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Regional Analysis


By Nick Dobbins
August 2020

Monthly analysis is based on unadjusted employment data.

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA added 26,757 jobs (1.4%) in August, before seasonal adjustment. The increase was in line with Minnesota’s statewide 1.4% growth. Almost every supersector added jobs on the month, with the lone exception being Information, which shed one job (0.0%). Compared to recent months, previous over-the-month growth for most supersectors was more restrained. Leisure and Hospitality once again had the highest over-the-month growth, but the increase of 4.6% (6,909 jobs) in the supersector was significantly less than July’s 12.2% increase, which might suggest that the rapid recoveries of previous months may be giving way to slower, more incremental growth in the supersector.

Over the year, metro area employment was down by 152,256 (7.4%), an improvement over July’s 8.7% decrease. Every published supersector in the area lost jobs on the year, with the largest declines once again coming in Leisure and Hospitality (down 22.8% or 46,421 jobs). Information (down 13.4%) and Mining, Logging, and Construction (down 11.5%) also had large proportional job losses. The best over-the-year performance came in Professional and Business Services, which was off by 3.2% (10,830 jobs). Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services, which is home to the Employment Services industry, actually added employment on the year, up by 142 jobs or 0.1%.

Duluth-Superior MSA

The Duluth-Superior MSA added 1,403 jobs (1.1%) on the month in August, slightly lower than the state’s 1.4% growth. Leisure and Hospitality, which was up 3.7% statewide, only saw growth of 0.6% (68 jobs) in the Duluth area. The largest real and proportional over-the-month growth in the area came in Government, which added 718 jobs (3.4%) as Local Government added 612 jobs (4.7%) and Federal Government added 276 (15.5%), much of which was likely temporary employment related to the ongoing Census.

Annually the Duluth area lost 11,112 jobs (8.2%). It was the worst over-the-year job growth of any MSA in the state. Every supersector lost jobs on the year, with the sharpest real and proportional declines coming in the hard-hit Leisure and Hospitality (down 5,401 jobs or 32.9%). The region’s vital Mining, Logging, and Construction supersector was off by 1,220 jobs (11.9%), which was markedly worse than the state’s 6.5% decline, likely owing to the recent downturn experienced in mining employment, which is concentrated in the area. Professional and Business Services had the best over-the-year performance, down by 83 jobs or 1.1%.

Rochester MSA

The Rochester MSA added 1,763 jobs (1.5%) in August. Despite being just slightly better than the statewide growth of 1.4%, it was the strongest proportional over-the-month job growth of any MSA in the state. All but two supersectors added jobs on the month, with Educational and Health Services posting the strongest real growth (up 1,063 or 2.3%) and Leisure and Hospitality posting the strongest proportional growth (2.4% or 217 jobs).

Over the year the Rochester area lost 8,272 jobs (6.6%), which was slightly better than the statewide decline of 7.3%. Leisure and Hospitality was down 2,847 jobs (23.4%), Educational and Health Services lost 4,168 jobs (8%), and Information was down 297 jobs (20.4%). Three supersectors posted positive over-the-year growth. Trade, Transportation and Utilities was up 239 jobs (1.4%), Manufacturing was up 113 (1%), and Mining, Logging, and Construction was up 69 (1.2%).

St. Cloud MSA

The Saint Cloud MSA added 452 jobs (3.1%) in August. The gains were driven by Government employment, which had the largest real and proportional growth of any supersector (up 219 jobs or 1.7%) thanks to an increase of 147 (6.2%) in Federal Government employment. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 145 jobs (0.6%), driven primarily by the addition of 164 jobs (1.1%) in Retail Trade.

Over the year the area lost 3,443 jobs or 3.1%. It was the best over-the-year growth of any supersector that is primarily in Minnesota, the Fargo-Moorhead MSA losing just 2.6%. Multiple supersectors in the area showed notable positive job growth on the year, led by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, which was up by 1,244 (5.5%) on the strength of a 10.6% over-the-year increase in Retail Trade. Mining, Logging, and Construction added 152 jobs (1.9%), and Educational and Health Services added 259 (1.3%).

Mankato-North Mankato MSA

The Mankato-North Mankato MSA lost 188 jobs (0.3%) in August. It was the largest job loss of any MSA in the state, and the only MSA primarily in Minnesota to show negative job growth, Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, which is primarily in North Dakota, also losing jobs). The decline in Mankato came entirely from the private sector (down 318 or 0.7%) as public sector employers added 130 jobs (1.4%). Service providers were off by 177 (0.4%) while goods producers lost 11 jobs (0.1%).

Over the year the Mankato-North Mankato MSA lost 2,063 jobs (3.6%). Losses in the private sector (down 2,781 or 5.7%) erased smaller gains in the public sector (up 718 or 8.5%).

Fargo-Moorhead MSA

The Fargo-Moorhead MSA added 817 jobs (0.6%) in August. Leisure and Hospitality employment was up 572 or 4.6%. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities employment was up by 430 (1.5%) entirely caused by an increase of 528 (10.7%) in Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities.

Over the year the Fargo-Moorhead area lost 3,787 jobs (2.6%). It was the strongest over-the-year performance of any MSA in the state, at least in part from North Dakota’s more lenient COVID-19 precautions. Leisure and Hospitality employers lost 1,541 jobs (10.5%).

Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA

The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA lost 73 jobs (0.1%) in August. Government employers lost 390 (3.7%), with State Government (down 598 or 11.1%) driving the decrease. The largest increase came in Manufacturing, up 323 (6.7%).

Over the year the MSA lost 2,431 jobs (4.6%). Manufacturing was up by 542 (11.7%), and Other Services, which includes salons and other personal care services, was up by 3% (59 jobs) over August of 2019.


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