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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
June 2014

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


Seasonally adjusted employment increased sharply in May, adding 10,300 jobs (0.4 percent) for the month, to bring statewide employment to 2,817,000. The increase more than overcame the 0.2 percent loss from April, ending a four-month stretch of small gains or monthly losses. Growth was supported by a particularly strong month from three supersectors. Construction added 3,800 jobs (3.6 percent), Manufacturing was up 2,900 (0.9 percent), and Professional and Business Services was up 4,100 (1.2 percent). Industry groups losing employment were Government (down 1,300, 0.3 percent) and Leisure and Hospitality (500, 0.2 percent). Annual employment also improved last month, with an increase of 45,617 jobs (1.6 percent) over May 2013. Yearly jobs growth continues to be broad-based, with Financial Activities (down 1,586, 0.9 percent) remaining the only supersector to have lost employment over the last 12 months. Construction is showing the most improvement since 2013, in both numerical and proportional change, adding 9,447 jobs or 9.2 percent. Manufacturing (up 9,404 or 3.1 percent) and Professional and Business Services (8,677, 2.5 percent) were also among the industry groups with the largest annual increases.

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was flat in May, staying at a total of 7,100. Seasonally adjusted employment in the industry has remained somewhere between 7,000 and 7,200 since August 2013. For the year the industry has added 261 jobs or 3.8 percent.


Construction employment surged in May, with the supersector adding 3,800 jobs (3.6 percent) over the previous month. The increase is large enough to easily make up April's small losses and suggests that activity in the industry group has picked up after poor weather conditions kept employment unnaturally low in early spring. Employment is also strong for the year with an increase of 9,447 jobs (9.2 percent) over May 2013. The numerical increase comes largely from Specialty Trade Contractors and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (up 6,159 and 3,697, respectively). Residential Building Construction is up 842 (8.4 percent) despite the larger industry group, Construction of Buildings, being down 409 (1.8 percent).


Employment in Manufacturing grew by a seasonally adjusted 2,900 (0.9 percent) in May. Employment in both Durable Goods (up 2,600 or 1.3 percent) and Non-Durable Goods (up 300, 0.3 percent) Manufacturing increased for the month. Manufacturing employment also looks strong on a yearly basis, with the supersector adding 9,404 jobs (3.1 percent) over May 2013. Annual increases were split between Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing (up 6,373 and 3,031, respectively). Food Manufacturing has shown the strongest numerical growth of the smaller industry groups, adding 2,031 (4.6 percent) on the year. Other groups with strong annual employment gains were Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (1,602, 3.9 percent) and Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (681, 6.1 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was flat again in May, up 100 (0.0 percent), which follows on the heels of a similarly static April which saw a gain of only 200 jobs. There was movement in each of the supersector's three major subgroups, however. Wholesale Trade was up 400 (0.3 percent), Transportation and Warehousing was up 700 (0.8 percent), and Retail Trade was down 1,000 (0.3 percent) for the month. For the year, employment is up 1,600 (0.3 percent), as the three major industry groups mirrored their own monthly changes, with gains in Wholesale Trade (up 2,999, or 2.3 percent) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (349, 0.4 percent) overcoming a loss in Retail Trade (down 1,748 or 0.6 percent).


After employment remained stalled between March and April, employment in Information was up in May, adding 900 jobs (1.7 percent) over the previous month's final estimate. Over the past year employment in Information has been up slightly, with 462 (0.9 percent) more jobs than in May 2013. The increase comes in spite of annual employment losses in Publishing Industries (except Internet) and Telecommunications (down 231 and 303, respectively).

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities decreased by 100 (0.1 percent) in April, the second straight month of seasonally adjusted job losses in the supersector. A gain of 700 (0.5 percent) in Finance and Insurance was edged out by the loss of 800 (2 percent) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. Financial Activities employment is also down on an annual basis, supporting 1,586 (0.9 percent) fewer jobs than in May 2013, as relatively small gains in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (up 150, 0.4 percent) were not enough to balance a loss of 1,736 (1.2 percent) in Finance and Insurance.

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business services mounted a strong recovery in May, adding 4,100 (1.2 percent) on the heels of the loss of 2,700 in April. Gains were spread throughout the supersector, with all three major subgroups showing notable increases. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services was up 1,400 (1 percent), Management of Companies and Enterprises added 600 (0.8 percent), and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 2,100 (1.6 percent). Employment is also showing strong yearly growth, up 8,677 (2.5 percent) over May 2013, with gains in every major subgroup save Legal Services, which shed 88 jobs (0.5 percent) on the year.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services was flat in May, losing 100 jobs (0.0 percent) after showing no change at all in April. Slight gains in Health Care and Social Assistance (up 700, 0.2 percent) were trumped by losses in Educational Services (down 800, 1.2 percent). Despite the relatively stagnant performance in the last three months, annual employment in Educational and Health Services is up 8,917 (1.8 percent), with both Educational Services and Health Care and Social Assistance showing healthy gains, up 3.3 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality dipped slightly in May, losing 500 jobs (0.2 percent). This is the third straight month of seasonally adjusted losses for the supersector, and the declines appear to come from both Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (down 200, 0.5 percent) and Accommodation and Food Services (down 300, 0.1 percent). Annually, Leisure and Hospitality employment is up 5,736 or 2.2 percent, with gains in both major component sectors.

Other Services

Other Services employment rose in May, adding 500 jobs (0.4 percent). The over-the-year employment change is similar to the monthly growth, with the supersector supporting 541 more jobs (0.5 percent) than it did in May 2013. All three component industry groups are up slightly on the year.


Government employment shrank by 1,300 (0.3 percent), giving back the gains the supersector saw in April. Federal, State, and Local Government all shrank for the month (down 500, 300, and 500, respectively). For the year Government employment is up 2,158 (0.5 percent), with a gain of 2,562 (0.9 percent) in Local Government overwhelming small losses in State and Federal Government employment.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry May 2014 April 2014 March 2014
Total Nonagricultural 2,817.0 2,806.7 2,812.0
Goods-Producing 433.7 427.0 427.5
Mining and Logging 7.1 7.1 7.2
Construction 109.8 106.0 107.7
Manufacturing 316.8 313.9 312.6
Service-Providing 2,383.3 2,379.7 2,384.5
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 513.2 513.1 512.9
Information 53.9 53.0 53.0
Financial Activities 179.3 179.4 180.3
Professional and Business Services 353.4 349.3 352.0
Educational and Health 498.2 498.3 498.3
Leisure and Hospitality 251.1 251.6 254.0
Other Services (Private Only) 118.2 117.7 118.1
Government 416.0 417.3 415.9
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2014

bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, May 2013 to May 2014

*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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