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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
August 2017

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


Minnesota added 7,700 jobs (0.3 percent) in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. June’s estimate was also revised upward, from a gain of 4,400 jobs to a gain of 9,300 jobs, as the state continues its strong job growth from the first half of 2017. July’s increase was concentrated among service providers, who added 7,900 jobs (0.3 percent) while their counterparts in goods production lost 200 jobs. Annually Minnesota added 66,701 jobs (2.3 percent). It was the second consecutive month with greater than 2 percent employment growth in the state, a benchmark that hadn’t been reached since February of 2013. The increase was spread among industry groups, as goods producers and service providers both showed more than 2 percent growth (2.5 and 2.3 percent, respectively). Public sector employment increased by 5,682 (1.4 percent) over the period, while the private sector added 61,019 jobs (2.4 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was flat in July, holding at 6,900 seasonally adjusted jobs. Since March, when employment jumped from 6,600, employment in the industry group has hovered within 100 jobs of the 7,000 mark. Over the year the supersector added 793 jobs (12 percent) as it continued to show improvement after an especially rough period that stretched from late 2015 through mid-2016. Recovery from that slump began picking up steam roughly a year ago, and as such we could expect to see over-the-year growth in the supersector dip from its recent levels in the coming months, likely beginning in August.


Employment in the Construction supersector was off slightly in July, losing 700 jobs (0.5 percent) after having gained 1,000 in June. The industry group has alternated seasonally-adjusted gains and losses in every month of 2017 thus far. Annually Construction added 7,528 jobs (5.8 percent). Specialty Trade Contractors continued to drive the supersector’s growth, adding 7,638 jobs (9.3 percent). The smaller Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction sector added 625 jobs (3.1 percent), while Construction of Buildings lost 735 jobs (2.7 percent) OTY, its 14th straight month showing a decline.


The Manufacturing supersector added 500 jobs (0.2 percent) in July, although June employment gains were revised down from 2,100 to 1,400 jobs. The July growth was attributable entirely to Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers, which showed a 0.4 percent increase. Employment in Durable Goods Manufacturing was flat for the month. Over the year Manufacturing added 2,931 jobs (0.9 percent). The smaller Non-Durable Goods component sector continued to gain on its larger counterpart, adding 2,156 jobs (1.8 percent) on the year while Durable Goods Manufacturing added just 775 jobs (0.4 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 2,600 jobs in July. It was the second consecutive month with employment losses for the supersector and the fifth of seven months in 2017 to show employment declines. July’s job losses came primarily in Retail Trade (down 2,300 or 0.8 percent) with additional declines in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (off 1,000, 1.0 percent). Wholesale Trade added 700 jobs (0.5 percent). Annually the supersector added 3,186 jobs (0.6 percent), a marked decrease from the 1.4 percent over-the-year growth in June estimates. Annual growth was a mirror image of monthly growth among component sectors, with Wholesale Trade losing 922 jobs (0.7 percent) while Retail Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities showed positive growth (up 1,806 or 0.6 percent and 2,302 or 2.3 percent, respectively). Transportation and Warehousing added 2,578 jobs (3 percent), returning to its previously strong over-the-year growth after sagging slightly early in the year. Utilities employment declined by 276 jobs (2.2 percent).


Employment in the Information supersector was up by 200 (0.4 percent) in July, following two months of job losses in the supersector. Annually Information employers added 72 jobs (0.1 percent). After nearly consistent over-the-year job losses in the supersector dating back to early 2013, Information jobs increased on an annual basis for every month in 2017 so far.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector lost 1,400 jobs (0.8 percent) in July. It was the supersector’s fourth straight month with seasonally adjusted declines and sixth of the seven months in 2017. Both component sectors shed jobs, as Finance and Insurance lost 900 (0.6 percent), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 500 (1.5 percent). Annually the supersector lost 572 jobs (0.3 percent). It was the first negative over-the-year growth in Financial Activities since December of 2014. The entirety of the annual declines came from Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which shed 1,911 jobs (5.3 percent). The other component sector, Finance and Insurance, remained up on the year, adding 1,339 jobs (0.9 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services lost 1,500 jobs (0.4 percent) in July, and its June increase was revised down from a gain of 2,300 to a gain of just 1,300. Management of Companies and Enterprises lost 600 jobs (0.7 percent), and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services lost 1,000 (0.7 percent). Annually the supersector added 3,388 jobs (0.9 percent). Annual declines in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (off 2,414 or 1.5 percent) were more than balanced by gains in Management of Companies and Enterprises (up 1,944 or 2.4 percent) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (up 3,858 or 2.8 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment was up by 8,400 (1.5 percent) in July on a seasonally adjusted basis. Both component sectors added jobs, with Educational Services up 2,400 (3.4 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance adding 6,000 (1.3 percent). Over the year Educational and Health Services added 27,521 jobs (5.3 percent). The supersector remains a strong driver of job growth statewide, accounting for more than 40 percent of the jobs added in Minnesota over the previous 12 months. Health Care and Social Assistance added 22,446 jobs (4.9 percent) while Educational Services added 5,075 (8.4 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality added 2,800 jobs (1 percent) in July. It was the fifth straight month of seasonally-adjusted growth for the supersector as Accommodation and Food Services continued its strong recent performance, adding 2,600 jobs (1.1 percent) on the heels of June’s addition of 4,300 jobs. Annually the supersector added 13,250 jobs (4.7 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 3,176 jobs (6.4 percent), and Accommodation and Food Services added 10,074 (4.3 percent).

Other Services

Other Services added 400 jobs (0.3 percent) in July, and June’s loss of 1,500 was revised to a loss of 1,300. Annually the supersector added 2,922 jobs (2.5 percent). All three component sectors saw growth, but the largest both numerically and proportionally came in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations, which added 2,063 jobs (3.2 percent).


Government employment was up by 1,600 (0.4 percent) in July. Local Government led the way, adding 1,800 jobs (0.6 percent). Annually Government employers added 5,682 jobs (1.4 percent), with growth in all three component sectors.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Jul-17 Jun-17 May-17
Total Nonfarm 2,959.8 2,952.1 2,942.8
Goods-Producing 449.6 449.8 447.5
Mining and Logging 6.9 6.9 7.0
Construction 122.3 123.0 122.0
Manufacturing 320.4 319.9 318.5
Service-Providing 2,510.2 2,502.3 2,495.3
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 534.2 536.8 537.3
Information 50.9 50.7 51.2
Financial Activities 175.2 176.6 177.2
Professional and Business Services 376.3 377.8 376.5
Educational and Health Services 551.2 542.8 541.5
Leisure and Hospitality 274.3 271.5 265.8
Other Services 120.0 119.6 120.8
Government 428.1 426.5 425.0
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2017.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth

*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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