The headline number is 1,900 jobs lost in Minnesota in May. Here are six takeaways from the data.
1. Manufacturing hiring appears to have plateaued in the past 18 months.
Manufacturing employed 316,300 people in Minnesota in May, a number that’s been basically flat since the end of 2014. The weakness has been in durable goods manufacturing.
2. The private sector cooled off.
After adding a revised 14,400 jobs in April, the state’s private sector lost 4,600 jobs in May. The gain in April was the second largest since 1990, but the overall loss in employment in May would have been more stark had local and state government not added 2,400 jobs on the month.
3. Minnesota’s labor market is tight. The state has the highest employment to population and labor force participation rates in the country.
The state’s employment to population ratio — the share of the total population that has a job — slipped two-tenths of a percentage point to 68.3 percent, but it’s still ahead of second-place North Dakota. The labor force participation rate — the share of working-age people either working or looking for a job — slipped to 71 percent, ahead of second-place Washington D.C. “Our labor market conditions here are as tight as they are anywhere,” said Steve Hine, the state labor market analyst.
4. Private education and health care are driving Minnesota’s job growth.
The two sectors have added 19,200 jobs in the past 12 months, nearly two-thirds of the 30,300 seasonally-adjusted jobs added in the state over that period. “Private ed has persistently been up,” said Steve Hine, the state labor market analyst. The growth in health care jobs has been mostly in ambulatory health care services, which includes outpatient medical workers and home health aides.
5. Professional and technical workers remain in high demand.
The state has added 4,100 professional, scientific and technical jobs in the past 12 months. Those jobs include lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, software developers, consultants and many other professional types of work. Only construction, private education and health care have added more jobs in Minnesota over that period.
6. Take the monthly shifts with a grain of salt.
These monthly figures are subject to big revisions and in a state economy with 2.9 million jobs, a gain or loss of a few thousands jobs can easily be a rounding error.