Minnesota experiences record-high job vacancy rate

Minnesota DEED reports an all-time high job vacancy rates from its second quarter 2019 employment review.

Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released September’s employment review on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The data indicates job vacancies in Minnesota have hit an all-time high.

Employers in Minnesota have reported 146,513 job vacancies in the second quarter of 2019. In last year’s second quarterly report, 142,282 vacancies were reported. The median hourly wage for vacancies reported in 2019 was $15, compared to the 2018’s $14.54 hourly wage.

This 2019 second-quarter data reflects a job vacancy rate of 5.3 percent which is the highest rate the state has experienced since 2001, according to DEED. However, the state is also experiencing a low unemployment rate of 3.3 percent.

An industrial breakdown shows which industries experience the highest demand for workers.

The top three with the highest job vacancies for the 2019 second-quarter report were health care and social assistance with 28,100 vacancies, accommodate and food services with 24,701 vacancies, and retail trade with 22,347 vacancies.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment and recreation are three industries that account for over half of Minnesota’s job openings.

Overall, the highest median hourly wage among all industries was finance and insurance at $27, management of companies and enterprises at $25.79, and profession and technical services at $24.05.

The top occupations with the most vacancies in the state are retail salespersons and supervisors, combined food preparation and serving workers, personal care assistants and nursing assistants, cashiers, heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers, and social and human service assistants.

Not surprisingly, a commonality among these occupations is their median hourly wages are low. Additionally, these occupations do not require high levels of post-secondary education, if any at all.

In the northwestern part of the state, the job vacancy rate is 5.8 percent. Accommodation and food service hold the highest job vacancies in this region of the state.

DEED compared trends of job vacancies and the level of education required. Since 2013, job vacancies that require no formal education have increased from 25 to 37 percent. Comparatively, job vacancies requiring a bachelor’s degree have decreased from 21 percent in 2013 to 14 percent in the second quarter of 2019.

For more information about Minnesota’s economic development, visit http://mn.gov/deed/.

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