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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
October 2017

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


Minnesota added 6,400 jobs (0.2 percent) in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. The monthly growth erased all of August's 5,800 job decline. The monthly increase was concentrated among service providing industries, as Goods Producers shed 200 jobs. Private Service Providers added 4,900 jobs (0.2 percent) while public sector employers added 1,700 (0.4 percent), concentrated primarily at the Local Government level. Annually Minnesota employers added 41,259 jobs (1.4 percent). This represented another decline in over-the-year growth from August's 51,150 jobs increase, and the third consecutive month of shrinking over-the-year growth after reaching our post-recession peak of 2.8 percent annual growth in June. September's annual growth was split among industry groups, as Goods Producers added 9,909 jobs (2.2 percent), and Service Providers added 31,350 (1.3 percent). Private sector employers added 37,897 jobs, and Government employers added 3,362 (0.8 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was up in September as the industry group added 200 jobs (2.9 percent). This was the first time the growth came on the heels of three consecutive months of static employment. It also represents the highest seasonally adjusted employment level for the supersector since the spring if 2015. Over the year, Mining and Logging employers added 619 jobs (9.3 percent). While remaining high, the over-the-year growth rate continued its gradual decrease as we put more distance between present levels and the industry group's recent low point in early 2016.


Employment in Construction was off slightly in September, losing 400 jobs (0.3 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the third straight month of over-the-month declines for the supersector, and six of nine months in 2017 have shown job losses. Annually, however, the supersector added 6,239 jobs (4.9 percent). The growth continued to come from the Specialty Trade Contractors component sector, which added 6,016 jobs (7.5 percent) thanks in large part to the addition of 4,298 jobs (12.4 percent) among Building Equipment Contractors. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction added 430 jobs (2.1 percent), and Construction of Buildings was off by 207 jobs (0.8 percent).


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was flat in September at 321,000 jobs. Durable Goods Manufacturers added 600 jobs (0.3 percent) while Non-Durable Goods lost the same amount (down 0.5 percent) Manufacturers have not lost employment since May's 600 job decline. Annually the supersector continued to add employment, up 3,051 (1 percent) over September of 2016. Durable Goods Manufacturers added 1,817 jobs with small amounts of growth among multiple component sectors including Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturing, which added 388 jobs (2.4 percent). Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing employment also grew, up 1,234 (1.1 percent) over September of 2016.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up slightly in September, adding 600 jobs (0.1 percent) on the month. Wholesale Trade experienced strong growth, adding 2,300 jobs (1.7 percent), but many of those jobs were given back in the other two component sectors as Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 1,600 jobs (1.5 percent), and Retail Trade lost 100 (0.0 percent). Annually the supersector added 4,156 jobs (0.8 percent) with growth in all three component sectors. Wholesale Trade added 1,358 jobs (1 percent) which was the fastest over-the-year growth of the three as Durable Goods Wholesalers added 1,621 (2.5 percent) while their counterpart in Nondurable Goods lost 1,171 jobs (2.7 percent). Retail Trade added the most jobs, up 2,935 or 1 percent, with the growth spread among multiple component industry groups.


Employment in the Information supersector was off by 1,700 (3.3 percent) in September. It was the largest seasonally adjusted over-the-month decrease in the supersector since 1996. Annually Information employment was off by 1,340 (2.6 percent). It was the second month of over-the-year losses in the supersector, after a string of seven month of over-the-year growth. Both published component sectors lost jobs, with Publishing Industries (except Internet) getting the larger part of the losses, off by 838 (4.4 percent) on the year.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employers added 700 jobs (0.4 percent) in September. Finance and Insurance added 1,100 (0.8 percent), but the other half of the supersector, Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, lost 400 (1.2 percent). Annually Financial Activities employment was up slightly, adding 425 jobs (0.2 percent). As was the case over the month, the two component sectors were moving in different directions. Finance and Insurance continued its nearly three-year streak of over-the-year growth, adding 2,402 jobs (1.7 percent), but was dragged down by its counterpart in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which lost 1,977 jobs (5.7 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment was up by 3,600 (1 percent) in September. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services led the way, adding 5,100 jobs or 3.7 percent. The other two component sectors lost jobs, with Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services off by 1,300 (0.8 percent) and Management of Companies and Enterprises down 200 (0.2 percent). Annually the supersector added 2,886 jobs (0.8 percent). Management of Companies and Enterprises was up 2,705 (3.5 percent). Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 3,561 jobs (2.5 percent) on the back of a recently resurgent Employment Services sector, which was up 3,350 (5.3 percent) on the year. That marked five straight months of over-the-year growth for the sector, after it had struggled with over-the-year losses for most of the previous year.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services employment was up by 2,000 (0.4 percent) in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. Educational Services added 500 jobs (0.8 percent), and Health Care and Social Assistance added 1,500 (0.3 percent). Annually the supersector added 15,511 (3 percent) as it remained one of the most consistent areas of employment growth in Minnesota. Educational Services employment actually declined over the year for the second straight month, off by 3,128 (4.5 percent) from September 2016. However, Health Care and Social assistance continued its strong expansion, adding 18,639 jobs (4.1 percent). The component sector has maintained annual employment growth of over 3 percent consistently since November of 2016.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employers lost 1,700 jobs (0.6 percent) in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. That decline compounded an already bad August estimate to bring the supersector to a total loss of 7,300 jobs over the previous two months. However, the supersector gained 8,200 jobs in the two months prior to that, suggesting that the recent dramatic movement may have more to do with shifting seasonality than with changes to the overall employment level in Leisure and Hospitality. Annually the supersector added 2,104 jobs (0.8 percent). Accommodation and Food Services added 5,023 jobs (2.2 percent), entirely thanks to growth in food services, but Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation employment was down 2,919 (6.3 percent) over-the-year.

Other Services

Other Services employers added 1,400 jobs (1.2 percent) in September, making back all of the 800 lost jobs from August and then some. Annually the supersector added 4,246 jobs (3.6 percent). Repair and Maintenance employers added 1,233 jobs (5.6 percent), and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations added 2,566 (4 percent).


Government employers added 1,700 jobs (0.4 percent) in September. Most of this came from Local Government, which added a seasonally-adjusted 1,800 jobs (0.6 percent). Federal employment also grew by 0.6 percent (200 jobs). Annually Government employers added 3,362 jobs (0.8 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)

Industry September 2017 August 2017 July 2017
Total Nonfarm 2,955.3 2,948.9 2,954.7
Goods-Producing 449.4 449.6 449.1
Mining and Logging 7.1 6.9 6.9
Construction 121.3 121.7 122.1
Manufacturing 321.0 321.0 320.1
Service-Providing 2,505.9 2,499.3 2,505.6
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 539.0 538.4 535.8
Information 49.7 51.4 50.9
Financial Activities 176.3 175.6 175.3
Professional and Business Services 380.5 376.9 375.4
Educational and Health Services 542.6 540.6 546.2
Leisure and Hospitality 266.7 268.4 274.0
Other Services 120.5 119.1 119.9
Government 430.6 428.9 428.1
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2017.

bar graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, September 2016 to September 2017

*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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