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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
March 2017

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


Minnesota added 3,800 jobs (0.1 percent) in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. January’s estimate was also revised upward by 4,400, from 2,913,100 to 2,917,500. Goods producing industries spurred the growth, adding 5,700 jobs (1.3 percent), while service providers lost 1,900 jobs (0.1 percent). Private sector employers added 6,200 jobs (0.2 percent), and public sector employers lost 2,400 (1.2 percent). Over the year Minnesota added 39,564 jobs (1.4 percent). January’s unadjusted estimate was also revised up to 1.4 percent growth over the year. February’s annual growth was spread among most industry groups. Service providers added 33,325 jobs (1.4 percent) while goods producers added 6,239 jobs (1.5 percent). Likewise, both private and public sector employers grew over the year, with private employers adding 35,853 jobs (1.5 percent) and government employers adding 3,711 (0.9 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was up in February as the group added 100 jobs (1.5 percent). January estimates were also adjusted upward from 6,400 to 6,500. Over the year Mining and Logging added 886 jobs (16.5 percent), while January’s estimate was also revised upward to show a 12.6 percent over-the-year increase. While these estimates seem to show dramatic growth in the supersector, it’s important to note that at this time last year, Mining and Logging was showing an annual job loss of over 20 percent following highly-publicized layoffs in the industry group.


Employment in the Construction supersector was up by 4,500 (3.8 percent) in February, more than making up for the 1,300 job decline in January. Annually the supersector added 6,101 jobs (6.3 percent). Specialty Trade Contractors added 6,639 jobs (10.4 percent) while Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction added 585 (6.1 percent). On the other side of the ledger, Construction of Buildings was off by 1,123 (4.8 percent).


Manufacturers in Minnesota added 1,100 jobs (0.3 percent) in February, more than recouping January’s loss of 900 jobs. Durable Goods Manufacturers accounted for most of February’s growth, as they added 900 jobs (0.5 percent) while Non-Durable Goods employers added 200 (0.2 percent). Annually Minnesota Manufacturing shrank, as the supersector lost 748 jobs (0.2 percent). While Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers added 1,671 jobs (1.5 percent), Durable Goods Manufacturers gave back all of those gains and then some, losing 2,419 (1.2 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment showed significant improvement in February, adding 5,700 jobs (1.1 percent) and seeing their January estimate revised up by 3,100 (to 534,600). February’s gains came primarily from Retail Trade (up 4,100 or 1.4 percent), but Wholesale Trade (up 1,100, 0.8 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (up 500, 0.5 percent) also showed some growth. Annually the supersector added 8,706 jobs (1.7 percent). Retail Trade was responsible for most of that growth, up 7,353 (2.5 percent). Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 1,290 jobs (1.3 percent) while employment in Wholesale Trade was essentially flat.


The Information supersector lost 700 jobs (1.4 percent) in February, its fourth straight month with zero or negative growth. Annually employment in Information is down by 185 (0.4 percent). Publishing Industries (except Internet) shed 506 jobs (2.6 percent), and Telecommunications lost 240 (2 percent).

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector lost 200 jobs (0.1 percent) in February, its second straight month of minor job loss. Finance and Insurance lost 300 jobs (0.2 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 100 (0.3 percent). Annually, the supersector added 3,465 jobs (2 percent). Finance and Insurance was responsible for most of that increase, adding 3,220 jobs (2.3 percent), with Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (including Central Banks) adding 1,553 jobs (2.5 percent) and Insurance Carriers and Related Activities adding 1,594 (2.7 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services lost 3,100 jobs (0.8 percent) in February. It was the second straight month in which the supersector lost more than 3,000 jobs. February’s decline came largely from Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, which lost 2,500 jobs (1.8 percent), although all three component sectors had negative growth. The supersector lost 286 jobs (0.1 percent) over the year. It was the first time since 2010 that Professional and Business Services had shrunk on an annual basis. Employment Services (down 3,597 or 6.8 percent) was a notable driver of the decline, although that sector had been showing over-the-year job losses for most of 2016 as well.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services added 800 jobs (0.1 percent) in February. Health Care and Social Assistance added 2,700 (0.6 percent) while Educational Services lost 1,900 (2.6 percent). Over the year the supersector added 16,534 jobs (3.2 percent). Health Care and Social Assistance added 13,733 (3.1 percent), and Educational Services chipped in 2,801 (4 percent growth).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employers lost 2,800 jobs (1.1 percent) in February. Accommodation and Food Services lost 2,600 jobs (1.2 percent), and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation lost 200 (0.5 percent). Over the year the supersector lost 1,966 jobs (0.8 percent). Accommodation and Food Services lost 1,850 (0.9 percent) thanks to a decline of 1,939 (7.9 percent) in the Accommodation sector. Employment in Food Services and Drinking Places was flat over the year.

Other Services

Employment in the Other Services supersector was up by 800 (0.7 percent) in February, the second straight month of solid growth in the industry group. Annually, Other Services added 3,346 jobs (2.9 percent), with all three published component sectors showing growth. Repair and Maintenance added 875 jobs (4.1 percent), Personal and Laundry Services added 984 (3.5 percent), and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations added 1,487 (2.3 percent).


Government employers lost 2,400 jobs (0.6 percent) in February. All three levels of government shed jobs, with Federal down 200 (0.6 percent), State down 500 (0.5 percent), and Local down 1,700 (0.6 percent). Over the year public sector employers added 3,711 jobs (0.9 percent). Local Government showed the most notable movement, adding 4,681 jobs or 1.6 percent.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Feb-17 Jan-17 Dec-16
Total Nonfarm 2,921.3 2,917.5 2,921.4
Goods-Producing 446.8 441.1 443.2
Mining and Logging 6.6 6.5 6.4
Construction 122.1 117.6 118.9
Manufacturing 318.1 317.0 317.9
Service-Providing 2,474.5 2,476.4 2,478.2
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 540.3 534.6 535.6
Information 49.7 50.4 50.9
Financial Activities 177.1 177.3 177.5
Professional and Business Services 368.8 371.9 375.8
Educational and Health Services 534.3 533.5 531.2
Leisure and Hospitality 261.8 264.6 261.6
Other Services 117.9 117.1 115.9
Government 424.6 427.0 429.7
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2017.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, February 2016 to February 2017

*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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