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Industrial Analysis

By Nick Dobbins
October 2020

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


Employment was up by 14,800 jobs (0.5%) in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. Private sector employment was up 21,000 (0.9%) while public sector employment fell 6,200 jobs (1.5%), with losses at all three levels of government. Over the year the state lost 203,521 jobs or 6.8%. This was an improvement over August's 7.3% decline. Goods producers lost 25,991 jobs (5.5%) while service providers, who have borne the brunt of the fallout from the COVID pandemic, lost 177,530 jobs (7%).

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was up by 100 (0.9%) in September, the second consecutive month of seasonally-adjusted growth for the supersector. Over the year mining and logging lost 1,037 jobs (15.2%). This was a slight improvement over August's 17.2% decline. Employment in the supersector has been gradually improving every month since the large May decrease.


Employment in Construction was up by 900 (0.7%) in September, which followed an increase of 2,000 jobs in August. In spite of the seasonally adjusted increase Construction employers lost 9,431 jobs (6.7%) on an annual basis. This was actually worse than August's 5.6% over-the-year job loss, bucking the overall trend of improvement in recent months. The decline was likely due at least in part to a stronger September than usual in 2019. The largest 2020 over-the-year decline came in Construction of Buildings which was off by 8.9%. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction was down by just 3.8%.


Manufacturing employment was up by 2,400 (0.8%) in September. Both component sectors added 1,200 jobs, which equaled a 0.6% increase in Durable Goods Manufacturing and a 1.1% increase in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing. The supersector has seen seasonally adjusted increases in every month since May. Over the year Manufacturing employers lost 15,523 jobs (4.8%), an improvement over August's 5.5% over-the-year job loss. Most of September's decline came in Durable Goods Manufacturing, down 12,885 (6.2%). Non-Durable Goods manufacturers lost 2,638 jobs (2.3%). Food Manufacturing, a large component of Non-Durable Goods, added 413 jobs (0.9%) over the year, making it one of few major component sectors to show positive annual growth.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 1,900 (0.4%) in September. Retail Trade contributed most of those jobs, up 1,200 or 0.4%, although all three component sectors had positive growth. On an annual basis Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was down by 7,835 or 1.5%. Wholesale Trade lost 6,105 jobs (4.7%), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 6,759 (6.1%), while Retail Trade added 4,939 jobs (1.7%), putting it among the rare few major component sectors with positive annual growth.


Information employment was up by 1,000 (2.5%) in September. It was the first seasonally adjusted positive growth in the supersector since June's 1,200 job increase. Over-the-year employment growth remained strongly negative, however, off by 6,271 or 13.4%, the third worst over-the-year rate of any supersector in the state after Leisure and Hospitality and Mining and Logging.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was up by 1,500 (0.8%) in September. Most of that growth came in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which was up 1,400 (4.7%) while Finance and Insurance added 100 jobs (0.1%). Over the year the supersector lost 4,953 jobs (2.6%). Most of those declines came in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which was off by 4,135 (11.6%). Finance and Insurance was off by 818 jobs or 0.5%.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services added 5,600 jobs (1.5%) in September. Administrative and Support Services added 5,200 jobs (4%), and Management of Companies added 1,500 (1.8%), while Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services lost 1,100 jobs (0.7%). Over the year the supersector lost 9,765 jobs (2.5%). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Service lost 7,499 jobs (4.7%), and Management of Companies lost 2,227 jobs (2.5%). Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services lost just 39 jobs (0%). The relatively strong performance was thanks to an increase of 1,379 jobs (2.3%) in the bellwether Employment Services component sector.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services added 6,100 jobs (1.2%) on the month, with the addition of 6,600 jobs (1.5%) in Health Care and Social Assistance overcoming the loss of 500 jobs (0.8%) in Educational Services. Over the year the supersector lost 33,999 jobs (6.2%). Health Care and Social Assistance lost 24,100 jobs (5%), and Educational Services lost 9,899 jobs (13.7%). This was significantly worse than the 6.3% loss in Educational Services in August. The difference was likely caused in large part by schools opening with lower levels of employment than in the fall of 2019 and is also reflected in public education sectors.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 1,600 (0.8%) in September. Accommodation and Food Service added 1,900 jobs (1.1%) while Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation lost 300 jobs (1%). Over the year the supersector lost 71,594 jobs (25.4%). It was the largest over-the-year job loss of any supersector in the state, which has been the case since the initial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation employment was down 19,454 (39.7%), and Accommodation and Food Services was down 52,140 (22.4%).

Other Services

Other Services employment was down by 100 (0.1%) in September. This marked the end of four consecutive months of seasonally adjusted growth in the supersector, which may signal a slowing of the industry group's recovery. Over the year Other Services employers shed 12,165 jobs (10.7%). Most of that decline came in Personal and Laundry Services, the sector that includes barber shops, salons, and other personal care services, which lost 10,352 jobs (36.2%). Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations lost 2,112 jobs (3.4%) while Repair and Maintenance added 299 jobs (1.3%).


Government employment was off by 6,200 jobs (1.5%) in September, with declines in all three component sectors. Local Government lost 3,700 jobs (1.4%) and State Government lost 2,000 (2.1%). Over the year, Government employment was down 30,948 (7.3%). This was notably worse than August's 5.9% over-the-year loss, with worsening situations in State Government Education (down 10.6% from 6.6% in August) and Local Government Non-Education (down 11.3% from 8.1% in August).

Minnesota Employment Growth by Sector, October 2019 to October 2020

Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (in Thousands)
Industry Oct-20 Sep-20 Aug-20
Total Nonfarm 2,793.4 2,780.2 2,764.2
Goods-Producing 439.8 435.5 430.6
Mining and Logging 5.7 5.5 5.4
Construction 123.7 122 120.1
Manufacturing 310.4 308 305.1
Service-Providing 2,353.6 2,344.7 2,333.6
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 522 517.4 516.5
Information 39.7 40.9 40
Financial Activities 187.3 187 186
Professional and Business Services 370.8 373.9 368.3
Educational and Health Services 523 521.1 514.8
Leisure and Hospitality 208.9 205 202.7
Other Services 104 101.8 101.8
Government 397.9 397.6 403.5
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2020.
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