||$17.60||12%||5%||64%||62%||73%|
|Life, Physical, & Social Science||525||$16.53||1%||3%||39%||97%||84%|
|Building & Grounds Cleaning & Maintenance||504||$16.32||67%||2%||1%||19%||7%|
|Personal Care & Service||312||$13.35||48%||11%||9%||44%||28%|
|Community & Social Service||293||$24.80||13%||7%||85%||80%||76%|
|Farming, Fishing, & Forestry||272||$15.34||1%||0%||0%||N/A||4%|
|Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, & Media||270||$16.62||18%||5%||13%||74%||33%|
|Computer & Mathematical||208||$34.41||3%||1%||82%||95%||58%|
|Source: DEED Job Vacancy Survey|
By occupation, the largest number of total vacancies in the region belongs to Food Preparation & Serving Related, which accounts for 15.3% of the job openings, followed by 8.7% for Production, 8.4% for Healthcare Support, and 7.5% for both Healthcare Practitioners & Technical and Transportation & Material Moving occupations. Combined these top five occupational groups account for 47.4% of the total vacancies in the region.
In regards to wages, the highest median wage offers were seen in Legal vacancies with a staggering offer of $47.74 per hour. In addition, Management, Computer & Mathematical, and Architecture & Engineering vacancies all had median wage offers over $30 per hour.
Compared to Minnesota overall, the Southeast region saw higher percentages of total vacancies in almost half (10) of the 22 occupational groups, with the largest differences appearing for Production (3.6 percentage points higher), Construction & Extraction (2.5 percentage points higher) and Architecture & Engineering (2.3 percentage points higher). On the other hand, of the remaining 10 occupational groups in which Southeast saw lower percentages, the largest differences were seen in Sales & Related (5.9 percentage points lower), Computer & Mathematical (2.1 percentage points lower) and Personal Care & Service (1.8 percentage points lower). Then there are the cases of two occupational groups - Protective Service and Community & Social Service – in which the Southeast region and the state as a whole saw equal shares of 0.9% and 1.6%, respectively (see Figure 1).
The data clearly show – and employers certainly feel – that there are lots of job openings and too few workers. That's a problem that Southeast Minnesota has been facing for a while now. And with the most recent number of vacancies being the second highest on record and the number of unemployed workers near record lows statewide, employers will likely struggle to find workers to fill their job openings.
In light of this, there are pockets of the population that have lower labor force participation and/or higher unemployment rates that could be recruited as a source of labor, such as the region's youngest workers (16 to 19 years of age), Black or African Americans, and workers with a disability. And let's not forget those that have been released from prison who can also make great workers and who have an unemployment rate between 27-29%. Employers will need to tap into these pools of labor to fill their open jobs!
Contact Cameron Macht at 320-441-6596