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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins

March 2016

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


Minnesota added 9,000 jobs (0.3 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in February. Gains were present among both Service Providers (up 6,100 or 0.3 percent) and Goods Producers (up 2,900, 0.7 percent), although all were concentrated among private employers, as Government employment dipped by 1,000 (0.2 percent) for the month. Employment growth continued over the year as well, as Minnesota added 42,137 jobs from February of 2015. Annual gains were also broad-based, with Service Providers adding 38,079 jobs (1.6 percent) and Goods Producers adding 4,058 (1 percent). Government employment growth was less robust, however, with private employers accounting for 41,513 of the new jobs (up 1.8 percent) and the government payrolls adding just 624 employees (0.1 percent) over the previous 12 months.

Mining and Logging

The Mining and Logging supersector continued to struggle in February, down another 100 seasonally adjusted jobs (1.7 percent) from January estimates. The situation remained dire on an annual basis as well, with the supersector shedding a full 20 percent of its employment (1,379 jobs) since February of 2015, thanks to a string of mine layoffs on the Iron Range over the previous year.


Employment in Construction was up by 3,200 (2.7 percent) in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the year the supersector added 5,847 jobs (6.2 percent). The lion's share of that gain came in Specialty Trade Contractors which added 5,542 jobs (9.1 percent). This subsector is comprised of businesses that perform specific construction-related activities such as plumbing or electrical work but are not responsible for entire construction projects. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction also saw good proportional gains, growing by 3.6 percent on the year, although that translates to only an additional 360 jobs.


Manufacturers lost 200 jobs (0.1 percent) in February, as a loss of 500 (0.2 percent) in Durable Goods Manufacturing overcame the addition of 300 jobs (0.3 percent) in Non-Durable Goods. Annually Minnesota manufacturers lost 410 jobs (0.1 percent), with both component sectors losing employment. Transportation Equipment Manufacturing lost 451 jobs (3.8 percent), and Printing and Related Support Activities continued its long slide, down 763 jobs (3.3 percent) for the year. One bright spot in the supersector was Food Manufacturing which added 1,182 jobs (2.6 percent) after having posted over-the-year losses as recently as October.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities supersector was up by 3,600 (0.7 percent) in February. Retail Trade carried the load for the supersector largely by itself, adding 4,100 jobs (1.4 percent) while Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities chipped in 600 jobs (0.6 percent). Wholesale Trade lost 1,100 jobs (0.8 percent). Over the year the supersector added 6,376 jobs (1.3 percent), again largely on the back of strong growth in Retail Trade (up 5,847 jobs or 2.1 percent), with Wholesale Trade employment off slightly on the year as well, down 313 (0.2 percent).


Employment in the Information supersector recovered slightly from a down January wherein it lost 1,800 jobs to add 300 (0.6 percent) in February. That marked the first time since October that the supersector added employment for the month. The trend is reflected in the over-the-year estimates as well, with Information employment dipping by 907 (1.8 percent) since February of 2015 with losses in both published component sectors.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector added 1,400 jobs (0.8 percent) in February. Finance and Insurance added 900 jobs (0.6 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 500 (1.2 percent). Annually, the supersector added 3,800 jobs (2.1 percent) with growth in both of its major component sectors.

Professional and Business Activities

The Professional and Business Services supersector lost 1,600 jobs (0.4 percent) in February. It was the third straight month with losses of 1,500 or more for the supersector. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services lost 3,000 jobs (2.3 percent), driving all of the month's decline as the other two component sectors saw moderate growth in February. While the supersector added employment over the year (up 1,323, or 0.4 percent), the Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services component sector lost 4,676 jobs (3.7 percent) on the year and has been showing over-the-year losses since July, a situation which may be worth monitoring going forward.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services increased again in February as the supersector added 4,900 jobs (0.9 percent). Both component sectors grew, with Educational Services adding 1,200 jobs (1.7 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance adding 3,700 (0.8 percent). It was the third consecutive month that the supersector added more than 1,000 jobs. Annually, Educational and Health Services added 19,039 jobs (3.8 percent) with both component sectors remaining in the black over the year as well.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment dipped in February, losing 1,000 jobs (0.4 percent) from January estimates. Both component sectors, Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation and Accommodation and Food Services, lost jobs for the month. Annually, the supersector added 5,236 jobs (2.2 percent). The only published subsector that did not grow was Accommodation, which lost 35 jobs (0.1 percent).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was off by 500 (0.4 percent) in February. Annually, the supersector added 2,588 jobs (2.3 percent) with gains of greater than 1 percent in all three published component sectors – Repair and Maintenance; Personal and Laundry Services; and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations.


Government employers lost 1,000 jobs (0.2 percent) in February, with State Government shedding 1,100 jobs (1.1 percent) and driving the decline. Annually, public sector employment remains just barely up, supporting an additional 624 jobs (0.1 percent) from February 2015 estimates.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Feb-16 Jan-16 Dec-15
Total Nonfarm 2,879.7 2,870.7 2,875.7
Goods-Producing 443.2 440.3 439.4
Mining and Logging 5.8 5.9 6.0
Construction 120.9 117.7 115.8
Manufacturing 316.5 316.7 317.6
Service-Providing 2,436.5 2,430.4 2,436.3
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 525.9 522.3 524.4
Information 50.3 50.0 51.8
Financial Activities 184.2 182.8 183.0
Professional and Business Services 354.6 356.2 357.8
Educational and Health 524.0 519.1 516.1
Leisure and Hospitality 262.2 263.2 262.3
Other Services 115.3 115.8 116.1
Government 420.0 421.0 424.8
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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