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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
January 2015

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


Seasonally adjusted employment levels in Minnesota dipped significantly in December as the state shed 5,200 jobs (0.2 percent). This reverses a recent trend of seasonally adjusted employment increases in the state. Employment losses were spread across the market as significant declines occurred in a number of supersectors including Manufacturing (down 1,400, 0.4 percent), Financial Activities (down 1,100, 0.6 percent), Educational and Health Services (down 1,500 or 0.3 percent), Government employment (down 4,200, 1.0 percent), and others. Industries to show employment gains included Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 4,100, 0.8 percent) and Other Services (up 400, 0.3 percent). For the year, state employment remained firmly in the black, up 33,400 jobs (1.2 percent) from December 2013. Large over-the-year increases came in Manufacturing (up 7,589, 2.4 percent), Professional and Business Services (up 11,995, 3.5 percent), and Educational and Health Services (up 8,910, 1.8 percent). The only supersectors to lose employment on the year were Financial Activities (down 2,503, 1.4 percent) and Information (down 206, or 0.4 percent) which just dipped into negative annual job growth this month. Other Services, meanwhile, returned to positive annual job growth this month (up 480, 0.4 percent) after being down in November.

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was static in December as the supersector held steady at 7,700 jobs. On an annual basis, Mining and Logging added 648 jobs (9.7 percent) since December of 2013.


Seasonally adjusted employment in the Construction supersector declined again in December, dipping by 300 (0.3 percent) over November estimates. Over the year, Construction has been relatively flat, adding just 127 jobs (0.1 percent) over December of 2013. Annual growth in Specialty Trade Contractors (up 2,538, 4 percent) and Residential Building Construction (up 718, 6.7 percent) was largely offset by losses in the other component sectors. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction lost 794 jobs (6.4 percent), Building Equipment Contractors lost 507 (1.8 percent), and Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors lost 487 jobs (4.3 percent).


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector declined in December, dropping 1,400 jobs (0.4 percent) on the month. This decline came entirely from the Durable Goods sector which gave back all of its gains from last month and then some, losing 1,700 jobs (0.8 percent) while Nondurable Goods Manufacturing added 300 jobs (0.3 percent). Annually, Manufacturing has added 7,589 jobs (2.4 percent) on the strength of a growing Durable Goods Manufacturing sector which is up 8,036 jobs (4.1 percent). The plurality of that increase came from Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing which added 1,721 jobs (4.1 percent) on the year. The Non-Durable Goods sector lost 447 jobs (0.4 percent) over the year, with declines coming in both major component sectors (Food Manufacturing, down 283 or 0.6 percent, and Paper Manufacturing and Printing and Related Support Activities, down 832, 2.5 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities bucked the monthly trend in December, adding 4,100 jobs (0.8 percent), with growth in the three major component industry groups. The most significant bit of growth came in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities which added 2,400 jobs (2.6 percent), by far the largest proportional increase in any published sector in the state this month. On an annual basis, the supersector has added 1,329 jobs (0.3 percent). Increases in Wholesale Trade (up 1,308 jobs, 1 percent) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (up 2,326, 2.4 percent) more than offset losses in Retail Trade (down 2,305, 0.8 percent).


Information employment grew by 300 jobs (0.5 percent) in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Annually, the Information supersector has lost 206 jobs (0.4 percent). Both published component industry groups had declines, with Publishing Industries (except Internet) losing 701 jobs (3.3 percent) and Telecommunications losing 324 jobs (2.4 percent).

Financial Activities

Seasonally adjusted employment in Financial Activities declined sharply in December with the supersector shedding 1,100 jobs (0.6 percent). Growth of 100 (0.1 percent) in Finance and Insurance was not enough to overcome the drop of 1,200 (2.9 percent) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. For the year, the supersector is down 2,503 (1.4 percent) continuing its poor performance in Minnesota and running contrary to the supersector's performance nationwide which has been showing over-the-year job gains consistently since 2011.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment declined in December as the supersector lost 600 jobs (0.2 percent). Two of three published component sectors lost jobs, as Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services employment was down 400 (0.3 percent) and Management of Companies employment was down 500 (0.6 percent). On the year, the supersector remained solidly in positive employment growth, up 11,995 jobs (3.5 percent) over December of 2013. Employment in all major component sectors was either up or flat, with the only net job losses coming in Services to Buildings and Dwellings which was down just 24 or 0.1 percent.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment shrank on a seasonally adjusted basis in December as the supersector lost 1,500 jobs (0.3 percent) thanks to a loss of 1,600 (0.4 percent) in Health Care and Social Assistance. The other component industry group, Educational Services, added 100 jobs (0.1 percent). Annually, employment has increased by 8,910 (1.8 percent) with both major components showing significant job growth.

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality dropped by 900 (0.3 percent) in December with all of that loss coming in Accommodation and Food Service, as Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation employment was flat. Over the year the supersector has added 4,891 jobs (2.0 percent). The only published component to lose jobs was Full-Service Restaurants which dropped by 3,740 (4.5 percent), although that was made up for in other areas as the broader Food Services and Drinking Places industry group remained up, adding 4,375 jobs (2.4 percent) on the year. The Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation component added 395 jobs (1.1 percent).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services grew by 400 jobs (0.3 percent) in December. For the year, Other Services has added 480 jobs (0.4 percent) entirely in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations.


Government employment lost 4,200 jobs (1 percent) in December as Federal, State, and Local Government employers all showed a net loss. Local Government Employers had the largest numerical loss of any published supersector last month, losing 2,500 jobs (0.9 percent). Annually, employment has remained largely flat with Government employers adding 140 jobs (0.0 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry December 2014 November 2014 October 2014
Total Nonfarm 2,844.8 2,850.0 2,847.4
Goods-Producing 432.6 434.3 439.2
Mining and Logging 7.7 7.7 7.5
Construction 106.3 106.6 111.3
Manufacturing 318.6 320.0 320.4
Service-Providing 2,412.2 2,415.7 2,408.2
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 519.5 515.4 519.8
Information 55.0 54.7 54.9
Financial Activities 179.2 180.3 177.6
Professional and Business Services 358.8 359.4 357.6
Educational and Health Services 506.7 508.2 506.9
Leisure and Hospitality 257.2 258.1 252.8
Other Services 119.3 118.9 119.9
Government 416.5 420.7 418.7
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2014

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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