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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
June 2018

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


Minnesota employers added 10,200 jobs (0.3 percent) in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. This increase follows a decline of 3,800 in April, providing further evidence that the previous month’s decline came from uncharacteristically cold and snowy spring weather. Private sector employers added 9,900 of those jobs, up by 0.4 percent, compared to the public sector’s 0.1 percent increase (300 jobs). Both Goods Producers (up 3,100 or 0.7 percent) and Service Providers (up 7,100, 0.3 percent) contributed to the gain. On an over-the-year basis Minnesota employers added 29,188 jobs (1 percent). As with the monthly growth, this represents an increase over April’s over-the-year increase of just 0.3 percent, as employment recovered from the late winter weather. Goods Producers added 8,927 jobs (2 percent) while Service Providers added 14,457 (0.7 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was up by 100 (1.5 percent) in May after remaining flat in April. Annually the supersector lost 34 jobs (0.5 percent). Although the total number of lost jobs was small, it represented the largest proportional over-the-year job loss of any supersector in the state. Mining and Logging was one of only two supersectors to lose jobs on the year.


The Construction supersector added 1,600 jobs (1.3 percent) in May. April’s estimate was also revised upward, from a loss of 400 jobs to a gain of 500. Annually the supersector added 2,898 jobs (2.3 percent). This was the largest over-the-year growth rate of any supersector in the state, coming on the heels of over-the-year job losses in April. It appears that the April losses were a temporary weather-related blip as, exempting that month, the last annual job losses came in December of 2016. Specialty Trade Contractors drove April’s over-the-year growth, adding 3,714 jobs (4.7 percent). Construction of Buildings employment was up by 27 (0.1 percent) while the third component sector, Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, lost jobs (off by 843 or 4.6 percent).


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was up by 1,400 (0.4 percent) in May. Durable Goods Manufacturers added 1,200 jobs (0.6 percent), and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers added 200 (0.2 percent). Manufacturing has had positive seasonally adjusted monthly growth in each of the first five months of 2018. Annually Manufacturers added 6,063 jobs (1.9 percent). Durable Goods Manufacturers led the way with 4,672 more jobs (2.3 percent) while Non-Durable Goods added 1,391 (1.2 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Warehousing

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 1,500 (0.3 percent) in May. Wholesale Trade employment led the growth, adding 1,700 jobs (1.3 percent) while Retail Trade added 100 (0 percent) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 300 jobs (0.3 percent). On an annual basis the supersector added 4,986 jobs (0.9 percent). Wholesale Trade added 1,998 jobs (1.5 percent), with most of that growth coming from Durable Goods Wholesalers (up 1,641 or 2.5 percent). Retail Trade was up by 1,370 (0.5 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities was up by 1,618 (1.5 percent).


Employment in the Information supersector was up by 100 (0.2 percent) in May. It was the third consecutive month of over-the-month job growth. Annually Information employers added 133 jobs (0.3 percent). The increase is a notable change from April’s over-the-year growth, which was at -1.2 percent. In fact, May marked the first time since March of 2017 that the industry achieved positive over-the-year job growth.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was flat in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. Finance and Insurance lost 700 jobs (0.5 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing gained 700 (2 percent). On the year Financial Activities lost 188 jobs (0.1 percent) and was one of only two supersectors to shed jobs on an over-the-year basis. Finance and Insurance drove the losses, as the component sector lost 1,040 jobs (0.7 percent) on the year thanks to the loss of 1,877 jobs (2.9 percent) in Credit Intermediation and Related Activities. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was up by 852 (2.5 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services was up by 2,700 (0.7 percent) in May. The lion’s share of that growth came in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, which added 2,700 jobs (0.7 percent). Management of Companies and Enterprises added 100 jobs (0.1 percent) while Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services gave 100 back (down 0.1 percent). Annually the supersector added 2,072 jobs (0.6 percent). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 1,706 (1.1 percent) while growth in the other two components was more limited.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment was off by 600 (0.1 percent) in May. Educational Services added 200 jobs (0.3 percent) while Health Care and Social Assistance lost 800 (0.2 percent). On the year the supersector added 4,463 jobs (0.8 percent). Educational Services added 2,019 jobs (3 percent), and Health Care and Social Assistance added 2,444 (0.5 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 2,200 (0.8 percent) in May. This is a notable if expected rebound from April’s loss of 3,700 jobs. Accommodation and Food Services led the gains, adding 2,300 jobs (1 percent) while its counterpart, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, lost 100 jobs (0.2 percent). Annually the supersector added 2,979 jobs (1.1 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,406 jobs (3 percent) while Accommodation and Food Services added 1,573 (0.7 percent).

Other Services

The Other Services supersector added 900 jobs (0.8 percent) in May. Over the year the supersector added 12 jobs (0 percent). Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations added 703 jobs (1.1 percent) but nearly all of those gains were erased with losses in Repair and Maintenance (down 570 or 2.6 percent) and Personal and Laundry Services (down 121, 0.4 percent).


Government employment was up by 300 (0.1 percent) in May. State and Local government each added 200 jobs (0.2 and 0.1 percent, respectively), but Federal employers lost 100 jobs (0.3 percent). Annually Government added 5,804 jobs (1.4 percent). State government added 3,195 jobs (3.2 percent), and Local government added 2,882 (1 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry May-18 Apr-18 Mar-18
Total Nonfarm 2,955.2 2,945.0 2,948.8
Goods-Producing 452.5 449.4 448.3
Mining and Logging 6.6 6.5 6.5
Construction 122.4 120.8 120.3
Manufacturing 323.5 322.1 321.5
Service-Providing 2,502.7 2,495.6 2,500.5
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 542.5 541.0 544.1
Information 49.9 49.8 49.5
Financial Activities 180.1 180.1 179.1
Professional and Business Services 375.7 373.0 373.2
Educational and Health Services 536.9 537.5 538.4
Leisure and Hospitality 272.1 269.9 273.6
Other Services 116.8 115.9 114.4
Government 428.7 428.4 428.2
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2018.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, May 2017 to May 2018

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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