The Minnesota job market looks as if it will remain stuck in reverse for at least another year.
After losing 19,000 jobs in the past 12 months, nearly 30,000 more are expected to vanish by late 2009, according to the latest short-term employment forecast by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Security (DEED).
Among the 92 industries included in the employment projections, job losers outnumber gainers by 3-1. Almost three quarters of the industries, from manufacturing to construction to temp agencies, are expected to shed jobs.
"It would suggest a job loss in the same ballpark of what occurred in the 2001 recession," said Steve Hine, DEED labor market information director. "This doesn't factor in the fact that jobs may be lost beyond the third quarter of 2009," he said.
To put the 30,000 job loss figure in perspective: The state labor market must create about 30,000 additional jobs every year to keep pace with the growth of the working-age population.
If the job losses are as great as forecast, over the next year the number of additional people looking for jobs will reach 60,000 -- the equivalent of the population of Burnsville.
"In terms of our unemployment rate, we have seen some dramatic increases in the number of unemployed," Hine said. "We're already seeing labor market conditions that may get difficult for those people who are seeking out jobs."
September's tally of Minnesotans unemployed came to 168,559, up more than 35,000 from a year earlier. The number includes not only the 19,000 people who lost jobs over the year, but also those looking for work for the first time, or people who have resumed looking after being out of a job for a longer period.
Nearly three people were looking for work for every job vacancy in Minnesota at the end of June, the last time this reading was taken.
The new forecast, released Tuesday, compares average state employment in the third quarter 2008 with projections for third quarter 2009.
"Between third quarter 2008 and third quarter 2009, we'll [go] down 29,632 jobs," said David Senf, DEED labor market analyst and author of the forecast. "That would be a 1.1 percent reduction in wage/salary jobs."
That's far from the worst the state has seen. In the 1982 recession and its aftermath, Minnesota's job force shrank by 6 percent. But in the current forecast, the impact of a likely recession will be far greater for some industries than for others.
Manufacturing can brace for another 10,051 jobs to disappear, the equivalent of 3 percent of average employment in the industry in the third quarter 2008. The loss projection for construction jobs is 5,090, or 4 percent.
Another big employer, business services -- dominated by temp agencies -- is expected to drop 6,650 jobs, or 2 percent. A fall in employment at those agencies suggests companies are reluctant to add even short-term workers to their payrolls.
Such losses more than offset expansions in other industries. For instance, health and education services are expected to add 4,868 jobs, a 1.1 percent rise. Health care and social assistance is predicted to hire 4,931 workers, or an addition of 1.1 percent.
Mike Meyers • 612-673-1746