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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
August 2015

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


Minnesota lost 3,900 jobs (0.1 percent) in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. At the same time, June's job growth was adjusted upward from an initially projected 2,900 new jobs to 5,600 (0.2 percent). The decline was caused by losses in a number of supersectors including Construction (down 2,000 or 1.8 percent), Leisure and Hospitality (down 3,700 or 1.4 percent), and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (down 1,700, 0.3 percent). Government employers helped stem the tide of losses, adding 2,700 jobs (0.6 percent). Over the year, job growth remained up in the state as employers added 43,719 jobs (1.5 percent) over July of 2014. Supersectors with the largest growth included Educational and Health Services (up 14,356 or 2.9 percent), Professional and Business Services (up 10,100, 2.8 percent), and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 7,232, 1.4 percent). The monthly growth in Government employment was enough to move the supersector to flat over-the-year growth, leaving Information (down 490 or 0.9 percent) and Other Services (down 1,056, 0.9 percent) as the only supersectors to shed jobs on the year.

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was up in July as the supersector added 300 jobs (4.8 percent) following significant job losses in June. Employment in the supersector remains down on an annual basis, off 893 jobs (11.8 percent) from July 2014 as slumping steel prices continued to drag on Minnesota's mining industry.


Employment in Construction was down sharply in July as the supersector was off by 2,000 jobs (1.8 percent). Construction employment remained up over the year, however, as the industry added 724 jobs (0.6 percent) over July 2014 estimates. Growth was concentrated in Construction of Buildings (up 807 or 3 percent) and Specialty Trade Contractors (up 664 or 0.9 percent), while Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction remained down on the year, off by 747 jobs or 3.8 percent.


Manufacturing employment was down slightly in July as the supersector shed 300 jobs (0.1 percent) with both the Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing sectors losing jobs. This marked the third straight month of job losses for Manufacturing. Employment remained up on the year, however, as the supersector was up 3,074 jobs (1 percent) over July of 2014. The gains belonged entirely to Durable Goods manufacturers, who added 4,430 jobs (2.2 percent) with the Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing sector (up 1,712 jobs or 4 percent) remaining the primary engine of growth in the supersector. Non-Durable Goods employment remained off on the year (down 1,356 jobs, 1.2 percent) as the shrinking Paper Manufacturing and Printing and Related Support Activities sector (down 1,725 jobs, 5.1 percent) continued to drag on the larger industry's performance.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities dropped again in July, down 1,700 jobs (0.3 percent). Wholesale Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities each lost 1,500 jobs (1.1 and 1.5 percent, respectively) while Retail Trade added 1,300 (0.4 percent). This was the second straight month of declines in the supersector, following four straight months of seasonally adjusted growth. Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities remains significantly up on the year, however, with 7,232 jobs (1.4 percent) more than in July of 2014. The annual growth was shared by Retail Trade (up 6,553 or 2.2 percent) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (up 1,191 or 1.3 percent), while Wholesale Trade lost 512 jobs (0.4 percent). July marked the first time since September of 2010 that Wholesale Trade dipped into negative over-the-year job growth.


Employers in the Information supersector added 200 jobs (0.4 percent) in July as the seesaw of alternating months of growth and contraction in the industry continued. Job growth remained negative over the year, with Information losing 490 jobs (0.9 percent) from July of 2014. Publishing Industries (except Internet) lost 711 jobs (3.4 percent) while Telecommunications lost 318 jobs (2.3 percent).

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities grew by 500 jobs (0.3 percent) in July. Finance and Insurance added 1,100 jobs (0.8 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 600 jobs (1.5 percent). This represented the fourth straight month of job growth for the supersector. Employment was also up on the year, as Financial Activities added 2,240 jobs (1.2 percent) from July of 2014. The growth was concentrated entirely in Finance and Insurance, which added 2,340 jobs (1.7 percent) as Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 100 jobs (0.2 percent).

Professional and Business Services

The Professional and Business Services supersector added 1,400 jobs (0.4 percent) in July. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services led the way with 2,000 new jobs (1.4 percent) while Management of Companies and Enterprises kicked in another 600 jobs (0.8 percent). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services lost 1,200 jobs (0.8 percent). Over-the-year employment change remains strong, up 10,100 jobs (2.8 percent) with all three component sectors showing growth.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services saw some job loss in July with employment down by 1,200 (0.2 percent) in the supersector. The loss came thanks to a decline of 2,400 (0.5 percent) in Health Care and Social Assistance employment, as Educational Services added 1,200 jobs (1.7 percent). Annually, employment growth in the supersector remains healthy, up 14,356 jobs (2.9 percent) since July of 2014. Growth was split between components with Educational Services up 5,475 jobs (9.6 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance up 8,881 (2 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was down sharply in July, off 3,700 jobs (1.4 percent) with losses in both Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (down 1,000 jobs, 2.3 percent) and Accommodation and Food Services (down 2,700 jobs, 1.2 percent). Employment remained up on the year as the supersector supported 8,381 more jobs in 2015 than it had in 2014, with both component sectors showing significant growth. The Limited-Service Eating Places subsector showed the most dramatic growth, up 5,429 jobs or 6.6 percent, contrasted with just 1.5 percent growth in Full-Service Restaurants.

Other Services

Other Services employment was down slightly, shedding 100 jobs (0.1 percent) in July. Employment remained in the red over the year as well, down 1,056 (0.9 percent). While Repair and Maintenance (up 428, 2 percent) and Personal and Laundry Services (up 122, 0.4 percent) added jobs on the year, Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations brought down the supersector with its loss of 1,606 jobs (2.5 percent).


Government employers added more jobs in July than any other supersector, up 2,700 or 0.6 percent. The growth came almost entirely from Local Government, which added 3,500 jobs (1.2 percent) while Federal employers added just 100 jobs (0.3 percent), and State employers lost 900 (down 0.9 percent). The monthly growth was enough to push Government employment out of the red over the year, as employment was roughly flat, up 51 jobs (0.0 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry July 2015 June 2015 May 2015
Total Nonfarm 2,853.3 2,857.2 2,851.6
Goods-Producing 429.0 431.0 429.6
Mining and Logging 6.5 6.2 6.9
Construction 108.4 110.4 107.9
Manufacturing 314.1 314.4 314.8
Service-Providing 2,424.3 2,426.2 2,422.0
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 524.9 526.6 529.1
Information 52.8 52.6 53.0
Financial Activities 180.9 180.4 179.8
Professional and Business Services 359.8 358.4
Educational and Health Services 513.2 514.4
Leisure and Hospitality 258.0 261.7 261.4
Other Services 114.3 114.4 114.6
Government 420.4 417.7 418.4
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2015.

bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, July 2014-July 2015

*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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