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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins

November 2015

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


Minnesota lost 1,700 jobs (0.1 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in October. This was the first time since 2010 that the state lost employment in consecutive months. The decline was driven in large part by losses in two highly seasonal industries, Construction (down 2,200 or 2.1 percent) and Leisure and Hospitality (down 2,300 or 0.9 percent). Supersectors which added employment included Other Services (up 2,200 or 2.0 percent) and Professional and Business Services (up 1,300, 0.4 percent). Annually, Minnesota employment was up by 23,929 jobs (0.8 percent). While this is significant growth, it is also the first time since December of 2014 that the over-the-year growth rate in the state dipped below 1 percent. Supersectors with notable growth included Professional and Business Services (up 10,271 or 2.8 percent) and Educational and Health Services (up 11,433, 2.3 percent). Noteworthy declines included Construction (down 3,891 or 3.2 percent) and Mining and Logging (down 771, 10.3 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was down by 300 (4.5 percent) in October. This is the second straight month of job losses in the supersector, as the mining industry deals with unfavorable worldwide prices for their products and a generally unfavorable situation for growth. Employment is also down in the supersector over the year, off 771 (10.3 percent) from October of 2014.


Employment in the Construction supersector was down in October, losing 2,200 jobs (2.1 percent) from September estimates. This marked the fourth straight month of job losses for the struggling supersector. Construction employment remains down over the year as well, off by 3,891 (3.2 percent) from October 2014 estimates. Specialty Trade Contractors lost 3,758 jobs (4.9 percent), and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction lost 1,428 (7.5 percent) while Construction of Buildings added 1,295 jobs (5.1 percent), with growth in both Residential and Non-Residential construction.


Manufacturing employment rebounded slightly in October, adding 400 jobs (0.1 percent) after five straight months of flat or negative growth. Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing added 800 jobs (0.7 percent), which more than made up for the loss of 400 (0.2 percent) in Durable Goods Manufacturing. Annually, employment in the supersector finally dipped into the red in October, off by 700 jobs (0.2 percent) from October of 2014. The loss is almost entirely from a steep decline in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing. Paper Manufacturing, and Printing and Related Support Activities (down 965 jobs or 2.9 percent) also contributed to the losses.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was down in October, off by 800 jobs (0.2 percent) from September estimates. Wholesale Trade (down 900 or 0.7 percent) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (down 200 or 0.2 percent) both lost employment while Retail Trade (up 300 or 0.1 percent) grew. Employment in the supersector remained up over the year, if just barely, with 770 jobs (0.1 percent) more than in October of 2014. While Wholesale Trade employment was down sharply (off by 3,775 or 2.8 percent). Retail Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities both added jobs (up 2,801 or 1 percent and 1,744 or 1.8 percent, respectively).


Employment in the Information supersector dipped slightly in October as it shed 400 jobs (0.8 percent) from September estimates. Annually, employment in Information was down by 918 jobs (1.7 percent). Both published component industries lost employment, with Telecommunications down by 602 jobs (2.9 percent) and Publishing Industries (except Internet) losing 57 jobs (0.4 percent).

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector lost 500 jobs (0.3 percent) in October, with losses in Finance and Insurance (down 1,100 jobs, 0.8 percent) overcoming gains in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (up 600 or 1.5 percent). Annually, the supersector was up 3,334 jobs (1.9 percent). Both major component sectors added jobs, with Real Estate and Rental and Leasing up by 1,625 jobs (4.2 percent) and Finance and Insurance up by 1,709 (1.2 percent), with most of those gains coming from the component Insurance Carriers and Related Activities, which added 2,054 jobs (3.2 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services continued in its role as a rare bright spot in the state labor market in October, adding 1,300 jobs (0.4 percent). From July to October, the supersector added 8,700 jobs, with gains of over 1,000 in each month. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added the most on the month, up 1,600 (1.1 percent). Annually, the supersector was up by 10,271 jobs (2.8 percent). The only component industry group to lose jobs was Management of Companies and Enterprises, which was off by 907 jobs (1.2 percent) for the year.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment was up slightly in October, adding 400 jobs (0.1 percent). Health Care and Social Assistance added 1,800 jobs (0.4 percent) while Educational Services dropped 1,400 (2 percent). A similar situation played out over the year, as the supersector added 11,433 jobs (2.3 percent), with Educational Services employment down slightly, losing 13 jobs (0 percent), while Health Care and Social Assistance employment fueled the growth, adding 11,446 jobs (2.6 percent). The lack of growth in Educational Services seemed to be concentrated in Elementary and Secondary Schools (down 396 or 1.8 percent) as employment increased in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (up 345 or 1.1 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality followed up its gain of 2,700 jobs in September (the biggest gain for a supersector on the month) with a loss of 2,300 jobs (0.9 percent) in October, the biggest loss of the month. Given the highly seasonal nature of the industry group, this suggests that a possible change in the timing of fall declines this year may be throwing these estimates off of their normal pattern. Over the year the supersector added 7,792 jobs (3.1 percent), with both major component sectors (Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation and Leisure and Hospitality) adding employment.

Other Services

Other Services bounced back from its big losses in September to add 2,200 jobs in October. Annually, the supersector lost 387 jobs (0.3 percent) with losses of 1,358 (2.1 percent) in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations swamping smaller gains in the other two component sectors.


Government employers added 500 jobs (0.1 percent) in October, with all of that growth coming in State Government. Federal and Local Government employment was flat. Annually, Government employers lost 3,004 jobs (0.7 percent) in Minnesota, 2,191 of those lost jobs in State Government Educational Services.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Oct-15 Sep-15 Aug-15
Total Nonfarm 2,853.5 2,855.2 2,862.1
Goods-Producing 425.0 427.1 428.7
Mining and Logging 6.4 6.7 6.8
Construction 104.5 106.7 108.2
Manufacturing 314.1 313.7 313.7
Service-Providing 2,428.5 2,428.1 2,433.4
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 521.9 522.7 524.6
Information 52.1 52.5 52.9
Financial Activities 181.2 181.7 182.8
Professional and Business Services 367.1 365.8 364.5
Educational and Health Services 513.2 512.8 515.2
Leisure and Hospitality 262.5 264.8 262.1
Other Services 114.0 111.8 114.5
Government 416.5 416.0 416.8
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2015.

bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, October 2014 to October 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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