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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
February 2019

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


Employment in Minnesota was up in January as employers added 3,800 jobs (0.1 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the first over-the-month increase since October of 2018. The private sector contributed 3,500 of those jobs (up 0.1 percent) while government employers added 300 (0.1 percent). Employment in goods production was off slightly (down 200, 0.0 percent) but was more than made up for by the addition of 4,000 service-providing jobs (up 0.2 percent). Annually the state added 7,803 jobs (0.3 percent). January’s over-the-year growth was led by a strong Construction industry (up 8,941 or 9.7 percent). Goods producers as a whole added 9,777 jobs (2.3 percent) while service providers lost 1,974 (0.1 percent). The private sector added 8,565 jobs (0.3 percent) while government employers lost 3,483 (0.8 percent).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was up by 100 (1.5 percent) in January. It was the second consecutive month of growth for the supersector. On an over-the-year basis the supersector added 91 jobs (1.5 percent). This growth reversed a trend of three straight months with over-the-year declines that included a drop of 3.1 percent in December of 2018.


Employment in the Construction supersector was flat in January, remaining at 128,700. It was the first month since April of 2018 that the supersector did not show monthly job growth. Annually the supersector added 8,941 jobs (8.7 percent), giving it by far the strongest over-the-year performance of any supersector in the state. Every component sector contributed to the growth, with the largest real and proportional increases coming in Specialty Trade Contracting, which added 6,395 jobs or 9.3 percent. Construction of Buildings employment was up by 2,091 or 8.3 percent.


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was off by 300 (0.1 percent) in January. Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 400 jobs (0.2 percent) while Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers added 100 (0.1 percent). Annually the supersector added 745 jobs (0.2 percent). Durable Goods Manufacturers added 1,162 jobs (0.6 percent) on the strength of 1,297 jobs (3.1 percent) in Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing. Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 417 jobs (0.4 percent). The Food Manufacturing component was off by 1,106 (2.4 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up by 1,400 (0.3 percent) in January. Retail Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities each added 900 jobs (0.3 and 0.9 percent, respectively), while Wholesale Trade employment was off by 400 (0.3 percent). Over the year the supersector’s employment was off by 287 (0.1 percent). That was the second consecutive month of over-the-year job losses in the supersector. Prior to December of 2018, the industry had not had an annual decline since September of 2010. The decline came courtesy of Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities, which lost 674 jobs (0.6 percent) on the year after losing jobs in both Utilities (down 223 or 1.8 percent) and Transportation and Warehousing (down 451, 0.5 percent).


The Information supersector lost 300 jobs (0.6 percent) in January. It has shown employment losses in five of the previous six months. Annually the supersector was off by 1,054 (2.1 percent). It has lost jobs on an over-the-year basis in every month since June of 2017 as the non-internet Publishing and Telecommunications industry groups continue their long descent.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was up by 1,200 (0.7 percent) in January. Finance and Insurance employers added 1,100 jobs (0.7 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was up by 100 (0.3 percent). On an over-the-year basis the supersector added 1,634 jobs (0.9 percent). Finance and Insurance added 1,482 jobs (1 percent), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 152 (0.4 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services was down slightly in January, off by 100 jobs (0.0 percent). Management of Companies and Enterprises and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services were both off by 400 jobs (0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively), effectively offsetting the gain of 700 jobs (0.4 percent) in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Over the year the supersector lost 4,940 jobs (1.3 percent). It was the first example of an over-the-year decline in the supersector since March of 2018 (a 0.1 percent decrease). January’s decline came in large part from a loss of 8,969 jobs (6.5 percent) in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, a loss which in turn was largely driven by a decline of 5,606 (10.3 percent) in Employment Services. The Employment Services sector, which is sometimes seen as a leading indicator for the larger labor market, has shown over-the-year declines in every month since August 2018, progressing from a loss of 0.6 percent to the current loss of 9.7 percent.

Educational and Health Services

The Educational and Health Services supersector lost 1,500 jobs (0.3 percent) in January. Both component sectors shed jobs, with Educational Services off 200 (0.3 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance off by 1,300 (also 0.3 percent). Annually the supersector added 423 jobs (0.1 percent). The growth came from Health Care and Social Assistance, which added 1,405 jobs (0.3 percent) on the strength of 2,507 new jobs in Hospitals (up 2.2 percent) and 1,257 (1.7 percent) in Offices of Physicians. Educational Services lost 982 jobs (1.5 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 2,200 (0.8 percent) in January. Accommodation and Food Services employment was up by 1,700 (0.7 percent) while Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation employers added 500 jobs (1 percent). Annually the supersector added 3,645 jobs (1.4 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation led the way, adding 4,104 jobs (9.9 percent). Accommodation and Food Services actually lost jobs, off by 369 (0.2 percent) because of a decline of 3,663 (2.2 percent) in Restaurants and Other Eating Places.

Other Services

The Other Services supersector added 800 jobs (0.7 percent) in January. It was the second month in a row of over-the-year growth for the supersector. Annually Other Services lost 633 jobs (0.6 percent). Personal and Laundry Services lost 1,125 jobs (4 percent) while the other two component sectors posted job growth on the year.


Government employers added 300 jobs (0.1 percent) in January. State and Local Governments both grew, while Federal employers shed 200 jobs (0.6 percent). Over the year Government employers lost 762 jobs (0.2 percent). Federal Government lost 696 jobs (2.2 percent), State lost 199 (0.2 percent), and Local Government employers added 133 jobs (0 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Jan-19 Dec-18 Nov-18
Total Nonfarm 2,964.9 2,961.1 2,961.9
Goods-Producing 457.3 457.5 455.0
Mining and Logging 6.8 6.7 6.5
Construction 128.7 128.7 126.8
Manufacturing 321.8 322.1 321.7
Service-Providing 2,507.6 2,503.6 2,506.9
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 538.5 537.1 535.8
Information 48.6 48.9 49.0
Financial Activities 184.9 183.7 184.8
Professional and Business Services 375.5 375.6 378.3
Educational and Health 542.5 544.0 545.6
Leisure and Hospitality 279.9 277.7 276.4
Other Services 112.9 112.1 111.8
Government 424.8 424.5 425.2
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2019.

Barg graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, January 2018 to January 2019

*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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