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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
March 2018

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


Minnesota lost 1,300 jobs (0.0 percent) in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. January’s estimate was revised upward from a gain of 2,500 to a gain of 4,900. February’s slight decline came primarily among service providers, which shed 2,400 jobs (0.1 percent), while goods producers added 1,100 jobs (0.2 percent). Private sector employment was off slightly, down 200 (0.0 percent), and public sector employers lost 1,100 jobs (0.3 percent). Annually the state added 22,626 jobs (0.8 percent). Goods producers added 4,954 jobs (1.2 percent), and service providers added 17,672 (0.7 percent). Private sector employment grew by 0.6 percent (15,266 jobs), while public sector employment grew by 1.7 (7,360 jobs).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was up in February as the supersector added 100 jobs (1.5 percent) to sit at a seasonally-adjusted 6,600 jobs. The supersector did not fare as well on an over-the-year basis, off by 52 jobs (0.8 percent) from February of 2017. January’s unadjusted estimate was also revised downward from 6,109 to 6,068. Mining and Logging has now had over-the-year losses for both months of 2018 after showing annual gains in every month of 2017, although the gains and losses are much more incremental now that the turbulence of 2015 and 2016 is more than a year behind us.


Employment in Construction was up by 300 (0.2 percent) in February. While small, that marked the sixth consecutive month of over-the-month increases in the supersector. Annually Construction employers added 4,867 jobs (4.8 percent). That growth came almost entirely from Specialty Trade Contractors, which added 4,616 jobs (6.9 percent). The component sector has had over-the-year growth of greater than 1 percent consistently since the beginning of 2017 and has not shown an over-the-year decline since an isolated dip in April of 2013. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction also added jobs, up by 561 or 6 percent.


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was up by 700 (0.2 percent) in February. All of that growth came in Durable Goods Manufacturing, as Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing employment was unchanged from January. Annually Manufacturing employment was mostly flat, adding 139 jobs or 0.0 percent. Durable Goods manufacturers lost 218 jobs (0.1 percent), in large part from an over-the-year decline of 238 (2.3 percent) in Transportation Equipment Manufacturing. Non-Durable Goods manufacturers added 357 (0.3 percent) on the year, with Food Manufacturers adding 1,225 (2.7 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up slightly in February as the supersector added 400 jobs (0.1 percent). Employment in both trade sectors grew, with Retail adding 800 jobs (0.3 percent) and Wholesale adding 500 (0.4 percent). However, Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities combined to lose 900 jobs (0.8 percent). Over the year the supersector added 3,627 jobs (0.7 percent). Wholesale Trade added 2,343 (1.8 percent), Retail added 1,343 (0.5 percent) and, as was the case in over-the-month growth, Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lagged behind, off by 59 (0.1 percent). That loss appeared to come entirely from Utilities (off by 85 or 0.7 percent) as Transportation and Warehousing employment was largely unchanged for the year.


The Information supersector lost 500 jobs (1 percent) in February. January’s estimate was also revised downward by 200. The February decline marks the fourth straight month of over-the-month job losses in the supersector. Annually Information employment was down by 1,319 (2.6 percent). It was the eighth consecutive month of over-the-year jobs losses for the supersector.

Financial Activities

Employment in the Financial Activities supersector was off by 400 (0.2 percent) in February. The component Finance and Insurance sector’s employment was flat, while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was down by 400 (1.2 percent). Over the year the supersector lost 1,365 jobs (0.8 percent). That’s the second straight month of declines, following 36 consecutive months of over-the-year growth. February’s losses were shared between components, as Finance and Insurance lost 824 jobs (0.6 percent), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 541 (1.6 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment took a large fall in February, off by 4,600 jobs (1.2 percent). The declines were shared between two component sectors, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (down 2,400 or 1.5 percent) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (down 2,200 or 1.6 percent). Employment in Management of Companies was flat. Annually the supersector also dipped into the red for the first time since October, off by 338 jobs (0.1 percent). Management of Companies led the annual declines, off by 482 jobs or 0.6 percent. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 449 jobs (0.4 percent), although it did so without the help of Employment Services. The closely-watched component sector lost 1,859 jobs (3.3 percent), its 17th straight month of over-the-year declines.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment was up slightly in February, adding 500 jobs (0.1 percent). Health Care and Social Assistance added 2,500 jobs (0.5 percent), but that growth was largely erased by the loss of 2,000 (2.9 percent) in Educational Services. Employment growth in the supersector remained strong on an over-the-year basis, up by 8,451 (1.6 percent). Educational Services added 1,910 jobs (2.8 percent), while Health Care and Social Assistance added 6,541 (1.4 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 3,400 (1.3 percent) in February. Both component sectors added 1,700 jobs on the month, with Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation up 3.5 percent and Accommodation and Food Service up 0.8 percent. Annually Leisure and Hospitality added 1,193 jobs (0.5 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation employers added 3,762 jobs (9.6 percent). The other piece of the supersector, Accommodation and Food Services, lost 2,569 (1.2 percent).

Other Services

Other Services employment was down by 100 (0.1 percent) in February. Annually the supersector added 63 jobs (0.1 percent). Repair and Maintenance added 102 jobs (0.5 percent). Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations lost 50 jobs (0.1 percent).


Government employers lost 1,100 jobs (0.3 percent) in February, with State Government employers driving the losses (down 1,200 or 1.2 percent). Annually Government employment was up by 7,360 (1.7 percent), outpacing the private sector’s 0.6 percent growth. Local Governments added 4,000 jobs (1.4 percent), and State Government added 3,499 (3.4 percent). Federal Government employment was down by 139 (0.4 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry February 2018 January 2018 December 2017
Total Nonfarm 2,947.3 2,948.6 2,943.7
Goods-Producing 448.6 447.5 446.9
Mining and Logging 6.6 6.5 6.5
Construction 123.0 122.7 122.5
Manufacturing 319.0 318.3 317.9
Service-Providing 2,498.7 2,501.1 2,496.8
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 541.4 541.0 540.1
Information 48.8 49.3 49.6
Financial Activities 178.2 178.6 179.4
Professional and Business Services 372.4 377.0 376.1
Educational and Health 539.5 539.0 540.3
Leisure and Hospitality 274.4 271.0 269.2
Other Services 115.4 115.5 115.1
Government 428.6 429.7 427.0
Source: Deaprtment of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2018.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, February 2018 to February 2018

*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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