By Nick Dobbins
Monthly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA added 6,958 jobs (0.4 percent) on an unadjusted basis in September. This was the smallest over-the-month increase since the dramatic job losses in April, suggesting that recovery from the initial COVID-19-related declines may be tapering off. Government employment had the largest gains, up 10,257 or 4.7 percent, thanks to growth in education-related component sectors as schools across the area began fall classes. Local Government Education added 13,470 jobs or 19.9 percent, and State Government Education added 4,330 or 14.9 percent. The next-largest supersector growth came in Health Care and Educational Services, which was up 6,407 jobs (2 percent), largely on the back of Educational Services (up 4,322 or 1.5 percent). The largest declines in September came in Leisure and Hospitality, which was off by 5,108 jobs or 3.2 percent. Declines of this magnitude are common for the supersector in the fall, as colder weather and the start of the school year tends to drive down employment in Leisure and Hospitality and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation.
Over the year the metro area lost 136,525 jobs (6.7 percent). This was an improvement over August’s 7.5 percent over-the-year job loss. As has been the case since the initial declines in the spring and will likely continue into the immediate future, Leisure and Hospitality had the largest real and proportional job losses, off by 42,643 jobs or 21.9 percent. Mining, Logging, and Construction had the second-largest proportional decline, off by 12.3 percent (11,672 jobs) on the year. The decline was likely caused in part by some unseasonable weather in September, which tends to hit construction related industries especially hard. Specialty Trade Contractors lost 5,717 jobs (9.1 percent) on the month. The best over-the-year performance in the area came in Professional and Business Services, which was off by 6,511 jobs (2 percent). The Employment Services component actually added jobs on the year, up 1,842 or 3.6 percent, which helped boost the industry group’s overall performance.
The Duluth-Superior MSA added 879 jobs (0.7 percent) in September. This was the best proportional over-the-month growth of any MSA primarily in Minnesota, tied with Mankato-North Mankato and behind both MSAs shared with North Dakota. Educational and Health Services added 833 jobs or 2.7 percent, the largest real and proportional gain of any supersector in the area. Government employers added 525 jobs, or 2.4 percent, with most of that growth coming at the State Government level. The largest real and proportional decline came in Leisure and Hospitality, which was off by 220 jobs or 2 percent. On an annual basis the MSA lost 11,862 jobs or 8.6 percent. This was the worst over-the-year performance of any MSA in the state. Every published supersector lost jobs over the year, with the biggest declines coming in Leisure and Hospitality (down 4,463 or 29 percent), Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 1,144 or 11.3 percent) and Government (down 2,653 or 10.5 percent). The best performance came in Professional and Business Services, which lost 150 jobs or 2 percent, which roughly matched the statewide growth in that industry.
The Rochester MSA lost 1,046 jobs or 0.9 percent in September. It was the only MSA in the state to post negative job growth on the month. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was down 339 (1.9 percent) with the loss of 356 jobs (2.9 percent) in Retail Trade. Leisure and Hospitality lost 164 jobs (1.8 percent) and Manufacturing lost 136 jobs (1.2 percent). The only supersector to add jobs in September was Other Services, which was up 15 or 0.4 percent.
Over the year the Rochester MSA lost 7,296 jobs (5.9 percent), outperforming the state’s 6.8 percent over-the-year decline. Three supersectors showed positive growth on the year, led by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, which was up by 275 (1.6 percent) on the strength of 444 added jobs in Retail Trade. Manufacturing added 134 jobs (1.2 percent), and Mining, Logging, and Construction added 37 (0.7 percent). Leisure and Hospitality lost 2,414 jobs or 20.8 percent in the Rochester area.
St. Cloud MSA
The St. Cloud MSA added 76 jobs (0.1 percent) in September, keeping the same pace as the state overall on the month. Government employers had the largest real and proportional monthly growth, up by 645 or 4.8 percent with growth at the State and Local levels. The largest declines came in Leisure and Hospitality, which shed 216 jobs or 3.3 percent. Over the year the St. Cloud area lost 4,105 jobs or 3.7 percent. This was the best over-the-year job performance of any MSA primarily in Minnesota. Fargo-Moorhead, which is primarily in North Dakota, posted better over-the-year growth. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was especially strong, adding 1,515 jobs (6.7 percent) on the year.
Mankato-North Mankato MSA
The Mankato-North Mankato MSA added 296 jobs (0.7 percent) in September, which was tied for the best over-the-month growth in an MSA primarily in Minnesota. Service providers added 490 jobs (1.1 percent), overcoming the loss of 94 jobs (0.9 percent) among goods producers. On the year the MSA lost 2,904 jobs (4.9 percent). Goods producers lost 168 jobs (1.5 percent) while service providers lost 2,736 (5.7 percent).
The Fargo-Moorhead MSA added 2,789 jobs (2 percent) in September. The growth was largely driven by Government employers, which added 3,135 jobs (18.8 percent). This was dramatically different than Minnesota’s statewide growth of 3.4 percent among Government employers. Over the year the Fargo-Moorhead area lost 4,019 jobs (2.7 percent). This was the best over-the-year growth of any MSA in Minnesota. Leisure and Hospitality had the largest losses, down 1,648 jobs or 11.2 percent. The biggest real and proportional growth came in Professional and Business Services, which was up by 348 or 2.4 percent.
Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA
The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA added 1,570 jobs (3.1 percent) in September. This was the best over-the-month growth rate of any MSA in the state. Government employers added 1,741 jobs (17 percent), the largest real and proportional growth of any supersector in the area. Leisure and Hospitality lost 325 jobs (6.1 percent). Annually, the area lost 3,095 jobs (5.6 percent). Leisure and Hospitality lost 880 jobs (14.9 percent), and Government employers lost 1,581 jobs (11.6 percent).