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State job vacancies climb to 114,000 in fourth quarter 2017

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota employers reported nearly 114,000 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 16 percent from the same period one year earlier, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic D...

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ST. PAUL - Minnesota employers reported nearly 114,000 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 16 percent from the same period one year earlier, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

DEED's biannual Job Vacancy Survey found that the state had 0.8 unemployed people for every job vacancy. The job vacancy rate was 4.2 percent, meaning there were 4.2 openings for every 100 jobs in the state. In the 2016 fourth quarter survey, the statewide job vacancy rate was 3.6 percent.

"These figures indicate that both the economy and hiring demand are strong statewide," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy, in a news release. "This tight labor market underscores the importance of investing in DEED's and other training programs, specifically for Minnesotans with barriers to employment, and deploying strategies to help employers find the talent they need."

The seven-county Twin Cities metro had 68,854 job vacancies (60.5 percent of the statewide total), while Greater Minnesota had 44,919 job vacancies. Job vacancies in the Twin Cities were up 19.3 percent from the same quarter one year ago, while job vacancies in Greater Minnesota were up 13.3 percent.

The Twin Cities had 0.6 unemployed people for every vacancy, while in Greater Minnesota the ratio of unemployed people to vacancies was 1 to 1.

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Statewide, the health care and social assistance industry accounted for 22.6 percent of the vacancies, followed by retail trade (17.4 percent), accommodation and food services (13.9 percent), manufacturing (8.9 percent) and administration and waste services (4.5 percent).

The occupations with the most job vacancies were retail salespeople, with 8,278 vacancies, followed by personal care aides with 6,640 vacancies and food preparation and serving with 3,251 vacancies.

By size, firms with one to nine employees had the highest job vacancy rate at 6.4 percent (6.4 openings per 100 jobs). Firms with 10 to 49 employees had a job vacancy rate of 6.1 percent, while firms with 250 or more employees had a vacancy rate of 2.1 percent.

The following were other findings of the study:

1. Forty-one percent of job vacancies were for part-time employment. Part-time is defined as fewer than 35 hours per week.

2. Nine percent of job vacancies were for temporary or seasonal work.

3. Thirty-two percent of vacancies required some level of postsecondary education or training beyond a high school diploma.

4. Forty-six percent of job vacancies required one or more years of work experience.

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5. The median (50th percentile) wage offer for all job vacancies was $14.34 per hour. Wage offers are highly correlated with experience and education requirements. On average, the more education and/or experience required, the higher the wage offer.

6. Fifty-five percent of vacancies offered health insurance. Health care benefits are far less common for part-time job vacancies than for full-time job vacancies.

Go to the DEED website for more details on the fourth quarter 2017 https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/job-vacancy/

DEED conducts the 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.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the https://mn.gov/deed/ .

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