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Job vacancies in Minnesota climb another 16 percent to record

September 21, 2018

Vacancies at Minnesota employers climbed nearly 16 percent to a record 142,282, the state jobs agency said Friday, in another sign of the ultratight labor market.

The data came a day after the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported the states unemployment rate dipped to 2.9 percent, the lowest since December 1999. Just 90,000 Minnesotans were unemployed in August, that report said.

Fridays data showed that, for the three months ended June 30, the state had 0.6 unemployed people for every job vacancy, a record low. The job vacancy rate was 5.2 percent, meaning there were 5.2 openings for every 100 jobs in the state, a record high.

These figures reflect a very strong economy and high demand for labor statewide, Shawntera Hardy, the department commissioner, said in a statement. She said the agency and its partners need to keep investing in training programs to bring more people off the economic sidelines to fill employers needs.

Median pay for the vacancies was $14.54 an hour, up from $14.39 an hour a year earlier and $14.34 an hour at the end of 2017. Fifty-six percent of the vacant jobs in the latest period offered health insurance, the agency found.

The agency said that 38 percent of the vacancies were for part-time jobs, those offering 35 hours or less of work per week, and 12 percent were for temporary or seasonal work.

About 60 percent of the job vacancies were in the seven-county Twin Cities region, in line with its portion of the states population. But job vacancies grew twice as fast outside the metro area in other parts of the state.

The Twin Cities had 0.5 unemployed people for every vacancy while the rest of the state had 0.7 unemployed people for every vacancy.

Restaurants and other food services were most starved for workers, accounting for 7,600 vacancies. Retailers were next with 7,100 open jobs and personal care providers were next with 6,700 vacancies.

Evan Ramstad 612-673-4241

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