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January Job Numbers: A Call to Action

3/13/2018 12:00:00 PM

Minnesota’s unemployment rate for January is at a steady 3.3 percent, and rates and levels of unemployment are at 18-year lows.

However, annual revisions to estimates released previously and the January numbers tell another piece of the story. Minnesota gained 30,606 jobs from December 2016 to December 2017; 44,200 jobs were originally estimated. The job growth rate during that period was revised downward from 1.5 percent to 1.1 percent.

Minnesota continues to have tight labor markets and an aging population. These revised numbers, which are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, present a more realistic picture of what we can expect in the future.

To meet the challenges ahead, DEED has a role in

  • Reducing barriers to workforce entry, especially among diverse and growing populations, through programs such as Pathways to Prosperity and the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative;
  • Training and retraining for workers needing in-demand skill sets; and
  • Improved information on educational credentials required for occupations of the future.

Read the numbers.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

All regions gained jobs in the past 12 months:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 0.7 percent)
  • Duluth-Superior MSA (up 1.3 percent)
  • Rochester MSA (up 0.3 percent)
  • Cloud MSA (up 0.2 percent)
  • Mankato MSA (up 2.9 percent)

Minnesota Exports

Minnesota companies exported $5.3 billion worth of agricultural, mining and manufactured products in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. For the year, Minnesota exports increased almost 8 percent from 2016 to $20.6 billion, while U.S. exports grew almost 7 percent. The full 2017 fourth quarter export report is available at DEED export and trade statistics.

Did You Know?

Minnesota took the second spot overall in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the best states. Minnesota was especially strong in quality of life (second), opportunity (third), infrastructure (sixth) and health care (seventh). The Midwest is competitive: Iowa finished first, North Dakota fourth and Nebraska seventh.

Economic Status

A report from the Minnesota State Demographic Center describes the economic status of Minnesotans and the 17 largest cultural groups in the state – including data on employment, hours worked, income, education, and more.


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