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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
March 2015

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


Seasonally adjusted employment rebounded dramatically in February as Minnesota employers added 11,800 jobs (0.4 percent) for the month, while estimates for January were also revised upward by 3,000. The gains came largely in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities which added 5,600 jobs (1.1 percent). The supersector was also responsible for much of the job loss of January, so this increase represents something of a return to earlier employment levels. Other supersectors to add employment in February included Leisure and Hospitality (up 4,200, 1.6 percent), Educational and Health Services (up 1,100, 0.2 percent), and Construction (up 1,600, 1.5 percent). The highly seasonal nature of many of these groups suggests that weather effects may play a part in some of the recent fluctuation. Over the year, employment in the state has grown by 45,414 jobs (1.7 percent). The growth has been fairly broad-based as the only supersectors to lose employment were Information (down 339, 0.6 percent) and Construction (down just 49 jobs, 0.1 percent). The most growth, both numerically and proportionally, came from Professional and Business Services which added 13,374 jobs (3.9 percent).

Mining and Logging

Seasonally adjusted employment in Mining and Logging was flat in February, remaining at 7,100 jobs. The supersector added 97 jobs (1.4 percent) on the year, however, maintaining a streak of annual growth that stretches back to April of 2014.


Seasonally adjusted employment in the Construction supersector grew by 1,600 (1.5 percent) in February, reversing a trend of declines that stretched back to November. Over-the-year employment in Construction remains down, however, as the supersector carried 49 (0.1 percent) fewer jobs than in February of 2014. The annual losses were spread between Specialty Trade Contractors (down 305, 0.5 percent) and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (down 134, 1.5 percent) as those declines overcame a gain of 390 (1.8 percent) in Construction of Buildings.


Manufacturing employment in Minnesota declined slightly in February as the supersector lost 600 jobs (0.2 percent). Durable Goods manufacturers added 1,000 jobs (0.5 percent) and Non-Durable Goods manufacturers lost 1,600 (1.4 percent). It was the second straight month of job losses in the supersector, although the component sectors' situations were flipped in January, with Durable Goods employment shrinking and Non-Durable Goods growing. Annually Manufacturing added 5,259 jobs (1.7 percent). Most of that growth came from Durable Goods Manufacturing which added 4,705 jobs (2.4 percent) with the largest contribution coming from Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing, up 1,709 jobs (4.1 percent). While Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing added only 554 jobs (0.5 percent), its component sectors showed much more volatility with losses in Paper Manufacturing and Printing and Related Support Activities (down 988, 3 percent) overwhelmed by gains in Food Manufacturing which added 2,219 jobs (5 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment rebounded dramatically from its sharp January drop, adding 5,600 jobs (1.1 percent) over the month and in the process erasing much of the 6,700 job decline the supersector saw in January. Most of the monthly increase came from the Retail Trade sector which added 5,900 jobs (2.1 percent) while the other component sectors showed much less dramatic monthly change. Wholesale Trade lost 500 jobs or 0.4 percent, while Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 200 jobs or 0.2 percent. Annually the supersector added 8,202 jobs (1.6 percent). Wholesale Trade added 3,311 jobs (2.6 percent), largely on the back of an increase of 2,332 (3.7 percent) from Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers, while Retail Trade added 5,287 (1.9 percent) with the largest contribution coming from Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, up 1,339 (4.2 percent). Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost employment on the year, dropping 396 jobs (0.4 percent).


Employment in the Information supersector dropped slightly in February, losing 100 jobs (0.2 percent). This came on the heels of a loss of 1,400 jobs in January. Information employment remains down over the year as well with 339 fewer jobs in February of 2015 than in the previous year. Both of the published component industry groups, Publishing Industries (except Internet) and Telecommunications lost employment (789 jobs or 3.8 percent and 222 jobs or 1.7 percent, respectively). This means that there was annual growth in the unpublished component industries.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was down by 300 jobs (0.2 percent) on a seasonally-adjusted basis in February. An increase of 300 (0.2 percent) in Finance and Insurance was erased by the loss of twice as many jobs (1.6 percent) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. Annually employment in the supersector is up 502 (0.3 percent) as the gains in Finance and Insurance (up 1,569 or 1.1 percent) were enough to overcome losses in the other major component sector over the year.

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services was up slightly in January as the supersector added 200 jobs (0.1 percent). All of that gain came from Administrative and Support Services which added 900 jobs (0.6 percent), while the other two component sectors lost jobs on the month. Over-the-year growth in the supersector was quite strong, as it supported 13,374 (3.9 percent) more jobs than in February of 2014. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 6,355 jobs (4.6 percent) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 7,982 (6.4 percent), while Management of Companies and Enterprises lost 963 (1.2 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services grew by 1,100 (0.2 percent) in February. Health Care and Social Assistance added 2,800 jobs (0.6 percent), enough to erase the loss of 1,700 (2.5 percent) in Educational Services. Annually the supersector added 9,411 jobs (1.9 percent) on across-the-board growth. Health Care and Social Assistance grew by 8,040 jobs (1.9 percent) while Educational Services added 1,371 (2 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality grew sharply in February, adding 4,200 jobs (1.6 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,800 (4.3 percent) while Accommodation and Food Service added 2,400 (1.1 percent). For the year the supersector added 6,044 jobs (2.6 percent) with gains distributed across component sectors. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation grew by 7.9 percent on the year, adding 2,742 jobs since February 2014.

Other Services

Employment in Other Services dipped by 300 jobs (0.3 percent) in February. Annually the supersector added 2,870 jobs (2.6 percent) with increases in Repair and Maintenance (up 2,870, 2.6 percent) and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations (up 1,068, 1.7 percent), making up for the loss of 205 jobs (0.7 percent) in Personal and Laundry Services.


Government employment was up by 400 jobs (0.1 percent) in February with small amounts of movement in all three component groups. Employment was flat annually with Government employers adding just 43 total jobs (0 percent) over February of 2014.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Feb 2015 Jan 2015 Dec 2014
Total Nonfarm 2,838.3 2,826.5 2,831.4
Goods-Producing 427.4 426.4 428.8
Mining and Logging 7.1 7.1 7.2
Construction 106.0 104.4 105.8
Manufacturing 314.3 314.9 315.8
Service-Providing 2,410.9 2,400.1 2,402.6
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 519.8 514.2 520.9
Information 52.0 52.1 53.5
Financial Activities 178.4 178.7 179.0
Professional and Business Services 363.0 362.8 357.7
Educational and Health Services 504.4 503.3 501.6
Leisure and Hospitality 260.5 256.3 256.7
Other Services 113.4 113.7 114.6
Government 419.4 419.0 418.6
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2015.

Bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth

*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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