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Industrial Analysis

By Nick Dobbins
February 2021

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


Minnesota added 51,800 jobs (1.9%) in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was the largest real and proportional total nonfarm increase of any state in the country, likely owing to the relaxation of COVID-19 related restrictions on Minnesota businesses early in the month. Service providers added 50,500 jobs (2.2%) while goods producers added 1,300 (0.3%).

Over the year the state lost 229,968 jobs (7.8%), a notable improvement over December's 9.3% over the year decrease. Private sector employers lost 205,547 jobs (8.2%), and public sector employers lost 24,421 (5.7%). Losses remained larger among service providers, where employment was down 8.3% (209,158 jobs) versus a loss of 4.8% (20,810 jobs) among goods producers.

Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (in Thousands)

Industry Jan-21 Dec-20 Nov-20
Total Nonfarm 2771.4 2719.6 2772.4
Goods-Producing 436.7 435.4 433.4
Mining and Logging 6.3 6.3 6.2
Construction 122.7 122.8 121.5
Manufacturing 307.7 306.3 305.7
Service-Providing 2334.7 2284.2 2339
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 503.3 502.8 502.2
Information 40.4 40.1 41.1
Financial Activities 194.4 194.8 194.2
Professional and Business Services 356.8 355.9 355.3
Educational and Health Services 539.8 533.1 535.8
Leisure and Hospitality 196.4 160.9 204.3
Other Services 101.1 97 100.8
Government 402.5 399.6 405.3
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2021.

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was flat in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, holding at 6,300 jobs.

Over the year the supersector lost 206 jobs (6.8%). This was worse than December's 5.9% decrease, and marked the second consecutive month of increasingly negative over-the-year growth.


Construction employment was down by 100 (0.1%) over the month in January, following a seasonally adjusted increase of 1,300 jobs (1.1%) in December.

On an annual basis Construction employers lost 4,829 jobs (4.3%). This was worse than December's 3.8% over-the-year decline, as the supersector continued to alternate between improvements and deteriorations, although employment growth remains stronger here than in the labor market at large.


Manufacturing employment was up by 1,400 (0.5%) in January. Durable Goods Manufacturing added 1,500 jobs (0.8%), while their counterparts in Non-Durable Goods lost 100 jobs (0.1%).

Over the year, Manufacturers lost 15,557 jobs (4.9%). This was better than December's 5.3% decrease. Durable Goods was down 13,015 jobs (6.3%) and Non-Durable Goods was down 2,542 (2.2%).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up by 500 (0.1%) in January. The loss of 1,100 jobs (1.1%) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities was offset by growth in both trade sectors, as Retail added 900 jobs (0.3%), and Wholesale added 700 (0.6%).

Over the year the supersector lost 29,147 jobs (5.5%), an improvement over December's 6.2% decline. Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities led the declines, off by 7.8% (8,651 jobs). Retail Trade employment was down 5.5% (16,081 jobs), while Wholesale Trade was down 4,415 (3.5%).


Information employment was up by 300 (0.7%) in January. It was the first month of growth since September for the long-declining supersector.

Over the year, employment in Information was down by 5,703 jobs (12.4%), the second worst over-the-year job growth of any supersector in the state, trailing only the hard-hit Leisure and Hospitality.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was down by 400 (0.2%) in January on a seasonally adjusted basis. Finance and Insurance lost 300 jobs (0.2%) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing was down 100 (0.3%).

On an annual basis employment in the supersector was down 0.9% (1,781 jobs). This was the best over-the-year performance of any supersector in the state by a large margin, as the next-strongest was -4.3% in Construction. Finance and Insurance was up very slightly, adding 10 jobs or 0.0 percent, while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing was down 1,791 (5.2%).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment was up by 900 jobs (0.3%) in January. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services drove the growth, adding 1,400 jobs (0.9 percent), while Management of Companies and Enterprises lost 500 jobs (0.6%). Administrative and Support Services employment was flat.

On an annual basis Professional and Business Services employers lost 27,535 jobs (7.3%), with declines in all three major component sectors.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services was up by 6,700 (1.3%) in January. Educational Services was responsible for most of the growth, adding 4,900 jobs (7.4%) while Health Care and Social Assistance added 1,800 jobs (0.4%).

Over the year the supersector lost 24,335 jobs (4.4%). Educational Services was down 3,996 (5.6%), and Health Care and Social Assistance was down 20,339 (4.2%).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 35,500 jobs or 22.1% over the month. This was the largest real and proportional growth in the state, likely owing to the relaxed restrictions on businesses that took effect in January. The increase marked the return of some of the 43,400 jobs lost in December. The supersector still had the largest over-the-year job losses, off by 83,383 or 31.8%. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation was down by 12,357 (28.5%), while Accommodation and Food Services was down 71,026 (32.4%).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was up by 4.2% in January, the second largest proportional monthly growth of any supersector in the state as some of the 4,900 jobs lost in November and December returned.

Over the year Other Services lost 12,853 jobs (11.3%), with declines in all three component sectors. Religions, Grantmaking, Civic, and Professional Organizations lost 8,427 jobs or 13.3%.


Government employers added 2,900 jobs (0.7%) in January. Local Government led the growth, adding 2,300 jobs (0.9%), while State Government added 700 jobs (0.7%). Federal employers lost 100 jobs (0.3%).

Over the year Government employers lost 24,421 jobs (5.7%). Local Government lost 21,886 jobs (7.4%), and State Government lost 2,992 (2.9%), while Federal employers added 457 jobs (1.4%).

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