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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
June 2019

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


Employment in Minnesota was mostly flat in May as the state added 100 jobs (0.0 percent). April’s over-the-month gains were revised downward from an increase of 3,600 to an increase of just 200. Goods producers lost 500 jobs (0.1 percent) while service providers added 600 (0.0 percent). Over the year the state added 4,164 jobs (0.1 percent). While growth stayed on the positive side of the ledger, it inched downward following April’s 0.4 percent annual growth. Goods producers had a strong 12 months, adding 6,880 jobs (1.5 percent). However, a slight dip among the much larger service providing segment of the economy (off by 2,716 or 0.1 percent) dampened job growth. Private sector employers added 4,201 jobs on the year (0.2 percent) while their counterparts in the public sector lost 37 jobs (0.0 percent).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was once again flat in May, holding at 6,800 jobs for the third consecutive month and four of the five months of 2019. Over the year Mining and Logging added 243 jobs (3.7 percent). While small in actual job gains, the proportional growth was among the highest of any supersector in the state, second only to Construction.


Employment in the Construction supersector was up by 700 (0.5 percent) in May. On the year the supersector added 7,443 jobs or 6 percent, which was the highest proportional job growth of any supersector in Minnesota, although it was still markedly down from April’s 10 percent over-the-year growth. Specialty Trade Contractors added 7,525 jobs (9.4 percent), leading May jobs growth, but Heavy and Civil Engineering employment was down 4.4 percent (776 jobs), after being up by 13.9 percent in April.


Employment in Minnesota’s Manufacturing supersector was off by 1,200 jobs (0.4 percent) in May. Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 700 jobs (0.3 percent), and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 500 (0.4 percent). Manufacturing employment has suffered seasonally-adjusted over-the-month job losses in four of five months so far in 2019. Over the year, Manufacturing employment was off by 806 (0.3 percent), with losses once again split between Durable (down 470 or 0.2 percent) and Non-Durable Goods (down 336 or 0.3 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 600 jobs (0.1 percent) in May. Wholesale Trade added 700 jobs (0.5 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 600 (0.6 percent) which buttressed the supersector against the loss of 700 jobs (0.2 percent) in Retail Trade. Over the year Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 4,388 jobs (0.8 percent), the largest numerical job loss of any supersector in the state. The declines were driven by steep declines in Retail Trade employment as the sector shed 3,429 jobs (1.1 percent) on the year. Over-the-year Retail employment growth moved into the red in February and has declined in every month since.


Information employers added 100 jobs (0.2 percent) in May. It was the first over-the-month job growth in 2019 for the struggling supersector. Annually Information employment was down by 1,551 or 3.2 percent. It was the largest proportional over-the-year job loss of any supersector in the state.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector lost 500 jobs (0.3 percent) in May. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was up by 100 (0.3 percent), but those gains were completely erased by the loss of 600 jobs (0.4 percent) in the larger Finance and Insurance component sector. On the year the supersector added 828 jobs (0.5 percent), with much of that growth coming via Finance and Insurance (up 795 jobs or 0.5 percent) and much of that growth coming from Insurance Carriers (up 1,007 or 2.5 percent). The Real Estate and Rental and Leasing component added 33 jobs or 0.1 percent.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment was up by 1,800 (0.5 percent) in May, after declining by 400 jobs in April. May’s increase was driven entirely by growth in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, which added 2,900 jobs (1.8 percent) while the other two component sectors, Management of Companies and Enterprises and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, combined to lose 1,100 jobs, down 0.2 and 0.7 percent, respectively. Annually the supersector added 1,083 jobs (0.3 percent). As was the case over the month, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services provided most of the gains, adding 4,105 jobs (2.5 percent). Management of Companies added 995 jobs (1.2 percent), while Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services lost 4,017 jobs (2.9 percent) partly from the loss of 6,965 (11.6 percent) in Employment Services, which is sometimes considered a leading indicator of the larger labor market’s health.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services added 700 jobs (0.1 percent) in May, the second straight month of growth for a supersector that lost jobs in each of the first three months of the year. Health Care and Social Assistance added 600 jobs (0.1 percent), and Educational Services added 100 (0.2 percent). Over the year the supersector lost 2,963 jobs (0.5 percent), and it has lost growth in every month since January. Educational Services added 220 jobs (0.3 percent), all of that in private elementary and secondary schools, while Health Care and Social Assistance lost 3,183 jobs (0.7 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was off by 1,000 (0.4 percent) in May with the loss of 1,400 jobs (3.0 percent) in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. It was the second consecutive month of steep seasonal job losses for the sector. Annually the supersector added 3,936 jobs (1.4 percent). Accommodation and Food Services added 5,203 jobs (2.3 percent), while Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation lost 1,267 (2.6 percent).

Other Services

In May the Other Services supersector lost 800 jobs (0.7 percent). It had previously had positive employment growth in every month of 2019. Annually Other Services employers added 376 jobs (0.3 percent). Repair and Maintenance lost 491 jobs (2.2 percent), but the losses were more than made up in Personal and Laundry Services (up 192 or 0.7 percent) and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, and Professional Organizations (up 675, 1.1 percent).


Government employers in Minnesota lost 300 jobs (0.1 percent) in May. Federal employers added 100 jobs (0.3 percent), but those gains were erased by losses at the State and Local levels. Over the year Government employers lost 37 jobs (0.0 percent). Government employment has been hovering near zero over-the-year growth since late 2018, with growth ranging from 0.1 percent to -0.2 percent in every month since November.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry May-19 Apr-19 Mar-19
Total Nonfarm 2,958.5 2,958.4 2,958.2
Goods-Producing 455.3 455.8 454.9
Mining and Logging 6.8 6.8 6.8
Construction 128.8 128.1 128.3
Manufacturing 319.7 320.9 319.8
Service-Providing 2,503.2 2,502.6 2,503.3
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 535.4 534.8 535.3
Information 47.7 47.6 47.6
Financial Activities 184.4 184.9 185.3
Professional and Business Services 379.3 377.5 377.1
Educational and Health Services 540.7 540.0 538.7
Leisure and Hospitality 276.9 277.9 280.4
Other Services 113.2 114.0 113.5
Government 425.6 425.9 425.4
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2019.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, May 2018 to May 2019

*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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