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Letter From the Editor

June 2015 - MN Economic Trends

Every issue of Trends is filled with data about the labor force and economy, but a particular statistic that caught my eye in this edition relates to the tightening market for workers in Minnesota. The ratio of job openings to job seekers is now at or near 1-to-1 in every region of the state.

That's either good news or bad news, depending on your perspective. For people looking for work, job opportunities are the best in years. For some employers, though, finding and keeping workers is becoming increasingly difficult. To attract high-quality candidates, some businesses might have to raise starting wages and offer other incentives.

It's a major shift from the height of the Great Recession, when the ratio of unemployed workers to job vacancies was as high as 12-to-1 in some parts of the state.

A tighter labor market is just one facet of the economy that DEED analysts examine in our annual state-of-the-state issue. In his excellent overview story that anchors this issue, DEED analyst Dave Senf looks at employment growth, unemployment rates, job vacancies, wage and salary trends, job growth projections and much more. Six other stories break down some of those same economic measures by region of the state.

The main takeaway from these stories is Minnesota's economy is doing well six years after the end of the recession. In some respects - such as the unemployment rate - the state ranks among the best in the country. But in other areas, including long-term unemployment and job quality, there's room for improvement.

So pull up a chair and get ready to learn something. This issue is chock full of information that will give you a better understanding of Minnesota's labor market and economy.

Monte Hanson

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