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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
January 2024

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


Employment was mostly flat) in Minnesota on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, as employers added 800 jobs (0.0%). Goods producers added 1,400 jobs (0.3%) while service providers lost 600 jobs (0.0%). The private sector was up 2,500 (0.1%), and government employers shed 1,700 jobs (0.4%).

Over the year  state employment was up 1.7%, an improvement over November's 1.5% increase. Both goods producers and service providers added jobs, up 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively. Goods producers in particular improved their position, up from 0.2% growth in November.

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was up 300 (4.6%) over the month in December, on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the highest proportional growth of any MSA in the state. The total of 6,800 jobs is the highest in the supersector since 2017. Mining and Logging has not posted monthly job losses since July.

Over the year employers in the supersector added 330 jobs or 5.2%. This was an improvement over November's 2.7% annual growth and is the highest over-the-year growth posted since September of 2021.


Construction employers added 1,200 jobs (0.9%) over the month of December, following the loss of 200 jobs in November. The supersector added jobs in nine of 12 months of 2023.

Over the year employment in Construction was up 10,792 or 8.8%. This was notably higher than November's 4.4% annual growth, likely at least in part owing to unseasonably warm early winter weather in Minnesota, allowing for more construction work late in the season. Heavy and Civil Engineering employment was up 33.1% (4,452 jobs) on the year, while Specialty Trade Contractors added 5,636 jobs (7.1%).


Employment in Manufacturing was down by 100 (0.0%) in December. Durable Goods Manufacturing added 700 jobs (0.3%), but those gains were erased by the loss of 800 jobs (0.7%) in their counterparts in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing.

On an annual basis Manufacturing employment was down by 3,965 jobs or 1.2%. This was a slight improvement over November's decline of 1.5%. Durable Goods Manufacturing employment was down by 2,913 (1.4%), and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing was down by 1,052 (0.9%). Every published component sector in Manufacturing posted negative annual job growth.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 1,500 (0.3%) over the month of December. It was the fourth consecutive month of seasonally adjusted growth, during which time the supersector added 8,300 jobs. December's growth was driven primarily by Retail Trade, which added 1,600 jobs (0.6%). Wholesale Trade employment was up 700 (0.5%), while Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 800 jobs (0.7%).

Over the year Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 14,020 jobs or 2.6%, outpacing the national 0.5% annual growth. Retail Trade added 9,665 jobs (3.3%), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 4,343 jobs (3.6%) while employment in Wholesale Trade was largely flat (up 13 jobs, 0.0%).


Employment in Information was down by 100 (0.2%) in December. The supersector has had negative or zero growth in each of the last six months, losing 1,300 jobs during that time.

Over the year Information employers lost 1,924 jobs or 4.1%. Both published component sectors posted negative annual job growth, although most of the losses came in unpublished sectors.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was up by 100 (0.1%) over the month in December. The growth came entirely in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (up 0.3%), as growth in Finance and Insurance was flat.

On an annual basis Financial Activities employment was off by 8,162 or 4.2%, slightly worse than the loss of 4.1% in November. Finance and Insurance lost 6,425 jobs (4.1%), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 1,737 jobs (4.9%).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employers lost 600 jobs (0.2%) in December. Gains in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (up 1,300 or 0.8%) and Management of Companies and Enterprises (up 700, or 0.8%), were overcome by the loss of 2,600 jobs (2%) in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services.

Over the year, Professional and Business Services employers lost 5,031 jobs (1.3%). The declines were driven primarily by losses in Administrative and Support and Waste Management, which was down 4,575 (3.5%) thanks to the loss of 5,569 jobs (9.1%) in Employment Services. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 488 jobs (0.3%), while Management of Companies and Enterprises lost 944 jobs (1.1%).

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services was off by 1,600 (0.3%) over the month in December. It was the first month of job losses for the supersector in 2023. Educational Services lost 600 jobs (0.9%), and Health Care and Social Assistance lost 1,000 jobs (0.2%).

Over the year Educational and Health Services employers added 22,465 jobs or 4%. This was down from November's 4.9% growth. The annual gains came entirely in Health Care and Social Assistance, which added 24,260 jobs (5%) with growth in all published component sectors. Educational Services lost 1,795 jobs (2.5%).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 1,800 (0.7%) in December. It was the fifth consecutive month of over-the-month growth for the supersector. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,300 jobs (2.5%), while Accommodation and Food Services added 500 (0.2%).

On an annual basis the supersector added 8,810 jobs or 3.4%. While less than November's 3.5% growth, this still outpaced the national over-the-year change of 3.2%. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation employers added 4,103 jobs (8.8%), and Accommodation and Food Services added 4,707 jobs (2.2%).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was flat in December, holding at 108,600 after adding jobs in October and November. The supersector has posted positive growth in all but three months of 2023.

Over the year Other Services added 3,041 jobs or 2.9%. This was higher than the national rate of 1.2%. All three component sectors posted positive growth, with Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, and Professional Organizations driving the increases, up 2,164 jobs or 3.8%. Personal and Laundry Services employment was up 2.7%, and Repair and Maintenance was up 0.8%.


Government employment was down 1,700 (0.4%) in December. Declines were driven by employment at the Local Government level, where employment was off by 2,000 (0.7%). The other two levels of Government posted positive growth, with Federal employment up 100 (0.3%) and State employment up 200 (0.2%).

Over the year Government employers added 10,433 jobs (2.5%). All three levels of government posted positive growth. Federal Government employment was up 1,065 (3.3%), State was up 1,502 (1.5%), and Local was up 7,866 (2.8%). The only posted sector to lose jobs was State Government Education, which was off 121 or 0.2%.

Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (In Thousands)
Industry Dec-23 Nov-23 Oct-23
Total Nonfarm 3008.7 3007.9 3002.1
Goods-Producing 469.5 468.1 467.5
Mining and Logging 6.8 6.5 6.5
Construction 140.7 139.5 139.7
Manufacturing 322 322.1 321.3
Service-Providing 2539.2 2539.8 2534.6
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 542.2 540.7 537.7
Information 45 45.1 45.3
Financial Activities 185.2 185.1 185.9
Professional and Business Services 380.8 381.4 383.3
Educational and Health Services 579 580.6 577.6
Leisure and Hospitality 276 274.2 272.8
Other Services 108.6 108.6 108.4
Government 422.4 424.1 423.6
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2023.
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