Help Wanted in Northwest Minnesota


by Tim O’Neill

Hiring demand is up in Northwest Minnesota! During the second quarter of 2013, employers in this region reported a total of 7,900 job vacancies—up nearly 50 percent since the second quarter of 2011. In fact, this is the second-highest number of job vacancies reported in the region since 2001. These 7,900 vacancies translate into a job vacancy rate of 3.7 percent, which means that there were approximately 3.7 job openings per 100 jobs in the region. Jobseekers will find a higher concentration of job opportunities here than in most other regions. (Only Northeast Minnesota had a higher job vacancy rate, at 3.8 percent.)

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Gearing Up for a Career in Manufacturing


 by Rachel Vilsack

If you think manufacturing is just production jobs, think again! Manufacturing in Minnesota also includes careers in engineering, logistics and distribution, maintenance and repair, and business, management and administration. Manufacturing facilities are often great places to work; they are clean, bright, and have amazing high-tech equipment.

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The Impact of Retail Trade in Southwest Minnesota


by Cameron Macht and Brent Pearson

While it doesn’t enjoy the same workforce and economic development focus that the larger health care and manufacturing industries do, retail trade is a popular employment option because it offers flexible work conditions, a variety of challenges, has regular vacancies, and accommodates many kinds of skills.

 

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Counting Temporary Workers


by Rachel Vilsack

The Employment Services sector, which includes job placement and temporary staffing agencies, is often a leading indicator of economic trends. Firms experiencing downturns in business demand before a  recession may lay off temp workers before cutting permanent staff. Then, as business conditions improve, temp agency employment  increases as firms slowly increase their staff levels (without adding to their permanent payrolls). While this industry’s employment level does not necessarily predict a recession or its recovery, the industry generally rises and falls with the larger labor market.  The concept of “just-in-time labor” allows firms to use labor when it is needed without assuming the costs associated with full-time workers.

 

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Measuring Minnesota


by Nicholas Dobbins

A county, state, or region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represents the market value of goods and services produced within the area. GDP has become a primary measure of economic activity in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BES) recently released its state-by-state GDP information for 2012, and their findings provide some interesting and encouraging news for Minnesota.

 

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