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Fun With Statistics

by Luke Greiner
luke.greiner@state.mn.us
January 2019

Most recent data show Minnesota has a record number of job openings, nearing 150,000. This is terrific news for jobs seekers and new labor force participants like recent college and high school graduates and immigrants, but within that incredibly large number are the dirty details.

Job vacancies serve as a leading indicator for the health of the economy and are a direct reflection of businesses’ current and future needs. While the latest job vacancy data appear to be yelling “Full Steam Ahead”, job-seekers would benefit to note the fields with the largest numbers of openings, the fastest growth in median wage offers, and what types of occupations provide the best chance at a work schedule that fits their personal needs.

Huge variations in median wage offers exist within the job market. For all openings in Minnesota the median wage offer was $14.54 in the 2nd quarter of 2018. Full-time openings have typically higher wages and were almost $17 per hour compared to just over $12 for part-time job openings.

The Twin Cities had a slight wage advantage for all openings at $15.16 per hour, but many regions in Greater Minnesota were not far behind, including southeast Minnesota at $14.83 and central Minnesota’s $14.38 median wage offer. Wages can be significantly higher for specific occupational categories. For instance, in southwest Minnesota where starting wages can be lower than other regions, the median wage offer for management occupations was a healthy $33.82, and computer and mathematical openings were typically more than $25 per hour.

If you’re curious about where the job openings are, what shifts are typical, and the starting wages, explore the interactive chart below to shed light on some of the nuances.

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