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Evolving Workforce in Northwestern Minnesota

9/14/2018 12:00:00 PM

While labor shortages have been getting a lot of attention lately, northwestern Minnesota continues to add workers, especially people of color.

People of color account for 40 percent of the region’s workforce growth since 2000, according to a story by Chet Bodin in Trends magazine. Three of the five largest racial groups in the area each added more than 1,500 people to the workforce during that period, including African Americans, (up 1,500), American Indian and Alaska natives (up 2,088) and people identifying as two or more races (up 1,647).

People of color are finding work in a variety of occupations, including fields with a high number of job vacancies. In particular, service-related and production, transportation and material moving occupations stand out. Almost 50 percent of people of color in northwestern Minnesota have jobs in one of these categories.

In addition, 19.2 percent of people of color work in management, business, science and arts, which are positions that often require leadership skills and post-secondary education. Workers in these occupations are highly needed in the region.

People of color are a vital part of the economy in northwestern Minnesota, and the region has plenty of opportunities for additional workers to move there and earn a sustainable living. Many regional job vacancies offer wages that meet or exceed what single people and families need to cover the basic cost of living.

To learn more about the region’s evolving workforce, read Northwest Labor Force Increasingly has a Diverse Look in the latest issue of Trends.

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