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Industrial Analysis

By Nick Dobbins
February 2021

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


Total Nonfarm employment was up 13,900 (0.5%) over the month in February. Private sector employers added 11,000 jobs (0.5%), and public sector employers added 2,900. Monthly growth was driven by service providers, who added 18,900 jobs (0.8%). Goods producers lost 5,000 jobs (1.1%) with all three goods-producing supersectors posting negative growth.

Over the year growth improved in February but remained firmly in the negative, as the state lost 213,532 jobs or 7.2% after being down 7.8% in January. Every supersector posted negative growth. Service providers were off by 7.4% or 186,444 jobs, and goods producers were off by 6.2% or 27,088 jobs.

Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (in Thousands)

Industry Feb-21 Jan-21 Dec-20
Total Nonfarm 2785.1 2771.2 2719.6
Goods-Producing 431.9 436.9 435.4
Mining and Logging 6.2 6.3 6.3
Construction 119.1 122.4 122.8
Manufacturing 306.6 308.2 306.3
Service-Providing 2353.2 2334.3 2284.2
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 505.6 503.9 502.8
Information 40.3 40.5 40.1
Financial Activities 195 194.4 194.8
Professional and Business Services 356.8 356.7 355.9
Educational and Health Services 541.1 539.1 533.1
Leisure and Hospitality 208.3 194.8 160.9
Other Services 100.2 101.9 97
Government 405.9 403 399.6
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2021.

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was off slightly in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, down by 100 jobs or 1.6%. It was the first over-the-month (OTM) loss for the supersector since June. On an annual basis, Mining and Logging employers lost 496 jobs, or 7.9%.

Annually employment in the supersector has deteriorated in each of the past three months, bucking the larger statewide trend of improvements in this metric over the early part of 2021.


Construction employment was down by 100 (0.1%) over the month in January, following a seasonally adjusted increase of 1,300 jobs (1.1%) in December.

Construction employers shed 3,300 jobs (2.7%) in February, the second consecutive month of job losses for the supersector. The loss may be somewhat attributable to the cold snap that hit the state over the reference period, which likely made many types of construction more difficult.

Over the year Construction employment was down 8,788 (8%), a large drop-off from January's 4.3% over-the-year decline. Specialty Trade Contractors (-7%) and Heavy and Civil Engineering (-14.3%) were both off quite a bit from January, while Construction of Buildings held mostly stable at -8.2%.


Employment in Manufacturing was down by 1,600 (0.8%) in February, with all of those losses coming in Durable Goods Manufacturing (down 0.8%). Non-Durable Goods employment was flat at 112,600.

Over the year Manufacturers lost 17,804 jobs (5.6%). This was worse than January's 4.9%, as all three goods producing component supersectors showed worsening conditions in February. Durable Goods Manufacturing was down 14,814 (7.2%), while Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing was down 2,990 or 2.6%, despite gains in Food Manufacturing (up 1,332 or 2.9%).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 1,700 (0.3%) in February with growth in all three component sectors. Retail Trade was up 900 (0.3%), Wholesale was up 300 (0.2%), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities was up 500 (0.5%).

On an annual basis the supersector lost 24,363 jobs (4.7%), an improvement over January's 5.5% decline. Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities employment was down 6.3%, driving the losses, although all three component sectors shed jobs on the year.


Employment in Information was down by 200 (0.5%) in February.

Over the year employment was off by 12.4% or 5,675 jobs, just behind Other Services (-12.5%) which was the second largest over-the-year decline after the hard-hit Leisure and Hospitality.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was up by 600 (0.3%) in February, with equivalent proportional growth in both component sectors as Finance and Insurance added 500 jobs, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 100.

Over the year Financial Activities employers lost 0.5% (901 jobs), which was the strongest over-the-year growth of any supersector by a large margin (the closest mark was -4.5% in Educational and Health Services). Finance and Insurance added jobs, up 0.4% or 620, while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 1,521 (4.4%).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment was mostly flat in February, up by 100 jobs or 0.0%. Administrative and Support Services (which includes Employment Services) added 800 jobs (0.7%) while Management of Companies was down 400 (0.5%), and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services was down 300 (0.2%).

On an annual basis the supersector lost 27,212 jobs (7.2%). Administrative and Support Services continued to drive the declines, off by 13.5% (17,265 jobs), while Management of Companies was down 4.5% (4,020 jobs), and Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services was down 3.7% (5,927 jobs).

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employers added 2,000 jobs (0.4%) over the month in February. Health Care and Social Assistance was up 1,800 (0.4%), and Educational Services was up 200 (0.3%).

Over the year Educational and Health Services lost 25,566 jobs (4.5%). Educational Services lost 5,128 (6.6%), mostly at the College, University, and Professional School level, while Health Care and Social Assistance lost 20,438 jobs (4.2%).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 13,500 jobs (6.9%) in February. It was the best over-the-month growth by a large margin, as the supersector continued to build back towards its natural pre-COVID levels. Accommodation and Food Services added 12,000 jobs (7.5%), and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,500 (4.2%).

Annual growth was still the worst in the state, off by 26.1% or 68,441 jobs, although much better than January's -31.8% over-the-year growth.

Other Services

Other Services employment was down by 1,700 (1.7%) in February, after being up 4,900 in January.

Over the year the supersector lost 12.5% (14,182 jobs), the second-largest proportional decline in the state and a worse mark than January's 11.3% decline.


Government employers added 2,900 jobs (0.7%) in February. All of the growth came at the Local Government level (up 3,200 or 1.2%) as State employers lost 300 jobs (0.3%), and Federal employment remained flat at 32,600.

Over the year Government employers lost 20,104 jobs (4.6%). Local Governments had the steepest declines, off by 5.9% or 17,417 jobs, with most of that loss coming among Local Government Educational Services.

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