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      Minnesota Workforce: Quality and Employment Data

      Posted on August 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM


      According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota workforce is 2.8 million strong as of July 2013. held a career fair in November 2012 where community members were able to have their personal resumes critiqued to better prepare them for the job search (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DEED Facebook page).

      Employers relocating to Minnesota often tell DEED’s Business and Community Development representatives that the quality of the workforce is one of the driving factors. But what does quality mean?

      Does equality equate with educational attainment? Labor force participation rate? The hard-to quantify — yet frequently heard – tireless work ethic? Rate of absenteeism? The quality of the workforce likely means different things to different employers.

      Some look to the state’s labor market participation rate as an indicator that Minnesotans are hard working. We know Minnesota’s labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of the population age 16 and older that is employed or actively looking for work, is 70.3 percent, the third-highest labor force participation rate nationwide. The U.S rate is 63.7 percent.

      The labor force participation rate for men in Minnesota is 75.8 percent, the fifth-highest in the country. The labor force participation rate for women in Minnesota is 65.0 percent, also the fifth-highest nationwide.

      If you want to know what industries hard-working Minnesotans work in, the Labor Force Information office has several sources of data on employment. Current Employment Statistics – CES – offers employment, average production worker wages, and weekly hours by industry and Metropolitan Statistical Area. (The industry employment data is current, but some groups of workers are excluded, and data is not available for small, local areas.)

      Here are some numbers you can source by tapping into the CES:

      • The Minnesota workforce is 2.8 million strong (July 2013).

      • Mining and logging employed 7,923 workers. Mining and logging has experienced some growth but nothing that could be considered robust.

      • Construction — which can be affected by unseasonable weather as was the case this year — employed 109,614.

      • Manufacturing, the only sector which lost jobs over the last year, employed 308,128 workers. Across the state, manufacturing accounts for between 8 percent and 34 percent of total employment, depending upon the region. Most manufacturing jobs are concentrated in computer and electronic products; food manufacturing; fabricated metal products; and machinery.

      • Financial Activities counted 181,453 employees on the payrolls. Employment is increasing in this category.

      • Educational and Health, accounting for 481,264 workers, has grown during the last six to seven months.

      • Leisure and Hospitality, also vulnerable to seasonality and weather, had 272,648 employees. Many Minnesota youth find their first jobs in Leisure and Hospitality establishments.

      This blog was originally posted on the Minnesota DEED website