by Nick Dobbins
Monthly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Employment in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA was down by 7,491 (0.4 percent) in December. This was well within the normal range for declines, which have fallen between -0.2 and -0.6 in every December since 2009. Mining, Logging, and Construction lost 5,977 jobs (7.2 percent), and Professional and Business Services lost 3,498 (1 percent) with a loss of 2,469 (4.2 percent) in Employment Services. Leisure and Hospitality employment, which was off by 4.3 percent in November and by 1.8 percent last December, was flat. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities saw the most notable increase, up 4,250 (1.2 percent) with a gain of 3,088 (4.3 percent) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities. That represents the largest December increase the component sector has ever seen, by a relatively large margin – the previous biggest December increase in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities was 2.2 percent in 2015 – although the sector also had an uncharacteristic decline in November (down 0.8 percent). Annually the metro area added 46,639 jobs (2.4 percent). Over-the-year growth has been above 2 percent in every month since May. Two supersectors maintained their annual job losses, Information (down 1.3 percent) and Financial Activities (down 1.2 percent). Every other supersector in the metro added jobs on the year. Notable increases included Educational and Health Services (up 12,275 or 3.7 percent on the strength of 14,564 new jobs in Health Care and Social Assistance), and Leisure and Hospitality (up 6,966 or 4.1 percent with growth split between component sectors Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation and Accommodation and Food Services).
The Duluth-Superior MSA lost 815 jobs (0.6 percent) in December. This is the lowest over-the-month decline in the area since 2012. The biggest loss, both proportionally and in actual jobs, came in Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 278 or 2.7 percent). The largest gain came in Financial Activities (up 72 or 1.2 percent). Over the year the Duluth MSA added 2,868 jobs (2.1 percent), with almost every supersector adding employment. The lone exception was the long-struggling Information supersector which lost 26 jobs (1.8 percent). Mining, Logging, and Construction continued to post the most impressive over-the-year growth, adding 1,080 jobs or 11.9 percent. The next largest proportional growth came in Financial Activities which added 226 jobs or 3.8 percent. The same supersector has had over-the-year job losses at the state level since October.
Employment in the Rochester MSA was down by 406 (0.3 percent) in December. Mining, Logging, and Construction led the decline, losing 375 jobs (7.7 percent). Other notable declines occurred in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (off by 106 or 0.6 percent with a loss of 101 or 0.8 percent in Retail Trade) and Leisure and Hospitality (down 104 or 1 percent). It was the first December since 2008 where Retail Trade employment declined in December. Over the year Rochester added 159 jobs (0.1 percent). Mining, Logging, and Construction added 353 jobs (8.5 percent), but that growth was countered by a loss of 491 (1 percent) in Educational and Health Services. Also of note, Other Services added 136 jobs or 3.4 percent.
St. Cloud MSA
Employment in the Saint Cloud MSA was off by 697 or 0.6 percent in December. The only supersector to add 100 or more jobs was Manufacturing (up 225 or 1.5 percent). Notable job losses occurred in Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 494 or 6.7 percent) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities which lost jobs for the first time since 2012 (down 122 or 0.5 percent). Employment in the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities component, however, was up by 2.2 percent (85 jobs). Annually the Saint Cloud MSA added 1,345 jobs (1.2 percent). As was common across the state, Mining, Logging, and Construction led the growth, adding 538 jobs (8.5 percent). Leisure and Hospitality added 227 jobs (2.8 percent).
Mankato-North Mankato MSA
The Mankato-North Mankato MSA lost 591 jobs (1 percent) in December. All reported industry groups lost jobs on the month. Annually the Mankato area added 967 jobs (1.7 percent). All reported industry groups gained employment on the year. The largest proportional increase came among Goods Producers which added 452 jobs (4.6 percent) while Service Providers added 515 (1.1 percent).
The Fargo-Moorhead MSA lost 1,277 jobs (0.9 percent) in December. As is the norm this month, Mining, Logging, and Construction led the declines, off 937 or 9.2 percent. Manufacturing had the largest proportional gain, up 366 or 3.6 percent. Annually the MSA added 1,244 jobs (0.9 percent). Mining, Logging, and Construction added 560 jobs (6.5 percent). Leisure and Hospitality lost 425 (3 percent).
Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA
The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA lost 650 jobs (1.1 percent) in December. This was the largest proportional over-the-month decline of any MSA in the state. Educational and Health Services (up 62 or 0.6 percent) was the only supersector to gain double-digit jobs on the month. Annually the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA lost 1,758 jobs (3 percent). It remained the only MSA in the state to lose employment on an over-the-year basis. As with November’s estimates, much of the trouble was caused by a loss of 1,007 (24.5 percent) in the Mining, Logging, and Construction supersector.