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The Local Look: Regional Labor Market Information

by Cameron Macht
January 2016

If you want the very best in Labor Market Information for your region, go directly to It’s been revised and expanded to lead readers on an orderly trip through various datasets that provide great insight into the regional economy. Here’s what you’ll find.

The Regional Labor Market pages include

  • Links to current employment and unemployment statistics
  • Lists of recent regional spotlight articles in DEED’s award-wining publications
  • Links to DEED’s Data Tools
  • Monthly blogs by our Regional Analysts
  • Contact information for each Regional Analyst who can help you interpret what you’ve found

Each regional profile sets the context with a look at the region’s population, showing how it has changed over time and breaking it down by age group in comparison to the state and to one decade ago. The data examines the aging of each region’s population and size of the Baby Boom generation, as well as uniquely high or low percentages of younger or older residents. The profile also incorporates population projections from the Minnesota State Demographic Center, which shows the future impact of aging.

Data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey five-year estimates provide details on the current and increasing diversity of the regions, looking at the number of residents of different racial groups and origins, and highlighting how they have changed over the past decade. ACS also provides significant insight into the workforce characteristics of the region – including the number, labor force participation rate, and unemployment rate of workers by age group, race, disability, veteran status, and educational attainment. From there, population projections by age group and labor force participation rates are combined to create labor force projections, showing whether the region is expected to add or lose workers over the next decade.

The profiles share data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap program to show the region’s labor shed and commuting patterns – mapping out where workers come from and go to for work. DEED’s Cost of Living tool sets a benchmark for a basic needs budget in each region, which can then be compared to income data from the ACS and wage rates from DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. Job Vacancy Survey data shows current hiring activity in the region, while DEED’s Occupations in Demand tool provides detail on popular jobs sorted by educational requirements. DEED’s Employment Outlook tool projects future growth and breaks down the difference between new jobs created and replacement openings.

Charts of the region’s employment change over the past decade detail the severity of the recession and the speed of the recovery in comparison to the state. The industry employment statistics also show major industries, recent job change, average annual wages, and regionally distinguishing industries. Again, DEED’s Employment Outlook also includes net job change over the next decade, itemized by industry. The profiles also bring in data on the size of businesses, including the number of self-employed businesses, and the number of farms from the USDA Census of Agriculture.

Check out your Regional Labor Market page to begin to learn about your local area today.

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