skip to content
Primary navigation

Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
September 2016

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


Minnesota lost 1,500 jobs (0.1 percent) in August on a seasonally adjusted basis. The losses came from Goods Producers, who shed 2,900 jobs (0.7 percent), while Service-Providing industries added 1,400 (0.1 percent). Private sector employment dipped by 2,100 jobs (0.1 percent), while Government employers added 600 jobs (0.1 percent). Over the year Minnesota added 40,629 jobs (1.4 percent). Service-Providing industries were responsible for the lion’s share of this growth as they added 37,200 jobs (1.5 percent) over August of 2015. Goods Producers chipped in with 3,429 jobs of their own, an increase of 0.7 percent. Both public and private-sector employers grew their employment as well, with government employers adding 327 jobs (0.1 percent) and private sector employers adding 40,302 (1.6 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was static for the third month in a row, holding steady at a seasonally adjusted 5,600 jobs. Over the year the supersector lost 1,147 jobs (15.9 percent). While that represents nine straight months with over-the-year job loss of greater than 10 percent, it is also the first time since February that this number has dipped below 20 percent, which coincides with the fact that the supersector first started its current slide in August of 2015.


Employment in the Construction supersector dipped by 1,900 jobs (1.6 percent) on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August. This was the single largest decline, both numerically and proportionally, for any single supersector in Minnesota. Annually, the Construction supersector added 5,087 jobs (3.8 percent). Job growth was present in all three published component sectors, though most prevalent in Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (up 2,566 or 12.2 percent), and Specialty Trade Contractors (up 2,410 or 2.9 percent). The third major component sector, Construction of Buildings, grew by 111 jobs (0.4 percent) on the year.


Manufacturers lost 1,000 jobs (0.3 percent) in August. Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 300 jobs (0.2 percent), and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturers lost 700 (0.6 percent). While Durable Goods Manufacturers had lost jobs for three of the previous four months, this was the first over-the-month job loss in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing since April. The weak monthly performance was enough to push Manufacturing employment back into the red on an over-the-year basis as well, as the supersector lost 511 jobs (0.2 percent) since August of 2015. The loss was driven by the shedding of 2,221 jobs (1.1 percent) in Durable Goods Manufacturing, which has seen declines spread across its various component sectors. Non-Durable Goods employment remained strong, adding 1,710 jobs (1.5 percent) on the year on the strength of Food Manufacturing employment, up by 2,140 (4.5 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was up by 2,300 (0.4 percent) in August. This represented the largest numerical gain of any supersector in the state for the month. Gains in Retail Trade (up 2,300 or 0.8 percent) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (up 1,100 or 1.1 percent) were somewhat offset by a loss of 1,100 jobs (0.8 percent) in Wholesale Trade. Annually, the supersector added 5,677 jobs (1.1 percent). Mirroring the monthly movement, a loss in Wholesale Trade (down 2,332 jobs or 1.7 percent) somewhat muted the gains in the other two component sectors. Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities added 4,005 jobs (4.2 percent), with all of those gains coming from Transportation and Warehousing (up 4,084, 4.9 percent). Retail Trade added 4,004 jobs (1.3 percent), with gains in Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers, Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers, and other component sectors offsetting losses in General Merchandise Stores and Miscellaneous Store Retailers.


The Information supersector added 500 jobs (1.0 percent) in August. That marked three consecutive months of seasonally adjusted job gains for the struggling industry group, which has seen generally declining employment estimates since 2001. Annually, employment in the Information supersector remained down, off by 2,174 (4.1 percent) from August of 2015. The last time the supersector saw any over-the-year job gain was a three month span from January to March of 2013.

Financial Activities

The Financial Activities supersector lost 700 jobs (0.4 percent) in August. The losses were split between component sectors, with Finance and Insurance losing 300 jobs (0.2 percent) and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing losing 400 (1 percent). Over the year the supersector added 1,728 jobs (0.9 percent). Most of that gain came from Finance and Insurance, which added 1,618 jobs (1.1 percent) on the strength of 1,494 jobs from Insurance Carriers and Related Activities. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 110 jobs or 0.3 percent.

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services employment dipped slightly in August, off by 200 jobs (0.1 percent) on a seasonally-adjusted basis. A gain of 700 jobs (0.5 percent) in Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services was erased by losses of 700 (0.5 percent) in Management of Companies and Enterprises and 500 (0.3 percent) in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Annually, the supersector added 1,217 jobs (0.3 percent). Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services lost 1,642 jobs (1.2 percent), primarily from a loss of 1,652 (2.7 percent) in Employment Services. However, those losses were balanced by gains of 1,788 (1.2 percent) in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services and 1,071 (1.4 percent) in Management of Companies and Enterprises.

Educational and Health Services

Educational and Health Services added 700 jobs (0.1 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in August. Health Care and Social Assistance added 1,000 jobs (0.2 percent), while Educational Services lost 300 (0.4 percent). Annually, the supersector added 21,590 jobs (4.3 percent), which was by far the most new jobs of any supersector over that time period. The overwhelming majority of those jobs came in Health Care and Social Assistance which grew by 19,407 (4.3 percent), while Educational Services added 2,183 jobs (3.6 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality lost 700 jobs (0.3 percent) in August, following two consecutive months of solid growth. The losses all came in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (down 700 or 1.7 percent) as employment in Accommodation and Food Services held at 223,400. Annually, the supersector added 9,039 jobs (3.3 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 1,453 jobs (3 percent), while Accommodation and Food Services added 7,586 (3.3 percent).

Other Services

Employment in Other Services was down by 1,100 jobs (0.9 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis in August. Over the year the supersector lost 204 jobs (0.2 percent). The losses came from Repair and Maintenance (down 327 or 1.5 percent) and Personal and Laundry Services (down 364, 1.3 percent), as Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations added 487 jobs (0.8 percent).


Government employment was up by 600 (0.1 percent) in August on a seasonally adjusted basis. Most of that gain came in State Government (up 1,800 or 1.8 percent), as Federal employers added 100 jobs and Local employers lost 1,300. Annually, Government employers added 327 jobs (0.1 percent), returning to the black after two months of over-the-year job losses.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Aug-16 Jul-16 Jun-16
Total Nonfarm 2,901.4 2,902.9 2,891.8
Goods-Producing 441.4 444.3 444.4
Mining and Logging 5.6 5.6 5.6
Construction 119.7 121.6 121.1
Manufacturing 316.1 317.1 317.7
Service-Providing 2,460.0 2,458.6 2,447.4
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 532.2 529.9 528.0
Information 51.0 50.5 50.1
Financial Activities 183.6 184.3 183.9
Professional and Business Services 357.2 357.4 356.3
Educational and Health 533.1 532.4 530.3
Leisure and Hospitality 265.1 265.8 263.3
Other Services 115.3 116.4 114.5
Government 422.5 421.9 421.0
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2016.

bar graph-Minnesota Employment Growth, August 2015 to August 2016

*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.

back to top