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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
March 2020

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


Employment in Minnesota was off by 4,500 (0.2 percent) in February on a seasonally adjusted basis in what was likely at least partially a correction from January's 7,900 job increase. The monthly decline came entirely from private sector service providers, which shed 5,300 jobs (0.2 percent). Goods producers added 800 jobs (0.2 percent), and public sector employment was up by 400 (0.1 percent). Over-the-year employment was up by 2,315 (0.1 percent). The private sector lost 1,618 jobs (0.1 percent) while the public sector added 3,933 (0.9 percent). Employment in both production and services were up by 0.1 percent (444 and 1,871 jobs, respectively).

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was flat in February, holding at 6,600 jobs. Over the year the supersector lost 27 jobs (0.4 percent). Over-the-year performance in the supersector has improved in recent months, as Mining and Logging employment was off by 4.3 percent in December and 0.6 percent in January.


Construction employment was up by 200 (0.2 percent) in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the supersector's first over-the-month job growth since October. Over the year Construction employers added 3,159 jobs (3 percent). Most of the growth came from Specialty Trade Contractors, which added 3,617 (5.2 percent). Employment in Construction of Buildings was up by 79 (0.3 percent) while Heavy and Civil Engineering employment was down by 537 (5.4 percent).


Employment in Manufacturing was up by 600 (0.2 percent) in February. Both component sectors were up by 0.2 percent, as Durable Goods added 400 jobs and Non-Durable Goods added 200. Annually the supersector lost 2,688 jobs (0.8 percent). It was the worst proportional over-the-year job growth of any supersector. Durable Goods manufacturers drove the decline, shedding 3,729 jobs (1.8 percent) while their counterparts in Non-Durable Goods manufacturing added 1,041 jobs (0.9 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was off by 3,000 (0.6 percent) in February. Retail Trade drove the declines, off by 2,300 (0.8 percent), and Wholesale Trade lost 800 (0.6 percent), while Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 100 jobs (0.1 percent). Over the year the supersector lost 2,572 jobs (0.5 percent). Wholesale Trade was down 1,222 (1 percent), Retail Trade was down 1,533 (0.5 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 183 jobs (0.2 percent).


The Information supersector added 100 jobs (0.2 percent) in February. It was the second consecutive month of seasonally adjusted growth for Information employers. Employment in Information remained down on the year, off by 1,389 jobs or 3 percent. It was the largest proportional over-the-year job loss of any supersector in the state by a large margin. The second-largest decline came in Manufacturing, which was off by 0.8 percent.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was up by 100 (0.2 percent) in February. The growth came in Finance and Insurance (up 0.1 percent), as employment in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing remained flat at 34,500. Over the year the supersector lost 585 jobs (0.3 percent). Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was off by 382 (1.1 percent) while Finance and Insurance lost 203 jobs (0.3 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment was off by 3,600 (0.9 percent) in February, the worst real and proportional over-the-month employment change of any supersector in the state. The decline was likely a correction to January's impressive seasonally adjusted growth, as the supersector added 6,500 jobs (1.7 percent) last month. Over the year Professional and Business Services employers lost 1,455 jobs (0.4 percent). The decline came entirely in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Service (off 2,060 or 1.6 percent) as the other component sectors added jobs. Employment Services lost 3,669 jobs (6.2 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment was down by 2,100 (0.4 percent) in February, with all of those losses coming from Educational Services (down 2.9 percent). Health Care and Social Assistance employment was flat. On the year Educational and Health Services lost 3,219 jobs (0.6 percent), the largest loss of real jobs for any supersector. Health Care and Social Assistance employment was off by 2,635 (0.6 percent), and Educational Services was off by 594 (0.8 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality was up by 800 (0.3 percent) in February, with Accommodation and Food Services adding 600 jobs (0.3 percent) and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation adding 200 (0.4 percent). Annually the supersector added 3,168 jobs (1.2 percent), with both component sectors showing strong positive growth. Accommodation and Food Services employment was up by 1,724 (0.8 percent), and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,444 jobs (3.4 percent).

Other Services

Employers in the Other Services supersector added 2,000 jobs (1.7 percent) in February. It was the highest real and proportional over-the-month job growth in the state, and the supersector's fourth consecutive month of seasonally adjusted growth. Other Services also had the strongest annual growth, adding 3,990 jobs or 3.6 percent. Every component sector added jobs. Repair and Maintenance was up by 1,588 (7.3 percent), Personal and Laundry Services was up 1,592 (5.7 percent), and employment in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations was up 810 (1.3 percent).


Government employment was up by 400 (0.1 percent) in February, with minor job growth at the Federal, State, and Local levels. Over the year Government employers added 3,933 jobs (0.9 percent). State employers added 1,372 jobs (1.3 percent), Local added 2,171 (0.7 percent), and Federal added 390 (1.2 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Feb-20 Jan-20 Dec-19
Total Nonfarm 2,979.6 2,984.1 2,976.2
Goods-Producing 456.0 455.2 453.8
Mining and Logging 6.6 6.6 6.4
Construction 125.9 125.7 126.6
Manufacturing 323.5 322.9 320.8
Service-Providing 2,523.6 2,528.9 2,522.4
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 529.2 532.2 531.1
Information 45.7 45.6 45.4
Financial Activities 191.7 191.6 191.7
Professional and Business Services 383.8 387.4 380.9
Educational and Health Services 549.1 551.2 552.5
Leisure and Hospitality 280.1 279.3 279.7
Other Services 116.9 114.9 114.6
Government 427.1 426.7 426.5
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2020.

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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