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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
March 2014

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


Employment was largely flat in February, decreasing by just 100 since January to settle at a seasonally adjusted preliminary estimate of 2,812,400. Goods-producing industries showed small gains, as Construction was up 300 (0.3 percent), Mining and Logging was up 100 (1.4 percent), and Manufacturing gained 300 (0.3 percent). Losses among service-providing employers just overcame those gains, however, with some of the largest job-shedders including Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (down 1,000 or 0.2 percent), Financial Activities (down 800, 0.4 percent), and Information (down 1,000, 1.8 percent). These losses were somewhat offset by gains in Educational and Health Services (up 1,300, 0.3 percent) and in Professional and Business Services (up 1,300, 0.4 percent). Over the year, employment showed a significant increase, adding 44,417 or 1.6 percent since February 2013. While Government employment is still down for the year, with 1,618 (0.4 percent) fewer jobs than last February, Private Sector gains continue to overcome the weakness in the public sector. Industries with sizeable annual increases include Manufacturing (up 6,541, 2.2 percent), Professional and Business Services (up 5,591, 1.7 percent), and Educational and Health Services (up 13,433, 2.7 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging showed some noticeable gains in February, increasing by 1.4 percent and adding 100 jobs after accounting for seasonal adjustment. Industry employment is also up for the year by a similar margin, employing 121 more than it did in February 2013, an increase of 1.8 percent.


Construction employment inched up slightly in February, adding 300 jobs or 0.3 percent, over January levels. For the year, industry employment remains strong, sitting at 86,804 not seasonally adjusted, an increase of 6,766 (8.5 percent) over February 2013. The annual gains appear to be driven largely by Specialty Trade Contractors, who have increased their employment by 4,493 (8.7 percent) and by Construction of Buildings, up 1,862 (9.4 percent) over the previous 12 months, although all major industry subsectors are showing at least modest yearly gains.


Employment in Manufacturing continued to show gradual improvements in February, with levels rising by 300 (0.1 percent) for the month, to reach a seasonally-adjusted total of 313,700. Small monthly losses in Durable-Goods Manufacturing (down 500 or 0.3 percent) were balanced by gains in Non-Durable Goods, which was up 800 (0.7 percent). Annually, Manufacturing employment is up 6,541 (2.2 percent) with gains in both Durable and Non-Durable Goods. Subsectors with large annual increases include Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (up 1,358 or 3.3 percent) and Food Manufacturing (up 1,970 or 4.5 percent). Among metro areas with available data, only the Twin Cities gained Manufacturing employment (3,461 or 1.9 percent), with the Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud metros all either losing manufacturing employment or remaining essentially flat.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities decreased in February, losing 1,000 jobs (0.2 percent), seasonally adjusted, from January's total. While employment in Wholesale Trade remained strong, adding 1,200 jobs (0.9 percent), Retail Trade and Transportation and Warehousing lost 0.6 percent of their employment each (1,600 and 600 jobs, respectively). Employment in the supersector remains up on a yearly basis, however, with 8,311 (1.7 percent) more jobs than in February 2013. All three major component industries have added employment for the year, although declines in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities have brought yearly gains down to only 252 or 0.3 percent in that subsector.


Employment in Information continued to drop after experiencing large gains in November, with February employment decreasing by 1,000 (1.8 percent). Information employment is still up for the year, 1.3 percent (683) higher than in February 2013, although Publishing and Telecommunications continue to show annual declines.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities continued its three-month slide, losing 800 jobs (0.4 percent) in February to come in at a seasonally adjusted 179,400. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing had strong gains, adding 1 percent (400), but the larger component industry, Finance and Insurance, overcame that gain with a loss of 1,200 (0.9 percent). That pattern is also reflected over the year, as the supersector has lost employment since February 2013, (down 1,126 or 0.6 percent), with significant employment gains in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing unable to overcome losses in the larger component industry.

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services built on small January increases and added 1,300 in February to come in at 348,300, seasonally adjusted. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services drove the monthly gains, which added 1,700 (1.3 percent) in February. The supersector has also added employment on the year, up 5,591 (1.7 percent) over February 2013.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services continued to show growth, adding 1,300 (0.3 percent) in February. Most of the monthly gains came from Educational Services, which added 1,000 (1.4 percent), although Health Care and Social Assistance also added employment for the month, up 300 (0.1 percent). Employment continues to look strong annually, up 13,433 (2.7 percent) for the year, with significant growth in both major component subsectors.

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality increased in February, adding 900 (0.4 percent) for the month. The entirety of those gains came from Accommodation and Food Service, as Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation was flat. For the year, the supersector is up 2,908 (1.2 percent).

Other Services

Other Services lost employment for the month, giving back the 500 (0.4 percent) it had gained in January to return to a seasonally adjusted level of 118,800. For the year, however, employment remains up, supporting 3,104 (2.7 percent) more jobs than in 2013.


Government continued to struggle to maintain employment levels, losing 1,000 (0.2 percent) for February, with gains in State Government unable to overcome sizeable losses (2,600 or 0.9 percent) in Local Government. Government employment is also down 1,618 (0.4 percent) since February 2013, making it one of only two supersectors to have lost employment over the year. Most of the annual losses are coming from State Government which is down 1,623 (1.6 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Feb-14 Jan-14 Dec-13
Total Nonagricultural 2,812.4 2,812.5 2,811.7
Goods-Producing excl. Ag. 426.4 425.7 424.3
Mining and Logging 7.1 7.0 7.0
Construction 105.6 105.3 106.2
Manufacturing 313.7 313.4 311.1
Service-Providing 2,386.0 2,386.8 2,387.4
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 515.1 516.1 518.2
Information 53.4 54.4 55.2
Financial Activities 179.4 180.2 181.7
Professional and Business Services 348.3 347.0 346.7
Educational and Health 501.2 499.9 497.9
Leisure and Hospitality 256.0 255.1 252.3
Other Services 118.8 119.3 118.8
Government 413.8 414.8 416.6

Bar graph:Minnesota Employment Growth, February 2013 to February 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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