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Southwest Region

southwest minnesota mapSouthwest Minnesota is a national leader in agricultural production, and renewable energy.

The region's thriving manufacturing sector includes food processing, machinery, printing, metal products, and computers and electronic products.

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Job Vacancies and Job Seekers

5/9/2019 3:00:00 PM

Luke Greiner

After posting a record 12,355 job openings during the second quarter last year, Southwest Minnesota also hit a new fourth quarter peak with 10,281 job vacancies in 2018. The recent release showed that vacancies jumped 37 percent over the previous year, a gain of nearly 2,800 net new job openings. In the more than 15 years that DEED has been conducting the Job Vacancy Survey, there have never been more job postings in the region than there are now!

Wage offers have also been steadily increasing over time. The median hourly wage offer climbed to $13.63 in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 34 percent increase compared to just five years ago, when the median offer was $10.15 in the fourth quarter of 2013 (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Southwest Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey Results

Vacancy details paint a picture of a demand that is spread over several industries throughout the region, with the largest number of current postings found in health care and social assistance, manufacturing, other services, accommodation and food services, and construction. All five industries saw a huge increase in job vacancies compared to one year ago. However, the region also saw a notable number of openings in retail trade, wholesale trade, educational services, agriculture, transportation and warehousing, administrative support and waste management services, and professional and technical services (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Southwest Minnesota Job Vacancies by Industry, QTR 2018

This suggests that the region’s job market is extremely tight, and employers may be struggling to find new and more employees to fill the available positions. In fact, Southwest Minnesota now has fewer job seekers available and looking for work than it has job vacancies, with a current job seeker-per-vacancy ratio of 0.6-to-1. That means for every 10 job postings, there are only six unemployed workers. The ratio has been at 1-to-1 or lower for the past five years, after climbing as high as 6.3 job seekers for every vacancy during the Great Recession in 2009 (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Job Seekers Per Vacancy, 2008-2018

For More Information

Contact Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378.

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