By Nick Dobbins
Monthly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA lost 40,176 jobs (2.1%) over the month in December. While December generally sees small employment declines, this one was larger than normal, likely owing primarily to the increase in COVID-19 cases statewide and the resulting increase in restrictions that were implemented in late November to combat that increase. Unsurprisingly given the circumstances, Leisure and Hospitality had the largest real and proportional over-the-month declines, off by 30,435 jobs or 21.7%. The next-biggest drop came in Mining, Logging, and Construction, which was down 3.1% or 2,417 jobs, which was actually a smaller decline than normal for December in the highly seasonal supersector.
Over the year the metro area lost 161,623 jobs or 7.9%, which was markedly worse than November's 6.5% decline, but slightly better than the state's 8% drop. Every supersector lost jobs on the year, with the sharpest declines once again coming in Leisure and Hospitality (down 75,283 jobs or 40.7%). Information employment was down 13.7% (4,850 jobs), Government was down 8.9% (22,591 jobs) and Education and Health Services was down 6.4% (22,056 jobs). Professional and Business Services had the best over-the-year performance, down just 0.9% (3,051 jobs). Professional, Scientific and Technical Services was down 3.4% (4,740 jobs), and Management of Companies was down 1.6% (1,330), while Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 2.8% (3,019 jobs).
The Duluth-Superior MSA lost 2,531 jobs or 2% in December, slightly better than the state's 2.3% decline. The steepest drop came in Leisure and Hospitality, which was down 18.2% or 1,809 jobs. Mining, Logging, and Construction was down 3.3% or 286 jobs. Three supersectors added jobs on the month. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up 1.6% (384 jobs) primarily from gains in Retail Trade, Information was up 2.5% (27 jobs), and Manufacturing was up 0.1% (7 jobs).
Over the year the Duluth area lost 11,354 jobs or 8.3%. It was the worst proportional over-the-year decline of any MSA primarily in Minnesota. Every supersector lost jobs, with the largest real and proportional decline coming in Leisure and Hospitality (down 41.3% or 5,734 jobs). Other Services was down 9.5% (617 jobs), and Government employment was down 9.2% (2,405 jobs), with losses in all three component sectors.
The Rochester MSA lost 1,886 jobs (1.6%) over the month. This was the best over-the-month performance of any MSA primarily in Minnesota, although it was behind both North Dakota-based MSAs. Leisure and Hospitality employment was down 14.9% (1,296 jobs), Mining, Logging, and Construction was down 7.2% (385 jobs), and Government employment was down 6% (797 jobs). Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up 2.3% (419 jobs) primarily thanks to growth of 3.1% (398 jobs) in Retail Trade.
On an annual basis the Rochester area lost 7,730 jobs (6.3%). Leisure and Hospitality lost 3,732 jobs (33.6%), Information employment was down 20.4% (291 jobs), Other Services was down 8% (312 jobs), and Government was down 7.7% (1,034 jobs), with most of that loss coming at the Local Government level. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 1,058 jobs or 6%.
St. Cloud MSA
The St. Cloud MSA lost 1,884 jobs (1.7%) on a seasonally adjusted basis in December. While the largest proportional decline was in Leisure and Hospitality (down 8.8% or 513 jobs), Mining, Logging, and Construction was close behind in losing 7.9% and had the largest real job loss at 596. Only two supersectors added jobs. Information was up 0.6% (7 jobs), and Professional and Business Services was up 0.1% (13 jobs).
On an annual basis St. Cloud lost 4,699 jobs or 4.2%. It was the best proportional over-the-year performance of any MSA primarily in Minnesota although it was behind Fargo-Moorhead, which is primarily in North Dakota. Three supersectors added jobs on the year. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up 988 jobs (4.2%) with most of that growth coming in Retail Trade (up 1,103 jobs or 7.2%). Mining, Logging, and Construction add 333 jobs (5.1%), and Professional and Business Services added 142 jobs (1.4%).
Mankato-North Mankato MSA
The Mankato-North Mankato MSA lost 1,558 jobs or 2.7% over the month in December. It was the worst over-the-month decline of any MSA primarily in Minnesota. Goods producers lost 165 jobs (1.5%) while service providers lost 1,393 jobs (3%).
Over the year the MSA lost 3,963 jobs (6.6%). Most of that decline came from private sector employers that shed 3,953 jobs (7.9%) while public sector employers lost 10 jobs (0.1%).
The Fargo-Moorhead MSA added 526 jobs (0.4%) in December. It was the only MSA in Minnesota to add jobs on the month, likely because the MSA is primarily in North Dakota and did not take the same precautions after the spike in COVID-19 cases late in the year. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities had the largest real and proportional growth, adding 660 jobs or 2.2% on the strength of 631 new jobs in Retail Trade (up 4.3%).
Over the year the MSA lost 3,663 jobs (2.5%), also the best in the state. One supersector, Mining, Logging, and Construction, added jobs (up 175 or 2%).
Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA
The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA lost 726 jobs (1.4%) in December. Mining, Logging, and Construction was down 10.3% (283 jobs), and Professional and Business Services was down 5.2% (146 jobs).
On an annual basis the area lost 2,681 jobs (4.8%). Government employment was down 9.4% (1,331 jobs), Professional and Business Services was down 17% (544 jobs), and Leisure and Hospitality was off by 16.2% (960 jobs). Manufacturing employment was up by 450 jobs or 9.5%, the largest real and proportional gain in the area.