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Industrial Analysis

by Nick Dobbins
September 2019

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


Minnesota employers added 1,100 jobs (0.0 percent) in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same number of jobs the state lost in July. August’s gain was concentrated among private-sector service providers (up by 1,700 or 0.1 percent) as public sector employment was flat, and goods producers lost 600 jobs (0.1 percent). On the year the state added 11,812 jobs (0.4 percent) with growth split between goods producers (up 5,485 or 1.2 percent) and service providers (up 6,327 or 0.3 percent). Since briefly dipping into slightly negative over-the-year job growth in February, the state has rebounded with six consecutive months of positive over-the-year growth.

Mining and Logging

Mining and Logging employment was static in August, remaining at 6,800 jobs. That marked six consecutive months of stable employment in the supersector, with the only variance in 2019 coming in February when employment briefly dropped to 6,700. Annually the Mining and Logging supersector added 179 jobs (2.5 percent). Over-the-year growth has remained above 2 percent in every month since March’s -0.1 percent mark.


Employers in the Construction industry added 100 jobs (0.1 percent) in August. This represented the fourth consecutive month of seasonally-adjusted growth in the supersector, suggesting a strong summer for Minnesota builders. Annually Construction employers added 7,600 jobs (5.5 percent), the largest proportional growth rate of any supersector. Specialty Trade Contractors led the way, adding 8,193 jobs (9.4 percent). Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction was down by 1,131 (5.4 percent) on the year.


Manufacturers lost 700 jobs (0.2 percent) in August with all of those losses coming in Durable Goods Manufacturing. Employment growth in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing was flat, marking the first time since February the sector didn’t lose jobs over the month. Annually Manufacturing employment was off by 2,294 (0.7 percent), with both major component sectors shedding jobs. Durable Goods was off by 1,000 (0.5 percent), and Non-Durable Goods was off by 1,294 (1.1 percent).

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities

Employment in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities was down 500 (0.1 percent) in August. Wholesale Trade lost 800 jobs (0.6 percent), and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities lost 200 (0.2 percent). Retail Trade added 500 jobs (0.2 percent). All three components lost jobs on the year, leading to a decline of 2,996 (0.6 percent) in the supersector. Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities saw the steepest drop, off by 1.2 percent or 1,213 jobs.


The Information supersector added 800 jobs (1.7 percent) in August. That is the largest adjusted over-the-month job growth for the supersector since before the recession and may be the result of an as-yet-unidentified seasonal variance. On the year the supersector lost 2,270 jobs (4.6 percent). Information employment growth in Minnesota has been consistently negative for over two years.

Financial Activities

Employment in Financial Activities was up by 1,100 (0.6 percent) on the month. Finance and Insurance housed all of the growth, gaining 0.7 percent while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment remained flat. Over the year Financial Activities employment was up by 1,386 (0.7 percent). Finance and Insurance was up 2,272 (1.5 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing employment was down by 886 (2.4 percent).

Professional and Business Services

Professional and Business Services lost 1,200 jobs (0.3 percent) in August. Employment was off by 0.6 percent in both Management of Companies and Enterprises (-500) and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (-800). On the year Professional and Business Services lost 1,811 jobs (0.5 percent), in spite of the addition of 4,233 jobs (2.6 percent) in the largest component sector, Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. The loss was primarily caused by the continued declines in Employment Services which was off by 9,967 jobs (17 percent), a new post-recession worst for the industry.

Educational and Health Services

Employment in Educational and Health Services was off by 1,800 (0.3 percent) in August. Educational Services employment was down by 500 (0.7 percent), and Health Care and Social Assistance was down by 1,300 (0.3 percent). Over the year Educational and Health Services employment was down by 1,271 (0.2 percent). Educational Services added 2,831 (4.8 percent), while the larger Health Care and Social Assistance sector lost 4,102 (0.9 percent) thanks to declines of 2,468 (2.3 percent) in Nursing and Residential Care Facilities and 2,701 (2.8 percent) in Social Assistance.

Leisure and Hospitality

Leisure and Hospitality led all supersectors in seasonally adjusted growth, adding 2,700 jobs (1 percent) on the month. Both components contributed as Arts, Entertainment and Recreation added 1,500 jobs (3.4 percent), and Accommodation and Food Services added 1,200 (0.5 percent). Prior to August estimates the supersector had lost 2,700 jobs since March. Leisure and Hospitality employers added 13,097 jobs (4.5 percent) on the year. That is the largest real over-the-year job growth, and the second-strongest proportional growth for any supersector in the state after Construction. Accommodation and Food Services drove the annual growth, adding 11,836 jobs or 4.9 percent, with most of that coming from the food services component.

Other Services

Other Services employment was up by 600 (0.5 percent) in August after losing 1,300 jobs in the prior month. On the year the supersector lost 676 jobs (0.6 percent). All of that loss came in Personal and Laundry Services (down 1,146 or 4 percent) as both Repair and Maintenance (up 356, 1.6 percent) and Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations (114, 0.2 percent) added jobs on the year.


Government employment was flat in August as the addition of 400 jobs (1.2 percent) at the Federal level was erased by equivalent combined losses at the State and Local levels. Annually public sector employment was up by 868 jobs (0.2 percent) as Federal employers added 730 jobs (2.3 percent), and State employers added 382 (0.4 percent).

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment (in thousands)
Industry Aug-19 Jul-19 Jun-19
Total Nonfarm 2,963.7 2,962.6 2,963.7
Goods-Producing 457.7 458.3 457.2
Mining and Logging 6.8 6.8 6.8
Construction 130.6 130.5 129.5
Manufacturing 320.3 321.0 320.9
Service-Providing 2,506.0 2,504.3 2,506.5
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities 532.3 532.8 532.7
Information 47.8 47.0 47.1
Financial Activities 186.6 185.5 185.5
Professional and Business Services 376.5 377.7 378.0
Educational and Health Services 541.8 543.6 543.3
Leisure and Hospitality 280.4 277.7 278.9
Other Services 114.3 113.7 115.0
Government 426.3 426.3 426.0
Source: Department of Employment and Economic Development, Current Employment Statistics, 2019.

graph- Minnesota Employment Growth, August 2018 to August 2019

*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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