Like a lot of industries these days, the trucking and transportation sector is thinking about its future workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the United States is 55. Who exactly is going to fill those and other driving jobs when baby boomers start turning in their ignition keys in the next few years?
Minnesota employment rebounded with solid growth in March after a slow start to the year that might have been related to the state’s worst winter in three decades.
With the recovery in full swing, Minnesotans are heading off to work each day in record numbers. Minnesota’s nonfarm wage and salary employment reached a record high last year and was just 5,200 workers short of crossing the 3 million mark in February.
There are many ways to measure the economic success of a state, from looking at the unemployment rate to tracking job creation and measuring the value of goods and services produced. Another indicator is the number of business expansions over the past year. If 2013 is any indication, then Minnesota’s economy is on a hot streak.
Despite one of the coldest Januaries in recent memory, Minnesota employers continued to add jobs during the month.
DEED released figures this morning that showed the state gained 600 jobs in January – the sixth consecutive month of job growth in Minnesota. Total employment in the state is now over 2.8 million for the first time in history.
Water technology is big business in Minnesota, accounting for more than $729 million in foreign sales alone in 2012. Minnesota is among the top 10 exporters nationally of water and wastewater treatment technology, and the industry employs nearly 15,500 people in the state, including engineers, hydrologists and conservation scientists.
Manufacturers throughout the state are struggling to fill openings, according to the latest round of DEED’s Minnesota Hiring Difficulties Survey. Based on a survey of manufacturers last spring, two-thirds of the industry’s job openings in Minnesota were classified as hard to fill.
Along with the housing industry, kitchen cabinet manufacturing in central Minnesota is simmering again. Jobs in the 13-county region jumped 27.4 percent from 2010 to 2012, which was more than five times as fast as the state as a whole, which gained 4.8 percent.
Today’s sold out Minnesota Construction Industry Conference in Bloomington is an opportunity for industry professionals to network and to learn more about new state programs, services, and regulations and rules.
The conference also offers a chance for the industry to take stock of where it’s been and where it’s headed.
Last August, Minnesota achieved a milestone when DEED announced the state had recovered all the jobs that were lost in the recession. But not all cities in the state have fared the same in the recovery, with some still struggling to bring job totals back to pre-recessionary levels.