by Nick Dobbins
Monthly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Employment dropped sharply in December as the metro lost 9,480 jobs (0.5 percent). Net job losses in December are common, although this year's decline was slightly larger than usual. Steepest declines came in Government, Educational and Health Services, and Mining, Logging, and Construction. Government employment was down 3,741 (1.5 percent), most of which came from Local Government excluding Educational Services (down 3,001, 1.9 percent). Educational and Health Services lost 2,909 jobs (0.9 percent). Mining, Logging, and Construction lost 4,412 jobs (6.7 percent). The supersector with the most positive employment growth was Trade, Transportation, and Utilities which added 3,055 jobs (0.9 percent) with growth of 1,320 (1.6 percent) in Wholesale Trade, 1,160 (0.6 percent) in Retail Trade, and 575 (0.9 percent) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities.
Employment dipped by 742 jobs (0.6 percent) in December. The biggest decline came in Mining, Logging, and Construction which lost 478 jobs (5.5 percent), with significant drops also appearing in Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, and Manufacturing. The largest monthly gain came in the Other Services supersector which added 178 jobs (2.6 percent) over November estimates. Over the year, employment in the Duluth metro has declined by 885 jobs (0.7 percent). As has been the case since October, the largest annual declines, by a significant margin, came in the Leisure and Hospitality industry group (down 1,791, 13.1 percent). The largest employment increase came in Educational and Health Services which added 953 jobs (3 percent).
Employment waned slightly as the area lost 321 jobs (0.3 percent) from November estimates. Declines in Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 283, 8 percent), and Leisure and Hospitality (down 299, 3.2 percent) outweighed gains in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 136, 0.8 percent) and Other Services (67, 1.8 percent) among other gains and losses in the metro. Annually, Rochester has added 709 jobs (0.7 percent). Most supersectors added employment on the year. Notable exceptions were Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 122, 3.6 percent), Financial Activities (down 38, 1.5 percent), Leisure and Hospitality (down 42, 0.5 percent), and Government (down 221, 2 percent).
St. Cloud MSA
The MSA lost 625 jobs (0.6 percent) in December. Most of the decline came in Mining, Logging, and Construction which dropped 445 jobs (7.5 percent). Other industry groups to contract included Manufacturing (down 216 or 1.4 percent), Educational and Health Services (down 137, 0.7 percent), Leisure and Hospitality (down 96, 1 percent), and Professional and Business Services (down 98, 1 percent). Employment remains up on an annual basis, with the metro supporting 1,836 (1.8 percent) more jobs than in December 2013. Mining, Logging, and Construction is responsible for a plurality of that increase, as the supersector added 808 jobs (17.2 percent) over the year. Other supersectors with strong growth included Educational and Health Services (up 534, 2.7 percent), Leisure and Hospitality (up 373, 4.1 percent), and Professional and Business Services (up 297, 3.3 percent). Government employment remains significantly depressed on the year with 356 (2.2 percent) fewer jobs than the previous December.
Mankato-North Mankato MSA
Employment dipped by 462 (0.8 percent) in December, the area's first such decline since July. The losses were spread throughout published industry groups, as Goods Producers and Service Providers, as well as Private and Government employers, shared in the contraction. Employment remains up on an annual basis, however, with the MSA holding 2,082 (3.7 percent) more jobs than in December 2013.
The MSA lost 748 jobs (0.5 percent) in December, largely driven by a sharp decline in Mining, Logging, and Construction which lost 1,109 jobs (10.9 percent) over the month. The largest monthly increase came in Leisure and Hospitality which added 399 jobs (2.8 percent). Annually, Fargo-Moorhead added 5,126 jobs (3.8 percent). Every supersector added jobs for the year, with the largest gain coming in Leisure and Hospitality (up 1,516, 11.6 percent).
Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA
As was the norm in December, the MSA saw significant employment declines for the month, losing 775 jobs (1.3 percent). Most supersectors lost jobs, with notable exceptions being Financial Activities (up 25, 1.5 percent), Leisure and Hospitality (63, 1 percent), and Other Services (15, 0.7 percent). Annually, the MSA added 470 jobs (0.8 percent), with increases in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 106, 0.8 percent), Educational and Health Services (137, 1.4 percent), and Other Services (129, 6.3 percent) overcoming losses in Leisure and Hospitality (down 143, 2.3 percent) and Government (down 118 or 0.8 percent).