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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
February 2015

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


Seasonally adjusted employment dropped again in January as the state lost 7,900 jobs over the month. That marked the largest employment decline since September and came on the heels of a 13,400 downward revision to December's estimate with the program's annual year-end revision. Declines were present across multiple industry groups; the largest was seen in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities which lost 6,000 jobs (1.2 percent) on the month. Other groups with employment losses included Information (down 1,400, 2.6 percent), Construction (down 1,700, 1.6 percent), and Manufacturing (down 1,100, 0.3 percent). Industry groups that added jobs included Professional and Business Services (up 2,200, 0.6 percent) and Educational and Health Services (1,500, 0.3 percent). Employment growth remains strong annually as Minnesota added 36,124 jobs (1.3 percent) over January 2014. The only supersectors to show over-the-year job losses were Construction (down 137, 0.2 percent) and Government (down 918, 0.2 percent). The largest annual numerical gains have come in Manufacturing (up 5,632, 1.8 percent), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 7,639, 1.5 percent), Professional and Business Services (up 8,145, 2.4 percent), and Educational and Health Services (up 8,581, 1.7 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging declined in January: The supersector lost 100 jobs (1.4 percent) and settled at an estimated 7,100, seasonally adjusted. Employment remains up annually with Mining and Logging supporting 166 more jobs than it had a year before.


Seasonally adjusted employment in the Construction supersector declined for the fourth straight month in January, shedding 1,700 jobs (1.6 percent). Over-the-year employment comparisons also showed losses for the second month in a row following December's downward revision. January's unadjusted estimate was 87,777, down 137 or 0.2 percent from January 2014. Employment drops with Building Equipment Contractors (down 789, 2.8 percent) and Specialty Trade Contractors (down 357, 0.6 percent) swamped the 288 (1.3 percent) increase in Construction of Buildings.


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector declined by 1,100 (0.3 percent) in January estimates. The losses came entirely in Durable Goods Manufacturing employment, which was down 1,900 (0.9 percent), erasing the gains of 800 (0.7 percent) in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing. Employment was still up for the year, however, supporting 5,632 (1.8 percent) more jobs than it did in January 2014. Annual gains were spread among component industries, with both durable and non-durable goods manufacturers adding employment. Notable examples: Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (up 847, 2 percent), Machinery Manufacturing (up 747, 2.3 percent), and Food Manufacturing (up 2,734, 6.2 percent). The only published component industry to lose employment for the year were Paper Manufacturing and Printing and Related Support Activities (down 981, 2.9 percent). Given our increasingly digital world, these declines aren't terribly surprising, and both industries are on a long-term downward trend nationally.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities plummeted in January, shedding 6,000 jobs (1.2 percent) over the month and more than giving back the 2,700 jobs the supersector added in December. Monthly losses were split evenly between Retail Trade and Transportation and Warehousing, both of which lost 3,100 jobs (1.1 and 3.2 percent, respectively) to overcome the relatively small gains in Wholesale Trade. Despite the monthly decline, the supersector has still added employment on the year, with 7,639 (1.5 percent) more jobs in January 2015 than the year before. While annual gains were spread among all three component sectors, the bulk of the jobs were added in Wholesale Trade (up 3,093, 2.4 percent) and Retail Trade (4,377, 1.5 percent).


Information employment dropped sharply in January, shedding 1,400 jobs (2.6 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis. The supersector also continues to show over-the-year losses, supporting 227 (0.4 percent) fewer jobs in January than it did a year prior. Most of that annual decline came in Publishing Industries (except Internet), which lost 787 jobs (3.8 percent), continuing its long-term downward trend.

Financial Activities

Seasonally adjusted employment in Financial Activities was up slightly (100 or 0.1 percent) in December. An increase of 700 (0.5 percent) in Finance and Insurance barely overcame a loss of 600 (1.5 percent) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. The supersector returned to the plus side of the column for over-the-year change as well, adding 905 jobs (0.5 percent) from January 2014 estimates. That gain came entirely from Finance and Insurance, which added 1,576 jobs (1.1 percent), as Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 671 jobs (1.8 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Employment grew in January as the supersector added 2,200 jobs (0.6 percent). Growth was spread between component sectors with remarkable balance, each of the three groups adding employment at the same rate of 0.6 percent. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 900 jobs, Management of Companies and Enterprises added 500, and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 800. Annually the supersector added 8,145 jobs (2.4 percent), with growth in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (up 5,330 or 3.8 percent) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (up 4,027, 3.2 percent) overcoming a loss of 1,102 (1.4 percent) in Management of Companies and Enterprises.

Educational and Health Services

Employment grew by 1,500 (0.3 percent) in January. Health Care and Social Assistance grew by 1,800 jobs (0.4 percent), which more than made up for the loss of 300 jobs (0.4 percent) in Educational Services. Annually the supersector added 8,581 jobs (1.7 percent). Educational Services added 2,055 (3.2 percent), largely in Elementary and Secondary Schools (up 943, 4.6 percent), while Health Care and Social Assistance added 6,526 jobs (1.5 percent) with growth split between the two component groups.

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment grew very slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis, adding 200 jobs (0.1 percent) in January. For the year, the supersector added 4,128 jobs (1.7 percent) with growth in both Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (up 967, 2.8 percent) and Accommodation and Food Service (up 3,161, 1.6 percent).

Other Services

Employment declined by 700 (0.6 percent) in January. For the year, employment has increased by 2,210 (2 percent) with the only loss coming in Personal and Laundry Services (down 554, 2 percent).


Government employment dropped slightly, shedding 900 jobs (0.2 percent), with all of that loss coming from State and Local Government employers. On the year, the Government has lost 918 jobs (0.2 percent), with the single largest decline coming in State Government Education, down 2,158 jobs (3.4 percent). While jobs were lost in State and Local Education, employment in every other government industry group (Federal Government, Postal Service, and State and Local Government Excluding Education) was either up or flat.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry January 2015 December 2014 November 2014
Total Nonfarm 2,823.5 2,831.4 2,830.6
Goods-Producing 425.9 428.8 428.7
Mining and Logging 7.1 7.2 7.2
Construction 104.1 105.8 106.0
Manufacturing 314.7 315.8 315.5
Service-Providing 2,397.6 2,402.6 2,401.9
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 514.9 520.9 518.2
Information 52.1 53.5 53.1
Financial Activities 179.1 179.0 179.8
Professional and Business Services 359.9 357.7 357.3
Educational and Health Services 503.1 501.6 502.6
Leisure and Hospitality 256.9 256.7 256.4
Other Services 113.9 114.6 113.8
Government 417.7 418.6 420.7
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2014.

Bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, January 2014-January 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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