by Oriane Casale
This spring, employers reported a total of 62,950 job openings in Minnesota, a 26 percent increase from last fall. Statewide, there were 2.6 unemployed people for each vacancy, compared to 3.6 the previous year. This over-the-year decrease in the number of unemployed persons per vacancy is driven both by a decrease in the total number of unemployed and a strong increase in the number of job vacancies from one year ago. These data suggest that although the labor market remains challenging for job seekers, it is beginning to come back into alignment after the recession.
Where are the Jobs?
The Health Care and Social Assistance industry has over 10,370 openings, accounting for 17 percent of total vacancies in Minnesota. (See figure below.) Accommodation and Food Services (8,460 openings), Retail Trade (7,220 openings), and Educational Services (6,320 openings) also had significant numbers.
In terms of occupational groups, Sales and Related occupations (8,320 openings) reported the most vacancies, followed by Food Preparation and Serving (7,450 openings), and Office and Administrative Support (5,180 openings). The top five occupations with the most job openings included:
- Retail salespersons
- Combined food preparation and serving workers
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Nursing assistants
- Waiters and waitresses
Characteristics of Job Openings
Some key characteristics of Minnesota job vacancies during the second quarter (April to May) of 2012 include:
- Forty-two percent of job vacancies are for part-time employment, defined as fewer than 35 hours per week.
- Nineteen percent of job vacancies are for temporary or seasonal work.
- Forty-four percent of vacancies require some level of post-secondary education or training beyond a high school diploma. The majority of vacancies require no education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Forty percent of job vacancies require work experience related to the position.
- The median (50th percentile) wage offer for all job vacancies is $11.06 per hour. Wage offers are highly related to experience and education requirements. On average, the higher the education and/or experience required, the higher the wage offer.
- Fifty-five percent of vacancies offer health insurance. Health care benefits are by far less common for part-time job vacancies than for full-time job vacancies.
Oriane Casale is the Assistant Director of Minnesota’s Labor Market Information Office.