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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
April 2016

Monthly analysis is based on seasonally adjusted employment data.
Yearly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.*


Minnesota lost 2,900 jobs (0.1 percent) in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, giving back some of the 8,700 jobs the state added in February. Both goods producers (down 300) and service providers (down 2,600) saw a decline of 0.1 percent. Private sector employers lost 2,100 jobs (0.1 percent) while government employment dipped by 800 (0.2 percent). Annually, Minnesota added 35,940 jobs (1.3 percent) since March of 2015. Service providers added 31,998 positions (1.3 percent) and goods producers added 3,942 (0.9 percent). The private sector grew faster than the government over the year, adding 34,668 jobs (1.5 percent) to government’s gain of just 1,272 jobs (0.3 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging got a much needed reprieve in March, adding 300 jobs (5.2 percent) over February estimates. It was the first such employment gain in the supersector since April of 2015, nearly one year ago. Unfortunately, the supersector remains in a deep hole over the year, losing 1,391 jobs (19.7 percent) since March of 2015. The industry received some good news recently, as some of the operations that have been idled since late last year are expected to reopen later this spring, which may help put a dent in these over-the-year job losses.


Employment in Construction was off by 1,600 jobs (1.3 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in March. Annually, the supersector added 5,276 jobs (5.5 percent). The over-the-year growth came primarily from Specialty Trade Contractors, which added 4,501 jobs (7.2 percent) on the year. The other two component sectors also added employment, with Construction of Buildings growing by 204 jobs (0.9 percent). Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction added 571 jobs (5.4 percent).


Manufacturers added 1,000 jobs (0.3 percent) in March, with a gain of 1,100 jobs (1.0 percent) in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing overcoming a small employment loss in Durable Goods Manufacturing. Annually, the supersector just barely edged back into the black in March, adding 57 jobs (0 percent) from March of 2015. Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 1,142 jobs (0.6 percent) on the year, despite the addition of 550 jobs (1.2 percent) in Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing. Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers, however, added 1,199 (1.1 percent), an increase that was driven entirely by the addition of 1,775 jobs (3.9 percent) in Food Manufacturing.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities supersector was up slightly in March, adding 700 jobs (0.1 percent) over February estimates. Wholesale Trade lost 400 jobs (0.3 percent), which was offset by additions of 600 (0.2 percent) in Retail Trade and 500 (0.5 percent) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities. Annually, the supersector added 4,685 jobs (0.9 percent). In a mirror of the monthly estimates, Wholesale Trade shed jobs (down 1,578 or 1.2 percent) while Retail Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities expanded their employment (up 4,991 or 1.8 percent and 1,272 or 1.3 percent, respectively). Growth in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities was isolated to Transportation and Warehousing, as Utilities lost 444 jobs (3.4 percent) on the year.


Employment in the Information supersector dipped slightly in March, losing 300 jobs (0.6 percent) and giving back all of its February gains. The supersector continues to struggle in the longer term as well, losing 1,122 jobs (2.2 percent) over the previous 12 months. The two published component sectors lost slightly more than 300 jobs each, with Publishing Industries (except Internet) down 1.6 percent and Telecommunications down 2.4 percent.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector added 400 jobs (0.2 percent) in March, with both Finance and Insurance and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing adding 200 jobs each (up 0.1 and 0.5 percent, respectively). Annually, the supersector added 3,959 jobs (2.2 percent). Gains were fairly evenly split between the supersectors, with both adding roughly 2,000 jobs, although this represented just a 1.4 percent change in Finance and Insurance employment and a substantial 5.2 percent change in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services added 1,500 jobs (0.4 percent) in March, ending the streak of three straight months with sizeable employment declines in the supersector. A loss of 200 jobs (0.3 percent) in Management of Companies and Enterprises was more than offset by larger employment gains in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (up 600 or 0.4 percent) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (up 1,100 or 0.9 percent). Employment in the supersector remains in the black over the year, if barely, holding on to 272 (0.1 percent) more jobs than in March of 2015. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Service, which is up 6,652 jobs (4.6 percent) on the year, continues to make up for employment losses in the other component sectors.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services dropped by 1,700 (0.3 percent) in March. Educational Services lost 400 jobs (0.6 percent), and Health Care and Social Assistance lost 1,300 (0.3 percent). Annually, employment growth in the supersector remains healthy, with 16,801 (3.3 percent) more jobs than in March of 2015. While most of those jobs are in Health Care and Social Assistance (up 12,770 or 2.9 percent) the relative annual growth was stronger in Educational Services, which added 4,031 jobs or 5.9 percent. The lion’s share of that growth, however, came from unpublished component sectors, as the two published sectors accounted for a gain of only 615, with Elementary and Secondary Schools adding 957 jobs (4.3 percent) and Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools losing 342 jobs (1.1 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,400 jobs (0.5 percent) in March, with a loss of 2,900 (1.3 percent) in Accommodation and Food Services swamping the gain of 1,500 (3.5 percent) in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Annually, the supersector added 4,414 jobs (1.8 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 2,583 jobs (7.1 percent) and Accommodation and Food Services added 1,831 (0.9 percent).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was off by 1,000 (0.9 percent) in March. It was the third straight month of losses for the supersector. Annually, Other Services employment was up by 1,717 (1.5 percent). The largest proportional gains came in Personal and Laundry Services, which added 514 jobs (1.9 percent).


Government employers lost 800 jobs (0.2 percent) in March as both State and Local government employment declined. Annually, employment in the public sector remains in the black, up 1,272 jobs (0.3 percent), with an increase of 2,400 jobs (0.8 percent) in Local Government driving the growth.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Mar-16 Feb-16 Jan-16
Total Nonfarm 2,876.5 2,879.4 2,870.7
Goods-Producing 443.6 443.9 440.3
Mining and Logging 6.1 5.8 5.9
Construction 120.1 121.7 117.7
Manufacturing 317.4 316.4 316.7
Service-Providing 2,432.9 2,435.5 2,430.4
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 526.2 525.5 522.3
Information 49.9 50.2 50.0
Financial Activities 184.3 183.9 182.8
Professional and Business Services 355.5 354.0 356.2
Educational and Health Services 521.1 522.8 519.1
Leisure and Hospitality 262.1 263.5 263.2
Other Services 114.4 115.4 115.8
Government 419.4 420.2 421.0
Source: Deaprtment of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2016.

bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, March 2015 to March 2016

*Over-the-year data are not seasonally adjusted because of small changes in seasonal adjustment factors from year to year. Also, there is no seasonality in over-the-year changes.

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