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Industry Snapshots

by James Spector-Bishop
james.spector-bishop@state.mn.us
October 2019

Gasoline Stations (NAICS 447)

With the autumn upon us, many Minnesotans are taking the opportunity to get out and enjoy the last of the warm weather, and on their way they often stop at gas stations for fuel and food. The Census Bureau defines this as the industry that “retail(s) automotive fuels (e.g., gasoline, diesel fuel, gasohol, alternative fuels) and automotive oils or retail these products in combination with convenience store items. These establishments have specialized equipment for storing and dispensing automotive fuels.” So what’s been going on under the hood of this industry? With 25,917 gas station jobs, or 12.6 per establishment, gas stations account for a bit less than 1 percent of employment in Minnesota, as of the second quarter of 2019. All but six of the 2,064 gas stations in Minnesota are privately owned.

Of the two subsectors, Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores (44711) and Other Gasoline Stations (447190), Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores account for 93 percent of the employment and about 92 percent of establishments. This proportion has not changed significantly in the past year. Looking at the industry over time, as of the first quarter of this year, both employment and number of establishments have changed little from first quarter 2018. Since first quarter 2016, the number of establishments and jobs in this industry have increased by 2.7 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.

The average weekly wages for gas stations employees was $430 as of second quarter, 2019. While wages for employees in the gas station industry tend to spike every fourth quarter this did represent a 7.8 percent jump in wages from the first quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, this represents a 6.7 percent increase from the second quarter of 2018, which had an average weekly wage of $403 for gas station employees. Employees of Other Gasoline Stations had a higher average weekly wage ($550) than did employees of Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores.

Despite comprising a little less than 1 percent of employment in Minnesota in 2018 (about .9 percent), wages paid to employees in this industry totaled less than .15 percent of Minnesota’s GDP for 2018.

Key Statistics for Gasoline Stations

Sub-Industry

Second Quarter, 2019

Percent Change Since Second Quarter, 2016

Employment

Establishments

Average
Weekly Wages

Employment

Average
Weekly Wages

Total: Gasoline Stations

25,917

2,059

$430.00

4.1%

15.6%

Gasoline Stations with Convenience Stores

24,136

1,889

$421.00

4.5%

16.0%

Other Gasoline Stations

1,780

170

$550.00

-1.4%

12.9%


General Merchandise Stores (NAICS 452)

This is a subsector within Retail Trade (44-45) consisting of brick and mortar stores not specializing in any specific type of good and which instead sell a variety of things. These stores include Department Stores, Dollar Stores, General Stores, and more. This subsector is large yet low paying, with 1,083 establishments and 56,351 jobs, but with an average weekly wage of $498. General Merchandise Stores made up about 2 percent of all employment in Minnesota as of Q2 2019, and yet its wages account for only about 0.9 percent of Minnesota’s 2018 GDP. With a mean of 52 employees per location, stores in this industry tend to be very large. All establishments in this industry are privately owned.

This subsector is made up of two subindustries: Department Stores (4522) and General Merchandise Stores, including Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters (4523). According the Census Bureau, “This industry comprises establishments known as department stores that have separate departments for general lines of new merchandise, such as apparel, jewelry, home furnishings, and toys, with no one merchandise line predominating.” The other subindustry contains all stores which sell a variety of goods without separate departments for these good. Department stores tend to be much larger, with an average of 82 employees per establishment, compared to 43 per establishment in General Merchandise Stores (4523). Of the jobs in the General Merchandise Store subsector as of second quarter 2019, 35.6 percent are in Department Stores while the remaining 64.4 percent are in General Merchandise Stores, including Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters. Meanwhile, of the establishments in this subsector, these subindustries respectively comprise 22.6 percent and 77.4 percent of them. Average weekly wages of $453 in Department Stores are much lower than the average of $523 in other General Merchandise Stores.

Employment in the Minnesota General Merchandise Store subsector has shrunk by 3.8 percent since second quarter 2017, although the number of establishments has remained largely unchanged. The subsector appears to be shifting away from Department Stores and towards other General Merchandise Stores (4523). Department stores have declined significantly since 2017, with the number of employees and establishments decreasing by 14.2 percent and 14.9 percent respectively. This trend is reversed in General Merchandise Stores, including Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters which has seen its employment and number of establishments grow by 3.1 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

Key Statistics for General Merchandise Stores

Sub-Industry

Second Quarter, 2019

Percent Change Since Second Quarter, 2017

Employees

Establishments

Average
Weekly Wage

Employees

Establishments

Average
Weekly Wage

Total: General Merchandise Stores

56,351

1,083

$ 498.00

-3.8%

-0.6%

7.8%

Department Stores

20,076

245

$ 453.00

-14.2%

-14.9%

9.4%

General Merchandise Stores, including Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters

36,274

838

$ 523.00

3.1%

4.6%

5.9%


Health and Personal Care Stores (NAICS 446)

According to the Census Bureau, “Industries in the Health and Personal Care Stores subsector [sell] health and personal care merchandise from fixed point-of-sale locations. Establishments in this subsector are characterized principally by the products they retail, and some stores may have specialized staff trained in dealing with the products.” This mostly means pharmacies and stores that primarily sell glasses or cosmetics. As of second quarter 2019, Minnesota had 1,752 of these establishments, with 17,002 employees. Meanwhile, this subsector had an average weekly wage of $759, although this varies greatly between sub-industries. All establishments in this subsector are privately owned.

