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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
May 2019

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


Employment in Minnesota was up by 3,600 (0.1 percent) in April. Following February's sharp drop of 7,800 jobs, the next two months' growth has erased nearly two-thirds of that deficit. April's growth came from numerous industry groups. Goods producers added 1,500 jobs (0.3 percent), and service providers added 2,100 (0.1 percent). The private sector added 2,900 jobs (0.1 percent), and the public sector added 700 (0.2 percent). Annually the state added 14,434 jobs (0.5 percent), and we are now two months removed from the first month of negative over-the-year growth since 2010. Annual growth was concentrated among goods producers (up 11,885 or 2.7 percent) as the much larger service providing industry group added just 2,549 jobs (0.1 percent).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was flat in April, holding at 6,800 jobs. On the year the supersector added 303 jobs (4.9 percent). This was the largest proportional over-the-year growth in Mining and Logging since December of 2017.


Employment in the Construction supersector was mostly flat in April as employers lost 100 jobs (0.1 percent) from March's estimate. On an annual basis the supersector added 11,511 jobs (10.5 percent). April marked 12 consecutive months of over-the-year job growth in Construction and the first instance in that time where growth moved above 10 percent. The last time over-the-year Construction growth hit double digits was in April of 2015 when it reached 13.3 percent. All component sectors contributed to April's growth, with notable performances in Heavy and Civil Engineering (up 1,996 or 16.6 percent) and Specialty Trade Contractors (up 8,688, 12.1 percent).


Employment in Minnesota's Manufacturing supersector was up by 1,600 (0.5 percent) in April. Durable Goods Manufacturing added 1,500 jobs (0.7 percent) while Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing added just 100 (0.1 percent). On the year the supersector's employment was mostly flat, adding just 71 jobs (0 percent). This is, however, an improvement over the prior two months when Manufacturing lost jobs. April's modest over-the-year growth came entirely from Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, which added 229 jobs (0.2 percent), in contrast to their counterparts in Durable Goods Manufacturing, which shed 158 jobs (0.1 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up by 1,500 (0.3 percent) in April. Wholesale Trade added 1,100 jobs (0.8 percent), Retail Trade added 600 (0.2 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 200 (0.2 percent). Over the year the supersector lost 1,520 jobs (0.3 percent). They have shown over-the-year declines in every month since December. The annual job losses, much like the monthly losses, were driven by Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities, where employment was off by 4,241 (3.9 percent), while Retail and Wholesale Trade employers both added jobs on the year.


The Information supersector lost 100 jobs (0.2 percent) in April. Information employers have lost jobs in every month since December 2018. On an over-the-year basis the Information supersector lost 1,702 jobs (3.5 percent). Telecommunications employers lost 897 jobs (7.1 percent), and non-internet Publishing Industries lost 488 (2.6 percent).

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector lost 300 jobs (0.2 percent) in April thanks to a loss of 400 (0.3 percent) in Finance and Insurance. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, the other component sector, added 100 jobs (0.3 percent). Annually the supersector added 1,441 jobs (0.8 percent). Finance and Insurance added 1,584 jobs (1.1 percent), largely on the back of 1,277 new jobs in Insurance Carriers and Related Activities (up 2 percent), although other components Finance and Insurance also showed growth. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing was off by 143 jobs (0.4 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment was up by 500 (0.1 percent) in April. The growth came entirely via the Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services component sector, which added 500 jobs (0.4 percent). Growth in the other two component sectors was flat on the month. Annually the supersector added 145 jobs (0 percent). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 1,561 jobs (1 percent), and Management of Companies and Enterprises added 1,570 (2 percent). But Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services lost almost all of that, down 2,986 (2.3 percent). The component's decline was caused by the loss of 7,937 jobs (13.6 percent) in the bellwether Employment Services sector.

Educational and Health Services

The Educational and Health Services supersector added 1,100 jobs (0.2 percent) in April. Health Care and Social Assistance added 800 jobs (0.2 percent) while Educational Services added 300 (0.5 percent). Over the year Educational and Health Services employment was off by 2,651 (0.5 percent), with declines in both of its component sectors. Educational Services lost 1,380 jobs (1.9 percent), primarily in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools, while Health Care and Social Assistance lost 1,271 jobs (0.3 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was off by 1,700 (0.6 percent) in April with the loss of 2,000 jobs (4 percent) in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. The larger Accommodation and Food Services sector added 300 jobs (0.1 percent). Annually the supersector added 5,157 jobs (2 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 2,745 jobs (6.6 percent) and has had over-the-year job growth of greater than 5 percent in every month since October. Accommodation and Food Services added 2,412 (1.1 percent) jobs, with growth in both primary components.

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was up by 400 (0.4 percent) in April. The supersector has added jobs in every month of 2019. Annually Other Services employers added 970 jobs (0.9 percent). Repair and Maintenance employers added 451 jobs (2.1 percent), and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations added 792 (1.3 percent), while Personal and Laundry Services lost 273 jobs (1 percent).


Government employers in Minnesota added 700 jobs (0.2 percent) in April. All three levels of government added jobs on the month. Over the year Government employers added 709 jobs (0.2 percent). Federal employers added 172 jobs (0.5 percent), State added 148 (0.1 percent), and Local added 389 (0.1 percent). Both State and Local Government Educational Services lost jobs on the year.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Apr-19 Mar-19 Feb-19
Total Nonfarm 2,961.8 2,958.2 2,956.7
Goods-Producing 456.4 454.9 452.5
Mining and Logging 6.8 6.8 6.7
Construction 128.2 128.3 125.2
Manufacturing 321.4 319.8 320.6
Service-Providing 2,505.4 2,503.3 2,504.2
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 536.8 535.3 535.2
Information 47.5 47.6 47.9
Financial Activities 185.0 185.3 186.0
Professional and Business Services 377.6 377.1 377.8
Educational and Health Services 539.8 538.7 539.0
Leisure and Hospitality 278.7 280.4 280.2
Other Services 113.9 113.5 112.8
Government 426.1 425.4 425.3
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2019.

graph: Minnesota Employment Growth, April 2018 to April 2019

*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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