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Jobs Bounce Back in May – After Weather-related Hiring Pause

6/25/2018 2:30:00 PM

Minnesota’s unemployment rate for May dropped to 3.1 percent, with the addition of 10,200 jobs.

With those gains, the state has added 29,188 jobs in the past year, a 1 percent growth rate.

Sector details:

  • Manufacturing gained 1,400 jobs in May. Minnesota’s over-the-month growth rate in manufacturing of 0.4% in May was again higher than the US average of 0.1%. Given revised April and preliminary May job numbers, 2018 bodes well for manufacturing. The past four months registered the longest streak of over-the-month gains since December 2014. Job gains were concentrated in Durable Goods manufacturing which gained 1,200 (+0.6%) over-the-month jobs, while Non-Durable Manufacturing gained 200 jobs (+0.2%).
  • Leisure and hospitality bounced back in May with a preliminary adjusted job gain of 2,200 over April (+0.8). However, the preliminary over-the-month loss of 3,600 (-1.3%) in April was further revised to a loss of 3,700 (-1.4%). All of the seasonally adjusted job gains over-the-month came from Accommodation and Food Services (+2,300); Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation lost 100 jobs.
  • Education and health services, usually a strong industry, has now shed jobs in each of the past five months, with the seasonally adjusted over-the-month losses of 600 jobs in May (-0.1%). Furthermore, the originally reported job loss of 200 (0.0%) in April was made worse by revision; revised numbers now show a loss of 900 jobs (-0.2%). All of the job loss was concentrated in Health Care and Social Assistance (-800 or -0.2%); Educational Services gained a small number of jobs (+200 or 0.3%).
  • Professional and Business Services posted a strong job gain of 2,700 seasonally adjusted jobs in May, for a growth rate of 0.7% – much higher than the 0.1% national growth rate.

Unofficial data from the Current Population Survey continue to show better employment conditions for Minnesota’s black population. In May, the 12-month average unemployment rate for blacks fell to 6.1% for yet another all-time low (going back to 2000). This is well below the 12-month average of the national black rate of 7.0%, but still more than double the 2.6% rate for Minnesota’s white population. Black labor force participation rate increased again to 73.6%, more than 2 percentage points higher than the 71.5% rate for whites.

The employment situation for Minnesota’s Hispanic population also continues to improve, with an unemployment rate of 4.4% and a participation rate of 75.7%.

Here are the numbers.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

All regions except Rochester registered unadjusted over-the-year growth:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.5 percent)
  • Duluth-Superior MSA (up 0.9 percent)
  • Rochester MSA (down 0.7 percent)
  • St. Cloud MSA (up 1.6 percent)
  • Mankato MSA (up 2.2 percent)

What’s Next for Southwest’s High School Graduates

By now, thousands of high school graduates have walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. In 2016, more than 4,225 students graduated from high schools in the 23-county Southwest Minnesota planning region, ready to take on the world.

What do these students do after graduating? Minnesota's Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System – SLEDS – provides some insight. In Southwest Minnesota, about 71 percent of last year's graduates enrolled in college in the fall, while 22 percent found jobs and started working.

Graduates in Southwest Minnesota were slightly more likely to attend college than students across the state, and therefore slightly less likely to immediately join the workforce. The mix of colleges Southwest grads attended was also slightly different: A higher percentage of local students attended public four-year state universities (30 percent vs. 28 percent) and three percent more attended college in other states (32 percent vs. 29 percent), mainly North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa.

These students may be responding to the educational requirements of employment opportunities in the region, which were more likely to require vocational training or an associate degree than jobs statewide. Southwest also had a lower percentage of jobs requiring a bachelor's degree or higher, although there were high levels of demand for jobs across the entire educational spectrum.

See the Southwest Region’s Local Look.

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