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Letter From the Editor

By Carol Walsh
June 2019

Our annual state-of-the-state issue of Trends provides an overview of the Minnesota economy and takes a close look at each of the state’s six planning regions. At the midway point of 2019, we’re seeing slowing job growth paired with demographic trends – retirements of baby boomers – that can no longer be ignored.

Last year, Minnesota’s 2.9 percent unemployment rate was the lowest since 1999 – and a cat’s whisker above the all-time low of 2.7 percent in 1998. In addition to record snowfall, February marked the first time annual total employment declined since July 2010.

Tight labor market conditions persist and as the state of the state writers indicate it will take a multi-pronged approach to address the shortage of workers. Higher wages, specialized training programs, and policy responses to break down barriers to education and employment for Minnesotans of color and other groups will help. But it may not be enough to ease the very tight labor market conditions.

This September, we will formally release results and narrative from the third round of the Hiring Difficulties Survey. But in this issue we offer a preview of what’s to come, including the specific occupations we’re focusing on.

The state of the state article ends with a forecast of what next year might hold for job growth in Minnesota.

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