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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
June 2015

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


Seasonally adjusted job growth in Minnesota halted in May as the state lost 200 jobs (0.0 percent). This was the first month without employment gains since January as the state had added at least 7,500 jobs over each of the previous three months. Professional and Business Services lost 4,400 jobs (1.2 percent), and Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,600 (0.6 percent) among other notable declines. Over the year Minnesota added 38,383 jobs (1.4 percent), with only two supersectors, Government (down 2,225 or 0.5 percent) and Mining and Logging (down 209 or 3 percent) shedding employment on the year. The Information supersector returned to the black, up 725 jobs (1.4 percent) in May, and April's previously down estimate for the industry was also revised into annual positive growth.

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was down by 300 jobs (4.2 percent) in May as the supersector gave back all of its April gains and then some. For the year Mining and Logging shed 209 jobs (3 percent) from its May 2014 estimates.


Employment in Construction leveled off somewhat in May as the supersector added just 200 jobs (0.2 percent), seasonally adjusted, following its 2,800 job surge in April. Employment also remained up on an annual basis, as Construction supported an estimated 737 (0.7 percent) more jobs than it did a year prior. The annual gain again came thanks to Specialty Trade Contractors, who were up 1,475 (2.2 percent) on the year, making up for losses of 560 (2.3 percent) in Construction of Buildings and 178 (1 percent) in Heavy and Civil Engineering.


Employment in Manufacturing dropped in May, down 1,000 jobs (0.3 percent), with both Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing shedding jobs. Employment increased by 5,054 jobs (1.6 percent) over the year, largely on the back of an increase of 4,385 (2.2 percent) in Durable Goods Manufacturing. While the subsector's growth was shared by a number of components, perhaps the most noteworthy was Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing, which added 1,357 jobs (3.2 percent). Nondurable Goods Manufacturing was also up on the year, adding 669 jobs (0.6 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up sharply in May, adding 6,600 jobs (1.3 percent), with employment in all three component sectors expanding. This marked the fourth straight month of seasonally adjusted growth for the supersector and the largest single-month expansion since 1998. Retail Trade had the largest numerical and proportional growth, adding 4,900 jobs or 1.7 percent. For the year Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 10,817 jobs (2.1 percent) with growth in all three component industries. Wholesale Trade added 1,502 (1.1 percent), Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 1,288 (1.3 percent), and Retail Trade added 8,027 (2.8 percent) thanks in part to the large spike in this month's estimate.


The Information supersector added 200 jobs (0.4 percent) in May as it continued its tumultuous 2015. Information is beginning to show some stability over the year, however, as its added 725 jobs (1.4 percent) over May 2014, and April estimates were revised to move it into positive annual growth in that month as well. That makes three straight months of growth for the supersector, its first such streak since early 2013. The increase comes even though both published subsectors, Telecommunications and Publishing Industries (except Internet), remained down over the year and have been steadily shedding jobs for some time now.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities increased by 900 jobs (0.5 percent) in May with the addition of 1,200 jobs (0.9 percent) to the Finance and Insurance sector. This is the second straight month of estimated growth following four months of employment declines in the supersector. Annually, Financial Activities added 1,076 jobs (0.6 percent). Again the gain is thanks to the Finance and Insurance sector which added 1,963 jobs (1.4 percent). The other component sector, Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, lost 887 jobs (2.3 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services shed 4,400 jobs (1.2 percent) last month. It has been a year of quickly shifting fortunes in the supersector, which added 5,100 jobs in January, lost 3,200 in March, and added 3,400 in April, before giving all of those gains and then some back in May. Most of last month's losses came from Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, which dropped 3,000 jobs (2.1 percent), although all three component sectors saw some decline. Despite the steep losses, employment in the supersector remains up on the year, with 8,248 more jobs (2.3 percent) than in May of 2014. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 3,341 jobs (2.4 percent), and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 6,173 (4.6 percent). Management of Companies and Enterprises remains down for the year, off 1,266 jobs (1.6 percent) from May 2014.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services dropped slightly in May, down 900 jobs (0.2 percent). This was the second straight month of slight job losses in the supersector following the big jump of 4,800 jobs it saw in March. May's job losses came entirely in the Health Care and Social Assistance component sector which lost 2,100 jobs (0.5 percent), as Educational Services added 1,200 jobs (1.8 percent). On an annual basis, the supersector added 9,340 jobs (1.9 percent). Educational Services was up 2,892 jobs (4.3 percent), while Health Care and Social Assistance contributed an additional 6,448 (1.5 percent) thanks largely to an increase of 4,109 (3.0 percent) in Ambulatory Health Care Services.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was down 1,600 (0.6 percent) in May, with a decline of 2,300 (1.0 percent) in Accommodation and Food Services swamping a gain of 700 (1.7 percent) in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Annually, the supersector added 4,526 jobs (1.7 percent), with Accommodation and Food Services up 3,078 (1.4 percent) and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation up 1,448 (3.3 percent).

Other Services

Other Services lost 200 jobs (0.2 percent) in May, although April's decline was also revised up from -700 to -200. Employment in the supersector remains up on the year, with the supersector supporting 294 (0.3 percent) more jobs than at the same time in 2014. Gains in Repair and Maintenance and in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations more than make up for the loss of 834 jobs (2.9 percent) in Personal and Laundry Services.


Government employment was up slightly in May, adding 300 jobs (0.1 percent) on a gain of 600 (0.2 percent) in Local Government. State employers shed 300 jobs (0.3 percent) while Federal employment remained flat. Annually, Government employment is down 2,225 jobs (0.5 percent), the largest annual decline of any supersector in the state as Mining and Logging, down 209, was the only other group to contract. Most of those losses came from State Government (down 1,961, 1.9 percent), and specifically from the component State Government Educational Services which lost 2,453 jobs (3.7 percent) on the year.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry May-15 Apr-15 Mar-15
Total Nonfarm 2,851.9 2,852.1 2,844.6
Goods-Producing excl. Ag. 430.8 431.9 428.0
Mining and Logging 6.9 7.2 7.0
Construction 108.2 108.0 105.2
Manufacturing 315.7 316.7 315.8
Service-Providing 2,421.1 2,420.2 2,416.6
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 529.9 523.3 520.2
Information 52.9 52.7 52.8
Financial Activities 179.5 178.6 178.3
Professional and Business Services 358.6 363.0 359.6
Educational and Health 507.4 508.3 508.8
Leisure and Hospitality 260.2 261.8 261.9
Other Services (Private Only) 114.2 114.4 114.6
Government 418.4 418.1 420.4
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2015.

line graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, May 2014 to May 2015

*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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