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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
May 2014

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


Seasonally adjusted employment declined slightly in April, dropping by 4,200 (0.1 percent) to settle at 2,807,800. March's employment estimate was also revised downward, coming in 1,900 lower than initial estimates. April's monthly losses came primarily from service providing industries as employment in goods producing industries was largely flat. Industries with sizeable monthly employment declines were Construction (down 2,200 or 2.0 percent), Transportation and Warehousing (1,300, 1.4 percent), Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (1,100, 2.7 percent), Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (2,900, 2.1 percent), and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (1,100, 2.6 percent). The picture looks much better when compared to April 2013 as unadjusted employment is up 41,934 (1.5 percent) over the year. Employment in goods producing industries was up 15,138 (3.8 percent) over the year while service providers saw an increase of 26,796 (1.1 percent). Most major industry groups have added significant employment since 2013, the lone exception being Financial Activities which is down 1,325 (0.7 percent).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging lost a small amount of employment in April, shedding 100 jobs (1.4 percent) to land at 7,100, giving back the slight gains made last month. This is the first seasonally adjusted decline in Mining and Logging since December. Mining and Logging employment remains up for the year, adding 232 jobs (3.5 percent) since April 2013.


Employment in the Construction industry was down in April. The industry group lost 2,200 jobs (2.2 percent) for the month following an employment spike in March. Employment remains strong on an annual basis, gaining 7,158 jobs (8 percent) since 2013. There were gains in Construction of Buildings (up 234, 1.1 percent), Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (2,159, 19.6 percent), and Specialty Trade Contractors (4,765, 8.4 percent). In spite of the seasonally adjusted monthly losses, Construction appears to be on an upward trajectory as April marks 12 straight months with year-over-year unadjusted gains. Annual average employment in construction has grown every year since 2010.


Employment in Manufacturing industries had another month of small increases in April, adding 2,400 jobs (0.8 percent) over March levels. Gains were split between Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, each adding 0.8 percent (1,500 and 900 jobs, respectively). This increase comes on the heels of a small loss in the previous month, as March's estimate was revised downward. For the year, Manufacturing employment is up 7,748 (2.5 percent) with increases in both Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing. Significant gains have occurred in the component industries of Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (up 1,454 or 3.5 percent) and Food Manufacturing (2,254, 5.1 percent) to help drive the annual increase.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was flat in April, remaining at 512,900. This continues a trend of flat or declining employment in the industry group, which hasn't gained employment since December. Monthly losses in Wholesale Trade (down 500, 0.4 percent) and Transportation and Warehousing (1,300, 1.4 percent) were offset by a gain of 1,800 or 0.6 percent in Retail Trade. For the year, the industry group has added 5,873 jobs (1.2 percent) with gains in Wholesale and Retail Trade (up 3.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively), offsetting the small losses in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities, down 296 or 0.3 percent.


Employment in Information was up slightly in April, adding 200 jobs (0.4 percent) since March and giving the industry group gains in back-to-back months after it had experienced sharp declines in the previous two months. Employment in the supersector has shown increases for the year as well, up 427 or 0.8 percent, over April 2013, despite losses in both Publishing and Telecommunications.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities decreased 800 (0.4 percent) in April, continuing the industry group's trend of back-and-forth employment in recent months. Slight gains in Finance and Insurance (up 300 or 0.2 percent) were not enough to overcome a loss of 1,100 (2.7 percent) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. Employment in the industry group remains down for the year as well, with 1,325 (0.7 percent) fewer jobs than in April 2013. Finance and Insurance appears to be the primary culprit in the group's struggles, as it is down 2,291 (1.6 percent) on the year, thanks largely to a decline of 1,717 (3.1 percent) in Credit Intermediation and Related Activities.

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services declined in April, shedding 2,200 (0.6 percent) jobs for the month. Slight gains in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (up 100 or 0.1 percent) and Management of Companies (600, 0.8 percent) were not enough to overcome a sharp decline in employment in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, which lost 2,900 jobs (2.1 percent). For the year, the supersector has gained 5,256 jobs (1.5 percent) with increases spread across a number of subgroups. The only major group to lose employment for the year was Legal Services which dropped 159 jobs (0.8 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services dipped slightly in April, losing 700 jobs (0.1 percent). This is the third straight month of seasonally adjusted employment losses in the industry group following a relatively strong 2013. Employment in the supersector remains up over April 2013, with 9,244 (1.9 percent) more jobs than a year ago. Educational Services is up 3,781 (5.5 percent) while Health Care and Social Assistance is up 5,463 (1.3 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality was off by 1,700 (0.7 percent) for April, with declines in both major subgroups. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation was down 1,100 (2.6 percent) while Accommodation and Food Service lost 600 jobs (0.3 percent). The supersector remains strong for the year, however, as it maintained a gain of 4,396 (1.8 percent) over April 2013. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation is up 2,499 (7 percent) over 2013, while Food Services and Drinking Places has gained 2,582 (1.4 percent) for the year.

Other Services

Other Services employment dipped slightly in April, losing 600 jobs (0.5 percent) for the month. On the year, employment levels rose 1,161 (1 percent) with gains in all three major component groups. Repair and Maintenance leads the way with an increase of 432 (2.1 percent) over April 2013.


Government employment grew in April as 1,500 jobs (0.4 percent) were added, largely thanks to an increase of 1,600 (0.6 percent) in Local Government employment. This marks the third straight month of seasonally adjusted growth for the supersector. Government employment also increased for the year, up 1,764 (0.4 percent) over 2013.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Apr-14 Mar-14 Feb-14
Total Nonfarm 2,807.8 2,812.0 2,811.3
Goods-Producing excl. Ag. 427.6 427.5 426.5
Mining and Logging 7.1 7.2 7.1
Construction 105.5 107.7 105.7
Manufacturing 315.0 312.6 313.7
Service-Providing 2,380.2 2,384.5 2,384.8
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 512.9 512.9 515.1
Information 53.2 53.0 52.9
Financial Activities 179.5 180.3 179.4
Professional and Business Services 349.8 352.0 348.8
Educational and Health 497.6 498.3 498.8
Leisure and Hospitality 252.3 254.0 256.2
Other Services (Private Only) 117.5 118.1 118.6
Government 417.4 415.9 415.0
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2014

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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