Minnesota Had 97,400 Job Vacancies in 2016’s Fourth Quarter

More than half of these openings are for part-time or seasonal work.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – New data released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) shows a large number of jobs went unfilled in the final quarter of 2016.

In the twice annual report, Minnesota’s employers reported they had nearly 97,400 job openings, up 1.3 percent from a year ago. DEED attributes much of this to the departure of baby boomers from the workforce into retirement.

Part-time positions make up 43 percent of these openings, while seasonal or temporary work accounts for another nine percent. With that, the number of full-time non-seasonal jobs amounts to nearly 47,000 jobs.

The majority of the total openings are based in the seven counties that make up the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. 58,000 of the jobs, or 59.3 percent, are based in this area. This is a more equitable rate than DEED reported for its jobs added numbers for the past year. In that data, the Twin Cities metro area accounted for nearly 79 percent of the total 39,564 jobs added.

DEED has further data to reflect the rural to urban discrepancy. According to the report, for every one job opening in the Twin Cities metro area, there was less than one person unemployed. In the rest of Minnesota, there were almost three unemployed people for every two job openings.

“The latest figures indicate hiring demand remains strong statewide with many Minnesota companies looking to fill jobs because of increased business activity,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “DEED will continue to deploy strategies and training opportunities that match Minnesotans to these available jobs.”

In spite of this Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains 0.3 percent higher than its next closest neighbor. Wisconsin currently sits at 3.7 percent following a strong February. North Dakota and South Dakota both have an unemployment rate more than a full percentage point lower than Minnesota.

The median wage for all job vacancies regardless of full-time or part-time status was $13.97 per hour. Fifty-three percent of all openings offered some form of health insurance.

Only 33 percent of these job openings required some sort of post-high school level of education. Forty-one percent required at least one year of work experience.

Anders Koskinen