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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
January 2019

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


Employment in Minnesota was mostly flat again in December as the economy added 500 jobs (0.0 percent). November's estimate was revised down from a loss of 800 to a loss of 1,800 (0.1 percent). Goods producers added 1,700 jobs (0.4 percent) as all three component supersectors added jobs on the month. Service providers lost jobs, however, off by 1,200 (0.0 percent) as employment in both private services providers (down 1,100 or 0.1 percent) and Government (down 100, 0.0 percent) was off. The decline among private service providers was driven largely by a drop of 2,600 (0.7 percent) in Professional and Business Services. The state added 31,441 jobs (1.1 percent) on an annual basis to close out 2018. The state has not seen an over-the-year employment decline in even a single month since 2010. The private sector added 28,960 jobs (1.2 percent) while government employers added 2,481 (0.6 percent). Goods producers added 14,429 jobs (3.3 percent), and service providers added 17,012 (0.7 percent).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was up by 100 (1.6 percent) in December, taking back the 100 jobs the supersector lost in November. It was the first over-the-month increase in the supersector since March. Annually Mining and Logging lost 307 jobs (4.9 percent). It was the largest over-the-year decline of any supersector in the state and the supersector's third consecutive month with over-the-year job losses of greater than 4 percent.


Employment in the Construction industry was up by 1,100 (0.9 percent) in December. Aside from Mining and Logging, it was the largest proportional over-the-month increase in any supersector. Construction has added jobs in every month since March. Annually the supersector added 7,711 jobs (6.7 percent). It was the largest proportional increase of any supersector in Minnesota. Specialty Trade Contractors added 6,116 jobs (8.1 percent), and Construction of Buildings added 1,526 (5.8 percent). Construction has shown over-the-year increases of greater than 3 percent in every month since May.


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was up by 500 (0.2 percent) in December. The gain came entirely among Non-Durable Goods manufacturers (up 500, 0.4 percent) as employment in Durable Goods Manufacturing was unchanged at 205,900. Annually Manufacturing employers added 7,025 jobs (2.2 percent). Durable Goods was up by 5,940 (3 percent), and Non-Durable Goods was up 1,085 (0.9 percent). Over-the-year job growth in the supersector was positive in every month of 2018, starting in January at 0.1 percent before peaking at 2.8 percent in July.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was mostly flat for the second consecutive month, adding just 200 jobs (0.0 percent). While small, it marks the fourth consecutive over-the-month increase in the supersector. Wholesale and Retail Trade were both up by 0.1 percent (200 and 400 jobs, respectively), but Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities was off by 0.4 percent (400 jobs). Over the year the supersector added 4,901 jobs (0.9 percent). Mirroring the monthly growth, the Wholesale and Retail Trade components both added jobs, up by 1.3 percent (1,782 and 3,852 jobs, respectively), while Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities showed negative growth (off by 733 or 0.7 percent).


The Information supersector added 300 jobs (0.6 percent) in December, more than recovering the 200 jobs that were lost in November. Annually the supersector added 1,085 jobs (2.2 percent). This is a marked improvement over November's 0.6 percent over-the-year growth. It is also highly out of character for the supersector, which hasn't seen over-the-year growth of greater than 1 percent since June of 2001.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was down by 900 (0.5 percent) in December. Both component sectors shed jobs. Finance and Insurance was off by 800 (0.5 percent), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing was off by 100 (0.3 percent). On an over-the-year basis the supersector added 1,833 jobs (1 percent). Finance and Insurance added 966 jobs (0.7 percent), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 867 (2.5 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services was off by 2,600 (0.7 percent) in December. It was the largest over-the-month decline of any supersector in the state, driven in large part by the loss of 2,100 jobs (1.3 percent) in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Administrate and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services also lost jobs, off by 500 (0.4 percent), while employment in Management of Companies and Enterprises held at 81,900. Over the year Professional and Business Services employment was up by 462 (0.1 percent). The relative stability belied the movement in the component sectors, as growth in Management of Companies (up 2,373 or 3 percent) and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (up 737, 0.5 percent) were met by the loss of 2,648 jobs (1.9 percent) in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services. The bellwether Employment Services supersector had its second consecutive month of noteworthy over-the-year declines, off by 1,294 (2.1 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services was off by 700 jobs (0.1 percent) in December. November's estimate was also revised down from a loss of 2,700 to a loss of 3,600. Health Care and Social Assistance lost 1,400 jobs (0.3 percent), and Educational Services added 700 (0.1 percent). Annually the supersector remained in negative growth, off by 4,662 jobs (0.9 percent). Losses were shared between the component sectors as Educational Services lost 594 jobs, and Health Care and Social Assistance lost 4,068, both of which represented a 0.9 percent decline.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employers added 2,100 jobs (0.8 percent) in December, continuing its strong fourth quarter with a third consecutive month of growth. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 800 jobs (1.6 percent), and Accommodation and Food Services added 1,300 (0.6 percent). The supersector also continued its strong performance on an annual basis, adding 11,783 jobs (4.6 percent) since December of 2017. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,287 jobs (3.1 percent), and Accommodation and Food Services added 10,496 (4.9 percent). This was the second-highest proportional over-the-year growth in the state after the Construction industry.

Other Services

The Other Services supersector added 500 jobs (0.4 percent) in December, breaking a streak of four consecutive months of over-the-month declines. Annually the supersector lost 871 jobs (0.8 percent). Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations led the decline, shedding 746 jobs (1.2 percent).


Government employers shed 100 jobs (0.0 percent) in December. Local Government lost 200 jobs (0.1 percent). Annually Government employers added 2,481 jobs (0.6 percent). State Government added 1,599 (1.6 percent), and Local added 1,037 (0.3 percent) while Federal employers shed 155 jobs (0.5 percent).

Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (in thousands)
Industry Dec-18 Nov-18 Oct-18
Total Nonfarm 2,975.9 2,975.4 2,977.2
Goods-Producing 460.2 458.5 457.7
Mining and Logging 6.3 6.2 6.3
Construction 128.6 127.5 126.8
Manufacturing 325.3 324.8 324.6
Service-Providing 2,515.7 2,516.9 2,519.5
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 545.3 545.1 544.9
Information 50.7 50.4 50.6
Financial Activities 181.4 182.3 182.0
Professional and Business Services 376.3 378.9 378.2
Educational and Health 536.5 537.2 540.8
Leisure and Hospitality 281.4 279.3 277.7
Other Services 114.3 113.8 114.7
Government 429.8 429.9 430.6
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2018.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth December 2017 to December 2018

*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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