Job vacancies in Minnesota climbed to their highest level in 12 years in the second quarter, with employers reporting 72,570 openings, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported Wednesday. Vacancies were up 15.3 percent from the same period a year ago, when employers reported nearly 63,000 openings. There were 2.1 unemployed people for each vacancy during the quarter, compared with 2.6 unemployed people per vacancy a year earlier.
“This increase in job vacancy numbers offers fresh evidence that the economy is recovering rapidly from the recession,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Minnesota employers are feeling confident about the economy and are looking for people to fill their open positions.” The DEED analysis found that 42,320 of the openings (58.3 percent) were in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, with the remaining 30,250 openings in Greater Minnesota. Job vacancies increased 22.3 percent in the Twin Cities and 6.7 percent in Greater Minnesota from the same period a year ago.
Jobs in health care and social assistance accounted for 19.4 percent of the statewide vacancies, with other major categories including retail trade (13.4 percent of the openings) accommodation and food services (11.4 percent), and manufacturing (7.4 percent). Middle-sized companies (10 to 249 employees) accounted for 68.1 percent of the openings, while large firms reported 18.6 percent of the vacancies and small firms had 13.3 percent of the openings.
Among other findings:
- 45 percent of the openings were for part-time employment (fewer than 35 hours per week), up from 40 percent a year earlier.
- 16 percent of the job vacancies were for temporary or seasonal work.
- 43 percent of the job vacancies required some level of post-secondary education or training beyond high school.
- 39 percent of the job vacancies required related work experience.
- The median (50th percentile) wage offer for all vacancies was $12.50 per hour.
- 52 percent of the vacancies offered health insurance.
Employers were also asked about their future hiring plans. Overall, Minnesota employers plan to add staff over the next six months, with 18.1 percent saying they plan to increase employment levels, compared with 11.5 percent last year. Another 76.3 percent said they plan to maintain current employee levels, while 5.6 percent said they plan to decrease employee levels. The Job Vacancy Survey is conducted twice a year by DEED to measure hiring demand and vacancy characteristics by industry, occupation and firm size in Minnesota. More than 10,000 firms were surveyed in the latest study, with a 72-percent response rate.