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Minnesota has most fourth-quarter job openings in nine years

Minnesota employers reported nearly 60,400 job vacancies in the fourth quarter last year — the most job openings in the state during a fourth quarter in nine years, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The agency said job vacancies in Minnesota were up 2.6 percent from the same period a year ago. Statewide, there were 2.1 unemployed people for each vacancy, compared with 2.6 unemployed people per vacancy in the 2012 fourth quarter.

“While there are still hardworking Minnesotans looking for employment, our data suggest the labor market is coming back into alignment in the wake of the recession,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben, in a news release. “Increased job vacancies are a sign that the economy is growing and companies are looking for skilled workers.”

According to the study, 33,160 vacancies (54.9 percent of the total) were in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, while the remaining 27,240 vacancies were in Greater Minnesota. Compared with a year ago, job vacancies were up 11.3 percent in Greater Minnesota and down 3.6 percent in the Twin Cities.

Health care and social assistance had the most job vacancies (20.1 percent of the total), followed by retail trade (14.6 percent), manufacturing (10.9 percent), accommodation and food services (8.9 percent) and construction (6 percent).

Middle-sized firms (businesses with 10 to 249 employees) accounted for 64.5 percent of the vacancies, while large firms (250 or more employees) had 22.8 percent of the vacancies and small firms (fewer than 10 employees) had 12.7 percent of the vacancies.

Among other findings of the study:

1. Thirty-nine percent of the vacancies were for part-time jobs (defined as fewer than 35 hours a week).

2. Fourteen percent of the vacancies were for temporary or seasonal work.

3. Thirty-eight percent of the vacancies required at least some post-secondary education or training beyond high school.

4. Fifty-three percent of the vacancies required one or more years of work experience.

5. The median (50th percentile) wage offer for all job vacancies was $13 an hour.

6. Fifty-six percent of the vacancies offered health insurance.

DEED conducts its Job Vacancy Survey in the second and fourth quarters each year to gauge hiring demand and to determine job vacancy characteristics by industry, occupation and firm size in Minnesota.

More details are available on the DEED website.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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