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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
May 2015

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


Minnesota had another month of strong growth in April as the state added 7,400 jobs (0.3 percent). The gain came entirely from the smaller goods producing segment of the labor market, as service providers lost 500 jobs. Construction had the lion's share of the growth (up 6,600 or 6.3 percent) with notable increases also appearing in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (up 2,200, 0.4 percent). Annually, Minnesota added 46,114 jobs (1.7 percent). The only supersectors to lose employment were Mining and Logging, Information, which each lost less than 100 jobs, and Government, which lost 2,830 (0.7 percent). Supersectors with significant growth included Construction (up 4,828 or 5 percent) and Professional and Business Services (up 12,006 or 3.5 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was up by 400 jobs (5.7 percent) in April, seasonally adjusted. For the year, the supersector was down slightly, shedding 62 jobs (0.9 percent) from April of 2014.


Employment in the Construction industry jumped in April as the supersector added a seasonally adjusted 6,600 jobs (6.3 percent). While dramatic fluctuations are common in the spring and fall in Construction from seasonal changes, this represents an unusually large monthly employment increase for the supersector. The strong month was enough to move Construction into positive annual employment growth in April, as it supported 4,828 more jobs (5 percent) in 2015 than it had in the previous year. Most of that annual increase came from Specialty Trade Contractors, which added 4,016 jobs (6.6 percent), making it both the largest and the fastest-growing component sector in the group.


Employment in Manufacturing grew slightly in April, up by 900 jobs (0.3 percent). The increase came entirely from Durable Goods Manufacturing, which added 1000 jobs (0.5 percent), while Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing lost 100 (0.1 percent). Employment increased by 5,891 (1.9 percent) over the year. The increase was shared by both durable and non-durable goods manufacturers, which grew by 2.5 and 0.9 percent, respectively. Food Manufacturing had the sharpest growth, up 2,099 jobs (4.7 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up again in April, adding 2,200 jobs (0.4 percent). That marks the third straight month of seasonally adjusted increases in the supersector following a steep drop in January. Gains were spread between the component sectors, as Wholesale Trade added 300 jobs (0.2 percent), Retail Trade added 1,100 (0.4 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 800 (0.8 percent). Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 7,018 jobs (1.4 percent). Most of that came from the two trade sectors, which combined to add 6,859 jobs on the year. Notable component industries included Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers, which added 2,019 jobs (3.1 percent), and Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, which added 1,497 (4.6 percent).


The Information supersector lost 500 jobs (0.9 percent) in April, continuing to fluctuate between growth and contraction. The losses helped to push the supersector into slightly negative annual growth, as Information was down by 28 jobs (0.1 percent) from April 2014 estimates. The two published component sectors were down significantly, with Publishing Industries (except Internet) down 581 (2.8 percent) and Telecommunications down 130 (1 percent).

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was up 400 jobs (0.2 percent) in April, its first month of growth since November 2014, when it added 2,000 seasonally adjusted jobs. The supersector lost 1,500 of that gain in the four intervening months, however. April's increases came from Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which added 800 jobs (2.1 percent) to counteract the loss of 400 (0.3 percent) in Finance and Insurance. Employment in Financial Activities remains up for the year, with the supersector supporting 403 (0.2 percent) more jobs than it did in April 2014. Insurance Carriers are largely responsible for that increase, up by 1,156 jobs (2.7 percent) on the year.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services bounced back from a tough March by adding 3,400 jobs (0.9 percent) in April, erasing all of the previous month's losses. The majority of the new jobs were in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, which added 2,900 jobs (2.1 percent) for the month, following a loss of 1,600 in March. Employment in the supersector also remains strong on an annual basis, up 12,006 (3.5 percent) over April 2014 estimates. Annual losses in Management of Companies and Enterprises (down 956 or 1.2 percent) were erased by large gains in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (up 4,555 or 3.2 percent) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (up 8,407, 6.5 percent).

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services dipped in April, giving back some of the large employment gains from March by shedding 2,200 jobs (0.4 percent). Health Care and Social Assistance continued its four-month run of expansion, adding 1,900 jobs (0.4 percent), but those gains were overshadowed by a loss of 4,100 (6.0 percent) in Educational Services. The supersector remains strong on an annual basis, adding 10,692 jobs (2.1 percent) from April 2014. Most of that increase came from Health Care and Social Assistance, which added 9,982 jobs (2.3 percent) with significant increases in Ambulatory Health Care Services, Nursing and Residential Care Facilities, and Social Assistance overshadowing a small employment decline in Hospitals.

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality dipped slightly in April, shedding 600 jobs (0.2 percent) on the heels of two months of job growth. The addition of 1,000 jobs (0.5 percent) in Accommodation and Food Services was erased by the loss of 1,600 (3.7 percent) in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Employment remains up annually in the supersector, which was 7,490 jobs (3.0 percent) larger than in 2014.

Other Services

Other Services lost 700 jobs (0.6 percent) in April, giving back exactly half of the employment that was added in March. Annual employment was up by 706 jobs (0.6 percent) with two of three component sectors - Repair and Maintenance and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations - adding employment on the year.


Government employers lost 2,500 jobs in April with State and Local employers (down 500 and 2,000 jobs, respectively) shedding employment. The monthly losses also helped push the supersector into annual job losses, down 2,830 (0.7 percent) from April 2014 with State (down 2,678 or 3.8 percent) and Local Government Educational Services (down 1,771 or 1.2 percent) driving the losses.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Apr-15 Mar-15 Feb-15
Total Nonfarm 2,852.0 2,844.6 2,837.0
Goods-Producing 435.9 428.0 427.7
Mining and Logging 7.4 7.0 7.1
Construction 111.8 105.2 106.0
Manufacturing 316.7 315.8 314.6
Service-Providing 2,416.1 2,416.6 2,409.3
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 522.4 520.2 519.1
Information 52.3 52.8 52.0
Financial Activities 178.7 178.3 178.5
Professional and Business Services 363.0 359.6 362.8
Educational and Health 506.6 508.8 504.0
Leisure and Hospitality 261.3 261.9 261.0
Other Services (Private Only) 113.9 114.6 113.2
Government 417.9 420.4 418.7
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2015.

Bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, April 2014 to April 2015

* 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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