Minority employment in Minnesota has grown nearly four times that of total hiring, since the end of the 2008-2009 recession.
Total employment increased by 272,728 jobs, or 10.8 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to U.S. census figures analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Meanwhile, minority employment increased by 110,119 jobs, or 41.2 percent.
“It’s pretty remarkable,” said Timothy O’Neill, a labor market analyst with the state. “It’s eye-opening to see how these industries [have diversified]. With tight labor market conditions, employers are…are looking at nontraditional populations.”
Economists long predicted that expansion of the state’s economy, coupled with retirement of mostly white baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 would lead to labor shortages, without broader participation of minorities, including immigrants.
“These populations are growing more rapidly than the white population,” said O’Neill.
Gains are being made in higher-value occupations, beyond food service, nursing attendants and other jobs that often are entry points for entry-level workers who tend to be disproportionately people of color.
“The nonprofit-business trainers, the state and employer training programs are starting to pay off,” O’Neill said. “There has been increased emphasis to guide populations of color to post [high school] education and training, complete with pathways to excellent jobs in health care, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.”
The figures reveal significant employment growth in categories such as:
• Health care and social assistance, including nonprofit businesses. Employment increased by 66,615 jobs, or 16.3 percent. White employment grew by 36,735, or 10.5 percent. Minority employment grew by 29,880 jobs, or 49.6 percent between 2010 and 2016.
• Professional, scientific, and technical jobs; an increase of 32,084 jobs, or 25.5 percent; minority employment grew by 8,430 jobs, or 72.7 percent.
• Manufacturing total employment increased by 26,934 jobs, or 9.1 percent. Minority employment grew by 12,348 jobs or 36.7 percent.