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Industrial Analysis


By Nick Dobbins
November 2020

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


Employment was up by 13,200 jobs (0.5%) in October, on a seasonally adjusted basis. While monthly growth has remained firmly positive in every month since April’s steep decline, the rate seems to be decreasing after peaking at 74,700 in June. The state added 16,000 jobs in September, and 38,900 in August. Private sector employers added 12,900 jobs (0.5%) while Government employers added 300 (0.1%).

Over the year, Minnesota lost 187,897 jobs (6.2%). This was an improvement over September’s 6.8% decline, as the state continued shrinking it’s over-the-year (OTY) job losses in every month since the initial drop in April. We remained slightly behind the national levels, where employment was down 6% on the year.

Mining and Logging

Employment in Mining and Logging was up by 200 (3.6%) in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, following growth of 1.9% in September. Over the year (OTY), the supersector lost 1,041 jobs (15.3%), which was slightly worse than September’s 14.8% OTY decline.


Construction employment was up by 1,700 (1.4%) in October. It was the third consecutive month of better than 1% growth for the supersector. On an annual basis, Construction employers lost 7,075 jobs (5%). This was a one-point improvement over September’s 6% OTY decline. Specialty Trade Contractors posted the largest loss, off by 6%, or 5,380 jobs.


Manufacturing employment was up by 2,400 jobs (0.8%) in October. Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing led the growth with 2,300 new jobs (up 2%). Durable Goods Manufacturers added 100 jobs (0.1%). On an annual basis, the supersector lost 14,043 jobs (4.3%) with declines in both component sectors. Durable Goods was down 12,387 (5.9%), including a loss of 2,482 jobs in Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (down 5.6%). Non-Durable Goods was down 1.4%, or 1,656 jobs, despite the gain of 1,613 jobs (3.3%) in Food Manufacturing, the only published component.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up by 4,600 (0.9%) in October. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities drove the growth, adding 3,200 jobs (3.1%), while Wholesale Trade added 1,600 jobs (1.3%). Retail Trade employers lost 200 jobs (0.1%). Over the year, the supersector lost 6,119 jobs (1.2%). In an inverse of the monthly estimates, Wholesale Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities both lost jobs (down 4,509 or 3.5%, and 4,229 or 3.8%, respectively). Retail Trade added jobs on the year, up 2,619 (0.9 percent). While it was one of few major sectors to post annual growth, this was a slight decrease from September’s 1.5% OTY growth.


Information employment was down by 1,200 (2.9%) in October. This was the largest monthly decline of any supersector in Minnesota. Over the year, Information employers shed 6,345 jobs (13.8%).

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was up by 300 (0.2%) in October. The addition of 400 jobs (0.3%) in Finance and Insurance was tempered with the loss of 100 jobs (0.3%) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. Annually, the supersector lost 4,506 jobs (2.3%). Most of those lost jobs came from Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which was down by 4,236 (12%) from October of 2019. Finance and Insurance, the other component sector, lost 270 jobs (0.2 percent) over the same period.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services lost 3,100 jobs (0.8%) in October. The decline came entirely in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, which was down by 4,300 (3.2%). This was likely at least partially a correction due to shifting seasonality, as the sector was up by 3.6% in September. Over the year, Professional and Business Services lost 10,517 jobs (2.7%).

Educational and Health Services

Education and Health Services employment was up by 1,900 (0.4%) in October. The growth came entirely in Educational Services, which added 2,500 jobs (3.9%) after losing 0.5% in September, likely a sign of some later-than-usual hiring for the new school year. Health Care and Social Assistance lost 600 jobs (0.1%). On an annual basis, the supersector lost 32,449 jobs (5.8%). Educational Services was off by 9.1% (6,843 jobs). Health Care and Social Assistance was down 5.3% (25,606 jobs) over the year, with the largest declines coming from Offices of Dentists (down 7.5%, or 1,254 jobs) and Social Assistance (down 7.3%, or 7,299 jobs).

Leisure and Hospitality

Employment in Leisure and Hospitality was up by 3,900 (1.9%) in October, with Accommodation and Food Services up 3,800 jobs (2.1%) and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation up 100 (0.4%). The supersector has posted seasonally adjusted growth in every month since April. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality employers lost 67,143 jobs, or 24.5%, which remained the largest proportional OTY decline of any supersector in the state. It did post marginal improvement from September, when the OTY decline was 25.3%. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation was down by 18,214 (39.5%) and Accommodation and Food Services was down 48,929 (21.4%).

Other Services

Other Services employment was up by 2,200 (2.2%) in October, after remaining flat in September. Over the year, Other Services lost 9,015 jobs (7.9%). The supersector has shown strong recovery in recent months, after being down 28.1% in April, 13.3% in July, and 10.6% in September.


Government employment was up slightly in October, adding 300 jobs (0.1%). Growth at the Local Government level (up 2,700, or 1%) was tempered by losses at the State and Federal levels (down 800 or 0.8%, and 1,600 or 4.5%, respectively). Over the year, Government employers lost 29,644 jobs (6.8%). Employment was down by 7.8% at both the State and Local levels (8,171 and 23,237 jobs, respectively). Federal employment, likely buoyed by Census activities, was up 1,764 (5.4%).

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