This subsector has four subindustries of which Pharmacies and Drug Stores (44611) is by far the largest, making up 67.4 percent of employment and 59.3 percent of establishments. Meanwhile, Optical Good Stores (44613) and Cosmetics, Beauty Supplies, and Perfume Stores (44612) are the smallest in terms of employees and establishments respectively. Pharmacies were the highest paying, with average weekly pay of $824, compared to $431 in cosmetics stores, the lowest paying.

Between the second quarters of 2016 and 2019, employment in this subsector decreased by 1.6 percent, while the number of establishments increased by 1.2 percent. Meanwhile, weekly wages have increased by $29 since 2016. This has affected different types of stores differently. Most dramatically, cosmetic store employment and establishments have increased by 34.5 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively, since 2016. Employment in Other Health and Personal Care Stores increased by 9.4 percent during this period of time. Meanwhile, employment in Pharmacies and Drug Stores and Optical Goods Stores decreased by 8.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. In general, the share of the industry made up by drug stores shrank by 4.7 percentage points, the share made up by cosmetics stores increased by 3.4 percentage points, and the shares made up by the other groups changed little. Weekly pay has increased for all subsectors, except for workers in cosmetics stores, where it has declined by $41 since 2016. Workers in Optical Goods Stores saw the largest weekly pay bump of $60.

Key Statistics for Health and Personal Care Stores

Sub-Industry

Second Quarter, 2019

Percent Change Since Second Quarter, 2016

Employment

Establishments

Average
Weekly
Wages

Employment

Establishments

Average
Weekly
Wages

Total: Health and Personal Care Stores

17,002

1,752

$759.00

1.6%

1.2%

4.0%

Pharmacies and Drug Stores

11,462

1,039

$824.00

-8.1%

1.6%

6.9%

Cosmetics, Beauty Supplies, and Perfume Stores

2,200

188

$431.00

34.5%

8.7%

-8.7%

Optical Goods Stores

1,187

201

$719.00

-2.2%

-9.5%

9.1%

Other Health and Personal Care

2,153

324

$770.00

9.4%

3.5%

6.1%


Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (NAICS 237)

Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction. Nowhere is this truer than in the Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction subsector, whose employment grows by almost 70 percent from the first to third quarters of each year. This is such a high degree of seasonality that it makes more sense to examine its annual figures than its quarterly ones. According to the Census Bureau, this subsector’s “primary activity is the construction of entire engineering projects (ex: highways and dams), and specialty trade contractors, who [produce the] components for such projects.” Overall, Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction is a small yet diverse subsector. Of its average 23,061 jobs and 1,250 establishments in 2018, about 31 percent and 16 percent respectively are in the public sector, with an average weekly wage of $1,481.

Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction has four subindustries, within which, Utility System Construction (2371) has three sub subindustries. All 7,121 government employed workers in this subsector work in the largest subindustry, Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction (2373), which made up about 61 percent of the entire subsector for 2018. It has the largest range of wages, with average weekly pay in private establishments of $1,779, and average weekly pay of $1,233 in public establishments. These are the highest and lowest weekly wages for any ownership type for any subindustry in this subsector.

Since 2016 total employment has remained flat while the number of establishments has grown by 3.8 percent. The public/private shares of employment in this subsector have remained mostly constant. Wage growth has been discouraging, with average weekly pay increasing by 4.6 percent in 2016-2017, and only 1.4 percent in 2017-2018, below the 2018 inflation rate. These trends vary greatly across subindustries. Average weekly wages grew by 24.4 percent for employees in Land Subdivision between 2016-2018, while they decreased by 6.6 percent for workers in Oil and Gas Pipeline and Related Structures Construction (23712). Meanwhile, employment in Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction (23713) increased by 24.3 percent over this timespan while decreasing by 14.2 percent for Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (2379).

Key Statistics for Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

Sub-Industry

Second Quarter, 2019

Percent Change Since Second Quarter, 2016

Employment

Establishments

Average
Weekly Wages

Employment

Establishments

Average
Weekly
Wages

Total: Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

25,448

1,305

$1,405.00

3.3%

8.3%

7.6%

Utility System Construction

8,195

499

$1,430.00

7.1%

13.2%

10.6%

Water and Sewer and Related Structures Construction

3,047

244

$1,411.00

-9.5%

0.8%

13.8%

Oil and Gas Pipeline and Related Structures Construction

1,733

50

$1,526.00

15.6%

42.9%

-3.6%

Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction

3,415

205

$1,399.00

22.5%

25.0%

16.6%

Land Subdivision

279

63

$1,473.00

1.5%

-6.0%

12.5%

Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction

15,858

497

$1,391.00

2.6%

2.7%

5.3%

Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

1,115

246

$1,407.00

-10.9%

15.5%

16.7%

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