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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
January 2016

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


Minnesota added 9,100 jobs (0.3 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, and November estimates were revised upward from a gain of 7,200 to a gain of 9,200 jobs. Employment across a variety of industries contributed to December’s growth. The private sector added 4,800 jobs (0.2 percent) with goods producers growing by 2,400 jobs (0.6 percent) and service providers adding 6,700 jobs (0.3 percent). Public sector employers added 4,300 jobs (1.0 percent) as Local Government did the heavy lifting there by adding 4,900 jobs (1.7 percent). Annually, Minnesota added 42,485 jobs (1.5 percent) over December of 2014. Service providers added 41,311 jobs (1.7 percent), continuing to outpace their goods producing counterparts, who added 1,174 jobs (0.3 percent). The private sector contributed most of the annual growth, up 39,314 (1.6 percent) to government employers’ 3,171 (0.7 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging had another precipitous drop in December following news of additional layoffs in the Mining industry over the month, as it shed 500 jobs (7.8 percent) in December, leaving a seasonally adjusted total of 5,900. This marked the first time since 2010 that employment in Mining and Logging dipped below 6,000. The supersector continues to take a beating over the longer term as well, down 1,380 jobs (19.9 percent) from its December 2014 levels as global iron prices continue to affect employment negatively in mining and related fields.


Employment in Construction was up on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, adding 1,300 jobs (1.2 percent) from November estimates as a slower pace of layoffs in the winter months continued to help alleviate the effects of lower-than-normal employment through the summer months. Annually, employment in Construction was up by 2,490 (2.5 percent) in December, the second straight month of over-the-year gains in the supersector after three months of annual declines in the fall. Most of the new jobs came from Specialty Trade Contractors, who added 2,421 jobs (3.9 percent) on the year, although Construction of Buildings also added 948 jobs (4 percent). The other component sector, Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, saw an annual drop of 879 jobs (7.5 percent).


Manufacturing employment grew in December, adding 1,600 jobs (0.5 percent) following a slight dip in employment in November. The December job growth was split evenly between Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers, each of which added 800 jobs (0.4 and 0.7 percent, respectively). The strong December also helped to push the supersector back into the black in over-the-year employment, if only barely. Manufacturers added 64 jobs (0.0 percent) from December 2014 estimates. Durable Goods Manufacturers added 1,412 jobs (0.7 percent) on the year. Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing and Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing were among the fastest growing component sectors, adding 834 jobs (1.8 percent) and 442 jobs (2.8 percent), respectively. Non-Durable goods Manufacturers lost 1,348 jobs (1.2 percent) on the year, with Food Manufacturing (down 1,837 jobs, 3.9 percent) suffering the largest employment losses.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was off by 2,000 (0.4 percent) in December, with losses in Retail Trade (down 2,000, 0.7 percent) and Wholesale trade (down 500, 0.4 percent) swamping the gain of 500 (0.5 percent) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities. Annually, the supersector is slightly in the positive, adding 887 jobs (0.2 percent). Retail Trade added 2,399 (0.8 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 1,698 (1.7 percent) while Wholesale Trade lost 3,210 jobs (2.4 percent).


Employment in the Information supersector was up again in December, adding 200 jobs (0.4 percent) from November estimates. Over-the-year estimates are still down, however, showing the supersector off 1,103 jobs (2.1 percent) from December 2014 as Publishing Industries (except Internet) continues to shed jobs, down 613 (3 percent) on the year.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector added 2,000 jobs (1.1 percent) in December with both component sectors contributing to the growth. Finance and Insurance added 800 jobs (0.6 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 1,200 (3.0 percent). Annually, the supersector added 4,390 jobs (2.5 percent), with growth again coming from both major component sectors.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services saw a seasonally adjusted decline in employment for December, off 3,200 jobs (0.9 percent) from November estimates. This was the first time since June that the supersector lost jobs, during which time 13,300 seasonally adjusted jobs were added. All three component sectors lost jobs on the month, with the biggest declines, both numerically and proportionally, coming in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (down 2,500 or 1.7 percent). Annually, Professional and Business Services added 10,468 jobs (2.9 percent). One major component sector, Management of Companies and Enterprises, lost jobs on the year, down 1,432 (1.8 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services added 2,100 jobs (0.4 percent) in December, breaking a string of three consecutive months with employment losses in the supersector after November’s estimates were revised downward from a slight gain to a small loss. Health Care and Social Assistance had a strong month, adding 2,900 jobs (0.7 percent), while Educational Services lost 800 jobs (1.2 percent). Annually, employment in the supersector remained healthy, adding 12,680 jobs (2.5 percent), as strong gains in Health Care and Social Assistance (up 15,184 or 3.5 percent) overwhelmed the loss of 2,504 jobs (3.6 percent) in Educational Services.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment had a strong month, adding 2,800 jobs (1.1 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis, as an unprecedentedly warm December helped ameliorate the normal winter job losses in the supersector. Employment was also strong on an annual basis in the supersector, up 11,348 (4.6 percent) from 2014 estimates. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 3,329 jobs (9.2 percent), and Accommodation and Food Services added 8,019 (3.8 percent).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was up slightly in December, adding 500 jobs (0.4 percent). Annually, employment was off by a similar amount, down 530 jobs (0.5 percent). The loss is entirely from a drop of 2,298 jobs (3.5 percent) in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations, as the other two component sectors remain in the black for the year.


Government employers had a strong December, adding 4,300 jobs (1.0 percent) thanks to an additional 4,900 jobs in Local Government. Annually, Government employers added 3,171 jobs (0.7 percent) with gains in Federal and Local Government overcoming a loss of 2,471 jobs (2.4 percent) from State Government employers.

Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (in thousands)
Industry December 2015 November 2015 October 2015
Total Nonfarm 2,873.7 2,864.6 2,855.4
Goods-Producing 429.7 427.3 425.3
Mining and Logging 5.9 6.4 6.4
Construction 108.2 106.9 104.3
Manufacturing 315.6 314.0 314.6
Service-Providing 2,444.0 2,437.3 2,430.1
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 521.5 523.5 522.1
Information 52.4 52.2 52.1
Financial Activities 183.4 181.4 181.1
Professional and Business Services 368.5 371.7 369.4
Educational and Health Services 514.2 512.1 512.3
Leisure and Hospitality 268.0 265.2 263.4
Other Services 114.1 113.6 113.4
Government 421.9 417.6 416.3
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2015.

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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