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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
November 2018

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


Employment in Minnesota was up by 3,400 (0.1 percent) in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, and September estimates were revised upward from a loss of 1,400 to a gain of 500. The gains came entirely from the private sector (up 3,900 or 0.2 percent) as government employers shed 500 jobs (0.1 percent). While the size of the growth over the past two months was small, it’s noteworthy that there was seasonal growth at all as we entered fall, given the large employment gains the state saw in spring and early summer. Over the year Minnesota added 36,450 jobs (1.2 percent). While still strong, the over-the-year employment growth has been declining steadily every month since it hit a high of 2 percent in July. October’s growth was shared by goods producers (up 13,722 or 3 percent) and service providers (up 22,728, 0.9 percent).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employers lost 200 jobs (3.1 percent) in October. This was the first gain or loss of more than 100 jobs in the state’s smallest supersector since November 2016. Annually Mining and Logging lost 378 jobs (5.6 percent). It was the largest over-the-year decline in the supersector since August of 2016.


Construction industry employers added 1,500 jobs (1.2 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in October. It was the seventh consecutive month of growth for the supersector. Annually Construction added 8,269 jobs (6.5 percent). It was the largest over-the-year growth rate of any supersector in the state. Specialty Trade Contractors shouldered most of that growth, adding 7,099 jobs (8.8 percent), although all three component sectors added jobs.


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was up by 200 (0.1 percent) in October. Durable Goods manufacturers added all 200 of the jobs (up 0.1 percent) as employment in Non-Durable Goods remained at 119,100. Annually Manufacturing employers added 5,831 jobs (1.8 percent). It was the seventh consecutive month with greater than 1 percent over-the-year growth in the supersector. Durable Goods manufacturers added 5,051 jobs (2.5 percent) spread among a number of component sectors, while Non-Durable Goods manufacturers added 780 jobs (0.7 percent) driven in large part by 796 new jobs in Food Manufacturing.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 800 (0.1 percent) in October in large part from a larger than expected increase in Retail Trade employment (up 1,400 or 0.5 percent). Employment in Wholesale Trade was off by 700 (0.5 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities employment was up by 100 (0.1 percent). Over the year the state’s largest supersector added 6,809 jobs (1.3 percent). Growth was spread somewhat evenly among component sectors. Wholesale Trade added 1,548 jobs (1.2 percent), Retail Trade added 3,040 (1 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 2,221 (2.1 percent) with virtually all of that growth coming in Transportation and Warehousing.


Employment in the Information supersector was up slightly in October, adding 100 jobs (0.2 percent). It was the second consecutive month of growth for the troubled supersector. Annually Information employment was off by 290 jobs (0.6 percent) making it one of only two supersectors (Other Services) to shed jobs on the year.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was up by 400 jobs (0.2 percent) in October. Finance and Insurance added 600 jobs (0.4 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 200 (0.6 percent). Annually the supersector added 2,498 jobs (1.4 percent) with contributions from both major component sectors. Finance and Insurance added 1,568 jobs (1.1 percent) thanks primarily to Insurance Carriers and Related Activities (up 2,096, 3.4 percent). Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 930 jobs (2.7 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services was off by 700 (0.2 percent) in October. Two of three component sectors added jobs as Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services employment was up 500 (0.3 percent), and Management of Companies and Enterprises was up 900 (1.1 percent). However, those gains were erased by a loss of 2,100 jobs (1.5 percent) in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services. Annually the supersector added 3,705 jobs (1 percent). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 2,894 (1.8 percent), and Management of Companies and Enterprises added 1,826 (2.3 percent).

Educational and Health Services

The Educational and Health Services supersector’s employment growth was largely flat in October, up just 100 jobs (0.0 percent). Educational Services employment was off by 1,700 (2.5 percent), which almost completely offset the gain of 1,800 (0.4 percent) in Health Care and Social Assistance. Annually employment in Educational and Health Services was up by 2,780 (0.5 percent). Educational Services lost 947 jobs (1.4 percent) while Health Care and Social Assistance added 3,727 (0.8 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 2,500 jobs (0.9 percent) in October. That gain was driven almost entirely by an increase of 2,300 jobs (5.1 percent) in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. The much larger Accommodation and Food Services component sector added 200 jobs (0.1 percent). On the year Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 6,235 (2.3 percent). All of that gain came from Accommodation and Food Services (up 6,635 jobs or 3 percent).

Other Services

The Other Services supersector lost 800 jobs (0.7 percent) in October. It was the third consecutive month of over-the-month job losses for the supersector. Annually Other Services employment was off by 2,116 (1.8 percent), the largest proportional over-the-year drop of any supersector in the state. The decline was driven in large part by employment in Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations which was off by 1,734 (2.7 percent).


Government employers lost 500 jobs (0.1 percent) in October. All of that loss came from State Government (down 700 or 0.7 percent). The other two levels of government each added 100 jobs. Annually public sector employers added 3,107 jobs (0.7 percent). State and Local Government led the way, adding 1,835 jobs (1.7 percent) and 1,668 jobs (0.6 percent) respectively.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Oct-18 Sep-18 Aug-18
Total Nonfarm 2,978.1 2,974.7 2,974.2
Goods-Producing 458.2 456.7 457.4
Mining and Logging 6.2 6.4 6.4
Construction 127.0 125.5 125.1
Manufacturing 325.0 324.8 325.9
Service-Providing 2,519.9 2,518.0 2,516.8
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 544.6 543.8 543.4
Information 50.4 50.3 50.2
Financial Activities 181.9 181.5 180.6
Professional and Business Services 377.9 378.6 377.8
Educational and Health Services 540.8 540.7 540.6
Leisure and Hospitality 278.4 275.9 276.5
Other Services 114.7 115.5 116.9
Government 431.2 431.7 430.8
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2018.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, October 2017 to October 2018

*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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