by Nick Dobbins
Monthly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.
Employment climbed slightly in March, up 4,596 (0.3 percent) over February. Government employment shed 507 (0.2 percent) while Private Sector employment grew 5,143 (0.3 percent). Mining, Logging, and Construction was among the fastest growing supersectors, adding 1,728 (3.3 percent) and reversing some February declines. Manufacturing employment added 1,315 (0.7 percent), with Durable Goods Manufacturing gains (up 1,404 or 1.1 percent) more than overcoming slight losses in Non-Durable Goods (down 89 or 0.4 percent). Large numerical gains also occurred in Financial Activities (up 1,642 or 1.2 percent) and Leisure and Hospitality (up 1,625, 1 percent). Notable losses developed in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (down 1,110 or 0.4 percent), largely on the weight of declines in Retail Trade employment and Professional and Business Services (down 540, 0.2 percent). For the year, employment in the metro grew by 23,906 (1.4 percent), with most industry groups showing notable annual gains. The exceptions are Professional and Business Services, which lost 2,707 (1 percent) and Information, which lost 350 (0.9 percent).
Employment was virtually flat in March as most industries showed little change in employment in either direction. Overall, metro employment fell 86 (0.1 percent) over the month after seeing a 1.5 percent increase in February. Small losses were spread throughout various industries with the Government supersector showing the largest numerical losses (139, or 0.5 percent). Mining, Logging, and Construction had perhaps the most notable employment increase, adding 270 (3.5 percent) in March. Over the year employment remains nearly flat, with an increase of just 294 (0.2 percent) since March 2013. All of the annual gains have come from the Private Sector and were largely driven by Leisure and Hospitality and Educational and Health Services, which gained 733 (5.8 percent) and 529 (1.7 percent) respectively.
Employment in the Rochester MSA was up 487 (0.5 percent) in March, marking its first employment increase since November. There were notable gains in Mining, Logging, and Construction (up 132 or 4.6 percent), Manufacturing (up 176, 1.8 percent), and Leisure and Hospitality (up 174, 2 percent), which combined to overcome small numerical losses in a handful of industry groups. Rochester employment is still showing an annual drop, however, down 233 (0.2 percent) since March 2013. Notable job losers include Manufacturing, down 362 (3.5 percent) and Educational and Health Services, down 732 (1.6 percent).
Employment in the St. Cloud MSA showed a second straight month of increases, adding 525 (0.5 percent) over February. Most of that increase is the product of growth in three industry groups, Educational and Health Services (up 200, 1 percent), Mining, Logging, and Construction (150, 3.6 percent), and Manufacturing (110, 0.8 percent), with every other supersector showing gains or losses of less than 100 for the month. For the year, St. Cloud employment is up 2,243 (2.2 percent) for a total of 103,681. Much of the annual gains are thanks to sizeable increases in Professional and Business Services (up 724, 8.7 percent), Educational and Health Services (785, 4 percent), and Leisure and Hospitality (361, 4.2 percent).
Employment in the Mankato-North Mankato MSA gave back some of its February gains, surrendering 181 (0.3 percent) in March. The losses come entirely from the private sector, as Government employment was entirely unchanged. Service-providers lost 229 (0.5 percent) while goods-producing industries gained 48 (0.5 percent). Employment remains up for the year, however, sitting at 54,793, which is 1,120 (2.1 percent) higher than March 2013.
Employment in the Fargo-Moorhead MSA jumped 1,362 (1 percent) in March. Private employers carried the load, with the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industry group adding 833 (2.9 percent), Mining, Logging, and Construction adding 385 (5.3 percent), and Educational and Health Services adding 248 (1.1 percent). Government employment was relatively flat, down 15 (0.8 percent). For the year, employment was up 3,617 (2.8 percent) with growth across most industry groups. The only supersector to lose employment was Leisure and Hospitality, down 208 (1.6 percent) from a loss of 226 (2.4 percent) in Food Services and Drinking Places.
Employment in the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA was basically flat for March, down 43 (0.1 percent) with minor employment gains and losses scattered throughout the industry groups. Among supersectors, only Manufacturing (down 36 or 1 percent) and Mining, Logging, and Construction (up 76, 2.9 percent) had a change of 1 percent or greater. For the year, employment was up 663 (1.2 percent).