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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
September 2018

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


Employment in Minnesota was mostly flat in August as employers shed 200 jobs (0.0 percent) on a seasonally adjusted basis. The slight decline came on the heels of three consecutive months of large increases, as the state had added 31,700 jobs from May through July. August's slight decline came from the private sector, which lost 1,200 jobs (0.0 percent) as public sector employers added 1,000 (0.2 percent). Goods Producers added 800 jobs (0.2 percent), and Service Providers lost 1,000 (0.0 percent). Over the year state employers added 50,904 jobs (1.7 percent), a slight decline from July's 2 percent over-the-year growth. The private sector added 46,001 jobs (1.8 percent) while the public sector chipped in 4,903 (1.2 percent). Employment in Goods Production grew by 14,272 (3.1 percent), and Service Providers added 31,729 (1.5 percent).

Mining and Logging

Employment in the Mining and Logging supersector was flat in August as employers held at 6,400 seasonally adjusted jobs. The stability in the supersector was present over the year as well, as Mining and Logging employers added eight total jobs (0.1 percent) from August of 2017, which was down from July's 24-job over-the-year increase.


The Construction supersector added 1,700 jobs (1.4 percent) in August. In a month of relatively stagnant seasonally adjusted growth, this represented the largest movement, positive or negative, of any supersector in the state both in real and proportional terms. It was also the fifth consecutive month of over-the-month job growth for the supersector. Annually Construction employers added 6,825 jobs (5.1 percent), with growth in all three published component sectors. Construction of Buildings added 925 jobs (3.3 percent), and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction added 436 (2.2 percent). Specialty Trade Contractors led the way, adding 5,464 jobs (6.4 percent).


Employment in the Manufacturing supersector was off by 900 jobs (0.3 percent) in August. Both component sectors showed negative seasonally adjusted growth as Durable Goods Manufacturing was off by 400 (0.2 percent), and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing was down 500 (0.4 percent). Over the year, Manufacturing employers added 7,439 jobs (2.3 percent). Both component sectors grew at roughly the same rate as Durable Goods was up by 4,600, and Non-Durable was up by 2,779 (both 2.3 percent). Food Manufacturing led the Non-Durable segment, adding 1,744 jobs (3.5 percent) while Animal Slaughtering and Processing lost 393 jobs (2.3 percent). The only published sector within the Durable Goods segment to lose jobs was Transportation Equipment Manufacturing, which was off by 170 (1.6 percent) on the year.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was off by 600 (0.1 percent) in August. The Retail Trade sector lost 600 jobs (0.1 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 200 (0.2 percent), while Wholesale Trade employers added 200 jobs (0.1 percent). It was the first time that Trade, Transportation, and Utilities had lost jobs since April. Annually the supersector added 8,328 jobs (1.5 percent). Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities led the way, adding 3,261 jobs (3.1 percent). Wholesale Trade employers added 2,966 jobs (2.2 percent), and Retail Trade employers added 2,101 (0.7 percent).


Employment in the Information supersector was down by 200 (0.4 percent) in August, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The loss came on the heels of two consecutive months of growth. Annually Information employers lost 724 jobs (1.4 percent). Publishing lost 604 jobs (3.1 percent), and Telecommunications lost 334 (2.5 percent), which denotes some growth in the remainder of the component industries which are unpublished.

Financial Activities

Financial Activities employment was down by 200 (0.1 percent) in August. Finance and Insurance employers added 200 jobs (0.1 percent), but that was offset by a loss of 400 (1.1 percent) in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. Annually the Financial Activities supersector lost 278 jobs (0.2 percent). Finance and Insurance lost 211 jobs (0.1 percent) although that minor movement belies the more dramatic shifts that happened in its components, as a gain of 1,073 (1.7 percent) in Insurance Carriers and Related Activities was erased by a loss of 1,587 (2.5 percent) in Credit Intermediation and Related Activities. Real Estate and Rental and Leasing lost 67 jobs (0.2 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Employment in Professional and Business Services was down 200 (0.1 percent) in August. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services drove the decline, losing 700 jobs (0.5 percent) while Management of Companies and Enterprises added 600 (0.7 percent). Annually the supersector added 5,607 jobs (1.5 percent). Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services added 2,791 (1.7 percent), Management of Companies and Enterprises added 1,754 (2.2 percent), and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services added 1,062 (0.8 percent). The component Employment Services sector, which is sometimes seen as a bellwether of the broader labor market, added 2,383 jobs (4.1 percent) on the year.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in the Educational and Health Services supersector was down by 1,000 (0.2 percent) in August. Both component sectors lost 500 jobs, with Educational Services dropping 0.7 percent and Health Care and Social Assistance falling 0.1 percent. On an annual basis the supersector added 8,024 jobs (1.5 percent). Educational Services led the way, adding 4,209 jobs (7.3 percent), while Health Care and Social Assistance added 3,815 (0.8 percent).

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality employment was up by 400 (0.1 percent) in August on a seasonally adjusted basis. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 300 jobs (0.7 percent), and Accommodation and Food Services added 100 (0.0 percent). On the year the supersector added 11,802 jobs (4.1 percent). Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation added 2,566 jobs (4.9 percent) while Accommodation and Food Services added 9,236 (3.9 percent).

Other Services

The Other Services supersector lost 200 jobs (0.2 percent) in August. However, July's 0.2 percent decline was revised upward to a 0.2 percent increase, which means that August's decline broke a string of five consecutive months of over-the-month growth in the supersector. Annually Other Services lost 1,030 jobs (0.9 percent). Repair and Maintenance employers lost 233 jobs (1.1 percent), and Religions, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations lost 665 (1 percent).


Government employers added 1,000 jobs (0.2 percent) in August. State and Local governments expanded (up 700 or 0.7 percent and 500 or 0.2 percent, respectively). Federal government employment declined by 200 (0.6 percent). Annually Government employment was up by 4,903 (1.2 percent). As in the monthly estimates, Federal employers shed jobs (off 204 or 0.6 percent) while the State and Local levels saw annual growth (up 2,722 or 3 percent and 2,385 or 0.9 percent, respectively).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Aug-18 Jul-18 Jun-18
Total Nonfarm 2,976.5 2,976.7 2,965.6
Goods-Producing excl. Ag. 458.0 457.2 455.5
Mining and Logging 6.4 6.4 6.5
Construction 125.5 123.8 123.3
Manufacturing 326.1 327.0 325.7
Service-Providing 2,518.5 2,519.5 2,510.1
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 543.4 544.0 541.7
Information 50.5 50.7 50.4
Financial Activities 180.3 180.5 180.5
Professional and Business Services 378.3 378.5 376.7
Educational and Health Services 540.9 541.9 538.3
Leisure and Hospitality 277.6 277.2 278.6
Other Services 116.9 117.1 116.9
Government 430.6 429.6 427.0
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2018.

graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, August 2017 to August 2018

*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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