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Regional Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
January 2020

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

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area lost 11,097 jobs (0.5 percent) in December. This was actually the strongest performance of any MSA on the month, as employment was down 0.8 percent statewide, a worse-than-usual performance even for a month that generally brings sizeable job losses. The metro area’s losses came primarily from industries that traditionally struggle in December. Mining, Logging, and Construction was off by 5,682 (6.7 percent), Leisure and Hospitality was off 2,480 (1.3 percent), and Government employment was down 4,248 (1.7 percent), driven by a loss of 3,369 (8.1 percent) in State Government Educational Services as colleges let out for winter break. Other Services had the largest proportional gains on the month, up 2.2 percent (1,729 jobs), and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added the most jobs, up 2,898 (0.8 percent). On the year employers in the metro added 2,178 (0.1 percent), roughly matching the state’s growth over the same period. Other Services added 2,669 (3.4 percent), with growth in all three component sectors. Leisure and Hospitality was up 3,952 (2.1 percent), with all of that growth coming from Accommodation and Food Services (up 4,498 or 3 percent). Educational and Health Services lost 7,453 jobs (2.2 percent), the largest decline in both real and proportional job losses, tied with Information in proportional loss, down 830 jobs. Health Care and Social Assistance was down 7,255 (2.5 percent), with Ambulatory Health Care down 2,282 (2.4 percent), Nursing and Residential Care down 2,499 (4.3 percent), and Social Assistance down 2,552 (3.7 percent).

Duluth-Superior MSA

The Duluth-Superior MSA lost 1,989 jobs (1.4 percent) in December, outpacing the state’s 0.8 percent job loss. The MSA’s declines were broad-based, coming from all but two published supersectors: Information, up 0.4 percent, and Other Services, up 0.6 percent for a combined total increase of 48 jobs. The largest real and proportional decline came in Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 664 or 6.9 percent). Annually the Duluth-Superior area lost 504 jobs (0.4 percent). It was the only in-state MSA to post negative job growth on the year. Mining, Logging, and Construction drove the declines, off by 531 jobs or 5.6 percent. The largest proportional increase came in Other Services, which was up by 1.1 percent (72 jobs). Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 99 jobs (0.4 percent) thanks in large part to the increase of 250 (1.7 percent) in Retail Trade.

Rochester MSA

Employers in Rochester lost 1,130 jobs (0.9 percent) in December. Mining, Logging, and Construction lost 411 jobs (8 percent), Educational and Health Services lost 636 (1.3 percent), and Professional and Business Services lost 150 (2.4 percent). While four of the 10 published supersectors posted positive over-the-month job growth, none added more than the 89 jobs (0.7 percent) in Government. Over the year Rochester added 102 jobs (0.1 percent). Educational and Health Services lost a whopping 1,513 jobs or 3 percent, which is the worst over-the-year performance for the supersector since September of 1994. Those losses were balanced by several large increases, including the addition of 844 jobs (4.7 percent) in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and 436 jobs (4 percent) in Manufacturing.

St. Cloud MSA

The St. Cloud MSA lost 1,538 jobs (1.4 percent) in December. Mining, Logging, and Construction employment was off by 557 (7.2 percent), and Educational and Health Services was off by 536 (2.3 percent). The only supersector to add more than single-digit jobs was Leisure and Hospitality, up 160 (2 percent). Over the year the St. Cloud MSA added 755 jobs (0.7 percent). It was the largest proportional growth of any MSA primarily in Minnesota although the Fargo-Moorhead MSA posted 1.3 percent over-the-year growth. The primary driver of that growth was Mining, Logging, and Construction, which added 437 jobs or 6.5 percent.

Mankato-North Mankato MSA

The Mankato-North Mankato MSA lost 1,052 jobs or 1.7 percent in December. It was the largest over-the-month job loss of any MSA in the state. Service providers lost 813 jobs (1.6 percent) while goods producers lost 239 (2.2 percent). On the year the MSA added 587 jobs (1 percent), with 1 percent growth among goods producers, service providers, and public- and private-sector employers.

Fargo-Moorhead MSA

The Fargo-Moorhead MSA lost 1,151 jobs (0.8 percent) in December. Employment in Mining, Logging, and Construction was down by 599 (6.7 percent). Government employers showed the strongest growth, adding 298 jobs or 1.5 percent with most of that expansion coming at the Local Government level. Annually, the MSA added 1,887 (1.3 percent). It was the strongest over-the-year growth of any published MSA in the state. Professional and Business Services continued its strong performance, adding 1,485 jobs or 9.6 percent.

Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA

Employment in the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA was down 342 (0.6 percent) in December. Mining, Logging, and Construction employers shed 282 jobs (10.2 percent) while the largest growth in real jobs was 56 in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 0.5 percent). Over the year the MSA added 209 jobs (0.4 percent). Manufacturing added 181 jobs (4.1 percent), the largest real and proportional growth of any supersector. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 192 jobs (1.7 percent).

Graph- Total Nonfarm Jobs, U.S. and MN over-the-year percent change

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