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June 2017 - Minnesota Economic Trends

Our annual state-of-the-state issue of Trends provides an overview of the state economy and examines how Minnesota’s six major regions are doing midway through 2017. If there is a common theme, it is this: With baby boomers aging out of the workforce in high numbers, employers are struggling to find replacements. Job vacancies are at or near record highs in every area of the state.

Labor shortage aside, the overall economic outlook in Minnesota remains positive heading into the second half of the year. The state is keeping pace with the country in job growth, manufacturing hours are climbing, home building permits are at their highest level in more than a decade and initial claims for unemployment benefits are at record lows.

Download the full pdf file or select the links below to view individual stories.

Letter from the Editor

In a recent story about Utah’s economy, the New York Times concluded that the biggest economic concern in the state is no longer a lack of jobs, but a lack of workers. The newspaper easily could have been writing about Minnesota.

State of the State 2017

With the recovery now eight years old, the Minnesota economy appears to be at or near full employment.

Minnesota's Untapped Workforce

Blind, DeafBlind and low-vision Minnesotans can help the state address its growing labor challenges.

Record Job Openings, Abundant Opportunities

With employers struggling to fill more openings, wage offers have increased in almost every occupational group in the region.

Part-Time Recovery

Fifty-six percent of the region’s job openings last year were for part-time positions.

Tight Labor Market Tests Employers

Job vacancies in Central Minnesota were nearly 60 percent higher than average last year.

Employers Get Creative

A tight labor market means businesses are increasing wages, offering sign-on bonuses, reimbursing tuition and lowering hiring requirements to attract workers.

Job Seekers in the Driver's Seat

With thousands of jobs unfilled, the region might be the canary in the coal mine of what other Minnesota regions could experience in the coming years.

Healthy Demand for Workers

Southeast Minnesota had 8,350 job vacancies in the fourth quarter last year, returning to a level last seen in the early 2000s.

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