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March 2017- Minnesota Economic Trends

Minnesota’s annual unemployment rate was below 4 percent in both 2015 and 2016, according to Dave Senf’s story in this issue of Trends. That is noteworthy because Minnesota has seen only four periods in the last 70 years when unemployment finished below 4 percent in successive years, with the longest unbroken string occurring from 1995 to 2001.

Alessia Leibert’s cover story in this issue looks at “stackable credentials” and examines, among other things, whether they lead to better employment outcomes. Depending on the field and job opportunities that are available, multiple post-secondary credentials can be a worthwhile investment.

Elsewhere, Ellen Bendewald and Scott Godfrey write about DEED’s first-of-its-kind look at workplace diversity in Minnesota. Chloe Campbell examines the growing home-based care industry, while Carrie Fink writes about the new Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative.

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

Letter from the Editor

Baby boomer retirements in the next 15 years combined with sluggish growth in the working-age population virtually guarantees tight labor markets in Minnesota. High demand for workers will likely to be the new normal for years to come.

Stackable Credentials: Myths and Reality

This story on stackable credentials has two goals. The first goal is to measure the extent of stacking in Minnesota. The second goal is to identify which credentials require additional higher education for their full market value to emerge.

Minnesota's Growing Home-Based Care Industry

Demand for home-based services that support older adults and people with disabilities is growing with the increasing needs of an aging population.

The New Normal

Slow workforce growth combined with modest job growth adds up to tight labor markets becoming the norm in Minnesota.

Workforce Diversity in Minnesota

DEED reached out to employers to better understand how they are approaching the issue of workforce diversity. The result was a first-of-its-kind look at workplace diversity in Minnesota.

Learning the Ropes

Participants in the new Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative will receive on-the-job training and classwork in high-growth occupations.

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