Welding Together a Career


by Brent Pearson

Employers, particularly in southern Minnesota, have been voicing concern about the supply of welders for several years. Whether that is because of a skills gap in the occupation or due to other factors is uncertain. One thing is clear: with above-average wages and wage offers, strong job demand statewide, and low education requirements, welding is a career worth exploring for people with an interest in making things and working with their hands. Still, employers likely will have to take an active role if they want a trained and prepared workforce to fill future vacancies.

 

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Minnesota Economic Update


by Rachel Vilsack

The road to economic recovery in Minnesota is nearly complete. Total non-farm employment is just 1,000 jobs off of our pre-recessionary job peak, which was in February 2008. Estimates of job vacancies show an 18 percent growth at the end of 2012 compared to one year prior and are also back to pre-recessionary levels. What should we expect of Minnesota’s economy in 2013?

 

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Raising the Curtain on the Hidden Job Market


by Rachel Vilsack

It’s frequently reported that the majority (70 to 80 percent) of job openings are never advertised by employers. This is referred to as the hidden job market, suggesting that these jobs would be “hidden” from a job seeker who is only looking for opportunities posted online or in printed help-wanted ads. These figures are often cited as a reason why job seekers should engage in networking activities. But what evidence is there on how many job openings in the Twin Cities labor market are not posted online? To answer this question, we can compare the number of job openings with the number of new hires at firms.

 

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Are Nursing Positions Hard to Fill?


by Alessia Leibert

Just over one in four RN vacancies were reported as “hard-to-fill,” based on a new employer survey on hiring difficulties in Minnesota.  Of these, a minority (18 percent) were hard-to-fill exclusively because candidates did not have the qualifications required. In this subset of vacancies, employers were generally lacking work experience in a specific role or industry as opposed to formal educational credentials.

 

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Hiring Difficulties and Skills Mismatches in Minnesota


by Teri Fritsma

When employers have difficulty filling positions, does it mean that there aren’t enough qualified people to take the position? Not always, says a new study on skills mismatches released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Sometimes there are skills mismatches, but sometimes the difficulties are the result of demand-side conditions like an unattractive compensation package, the location of work, or the hours or shift of work. Most commonly, though, hiring difficulties are the result of a mix of both supply and demand-side conditions.

 

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Working from Home


by Rachel Vilsack

News stories this week and last show some companies stepping back from their telecommuting policies, which allowed workers some flexibility on where they work. Telecommuting is often viewed as beneficial to the employer, employee, and even community (think less traffic congestion), and while the number of telecommuters in Minnesota may be small, their prevalence has increased.

 

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