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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
January 2017

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


Minnesota added 11,900 jobs (0.4 percent) in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Likewise, November's estimate was revised upward from 2,899,700 to 2,907,400. Combined, these estimates suggest strong overall job growth on the heels of October's sharp losses. December's growth was spread among multiple industry groups. Private Sector employers added 8,200 jobs (0.3 percent), and Government employers added 3,700 (0.9 percent). Service Providers added 8,000 jobs while Goods Producers added 3,900 (0.9 percent). Over the year the state added 37,102 jobs (1.3 percent). Most of those jobs were with Service Providing industries, which added 31,959 (1.3 percent), while their counterparts in Goods Producing industries added 5,143 (1.2 percent). Private Sector employers added 36,125 jobs (1.5 percent more than in December of 2015), while Government employers added 822 jobs (2.6 percent) on the year.

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was flat in December, holding at a seasonally-adjusted 5,600 jobs. Over the year, employment in the supersector was off by 337 jobs (5.9 percent), coming in at 5,416 unadjusted jobs. The supersector received encouragement, however, with news that some jobs that had been lost for over a year and a half would be returning in early 2017.


Employment in the Construction supersector was up on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, adding 3,500 jobs (2.9 percent) after adding 3,700 jobs in November. Annually the Construction supersector added 7,414 jobs (6.9 percent). The three published component sectors all contributed to the growth. Construction of Buildings added 1,181 jobs (4.7 percent), Heavy and Civil Engineering added 1,022 (7.8 percent), and Specialty Trade Contractors, the largest of the sectors, added 5,211 jobs (7.5 percent).


Manufacturers in Minnesota added 400 jobs (0.1 percent) in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Durable Goods manufacturers saw strong growth, with 1,200 additional jobs (an increase of 0.6 percent), but that addition was tempered by a loss of 800 jobs in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing (down 0.7 percent from November). On an over-the-year basis the Manufacturing supersector continued to shrink, losing 1,934 jobs (0.6 percent) from December of 2015. Durable Goods manufacturers lost 2,422 jobs (1.2 percent), which was enough to overcome the addition of 488 jobs (0.4 percent) in Non-Durable Goods, which reported notable growth in Animal Slaughtering and Processing (up 665 or 4.1 percent), but lost 996 jobs (3.1 percent) in Paper Manufacturing and in Printing and Related Support Activities.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up slightly in December as the supersector added 900 jobs (0.2 percent). Retail Trade added 1,700 jobs (0.6 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities chipped in 1,100 (up 1.1 percent), while Wholesale Trade lost 1,900 jobs (1.5 percent). Annually the supersector added 8,963 jobs (1.7 percent). As was the case with the monthly estimates, losses in Wholesale Trade (down 2,801 jobs or 2.1 percent) were offset by larger gains in the other component sectors. Retail Trade led the way with 8,640 new jobs (up 2.9 percent) while Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 3,124 jobs (3 percent).


The Information supersector lost 100 jobs (0.2 percent) in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Annually the supersector lost 1,138 jobs (2.2 percent). This decline actually represents a worsening of the industry group's over-the-year growth, as the previous three months had shown a steady shrinking of the annual employment deficit, down to 1.3 percent in November following August's 3.9 percent annual decline.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector added 700 jobs (0.4 percent) in December. Finance and Insurance added 1,500 jobs (1 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 800 jobs (2 percent). Over the year the supersector added 2,620 jobs (1.4 percent). That gain came entirely from the Finance and Insurance component, which added 2,171 jobs (1.9 percent) on the strength of 2,353 additional jobs in Insurance Carriers and Related Activities (up 3.5 percent). Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was down slightly, shedding 97 jobs (0.2 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services added 2,200 jobs (0.6 percent) in December, more than making back the loss of 1,500 the supersector suffered in November. All three component sectors added employment for the month. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 900 jobs (0.6 percent), Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 400 jobs (0.3 percent), and Management of Companies and Enterprises added 900 (1.1 percent). Annually the supersector added 8,313 jobs (2.3 percent). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 2,230 (1.5 percent), Management of Companies and Enterprises added 3,080 (4 percent), and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 3,003 (2.3 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services added 2,800 jobs (0.5 percent) in December. Health Care and Social Assistance added 2,000 jobs (0.4 percent) while Educational Services added 800 (1.2 percent). Annually Educational and Health Services added 18,595 jobs (3.6 percent). Health Care and Social Assistance, as usual, was the driving force behind this growth. The component sector added 19,775 jobs (4.4 percent) over December of 2015, with 12,300 of those jobs coming in Ambulatory Health Care Services (up 8.3 percent). Educational Services, the other component of the supersector, lost 1,180 jobs (1.7 percent) from estimates 12 months prior.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,800 jobs (0.7 percent) in December. Accommodation and Food Services lost 1,500 jobs (0.7 percent), and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation lost 300 (0.8 percent). Annually the supersector lost 5,934 jobs (2.4 percent), with the bulk of those declines suffered by Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (down 4,626 or 12.4 percent). Accommodation and Food Services lost 1,308 jobs (0.6 percent).

Other Services

Employment in the Other Services supersector was off by 400 (0.3 percent) in December. Over the year Other Services lost 437 jobs (0.4 percent), with all three published components contracting. Repair and Maintenance lost 71 jobs (0.3 percent), Personal and Laundry Services lost 29 jobs (0.1 percent), and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations lost 337 jobs (0.5 percent).


Government employers added 3,700 jobs (0.9 percent) in December. Local Government added 2,500 (0.9 percent), State added 1,000 (1 percent), and Federal added 200 (0.6 percent). Annually public sector employment grew by 977 jobs (0.2 percent). State Government added 2,253 jobs (2.2 percent), Federal added 822 (2.6 percent), and Local lost 2,098 (0.7 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Dec-16 Nov-16 Oct-16
Total Nonfarm 2,919.3 2,907.4 2,894.7
Goods-Producing 446.8 442.9 439.1
Mining and Logging 5.6 5.6 5.6
Construction 125.1 121.6 117.9
Manufacturing 316.1 315.7 315.6
Service-Providing 2,472.5 2,464.5 2,455.6
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 534.0 533.1 530.8
Information 51.2 51.3 51.1
Financial Activities 186.6 185.9 184.7
Professional and Business Services 365.6 363.4 364.9
Educational and Health Services 535.2 532.4 526.8
Leisure and Hospitality 257.0 258.8 257.1
Other Services 115.7 116.1 115.9
Government 427.2 423.5 424.3
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2016.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth December 2015 to December 2016

* 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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