MN Job Vacancies Hit Highest Level Since 2007

Job vacancies are up more than 32 percent versus the same period a year ago, but the bulk of openings is for part-time or seasonal work.

Job openings in Minnesota are at their highest point since the second quarter of 2007, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Job vacancies rose more than 32 percent during the second quarter of this year compared to the same period a year ago. Employers reported 54,700 openings during the period, compared with 41,400 openings in the second quarter of 2010, DEED said.

The DEED report also found that the state had 3.6 unemployed people for each vacancy-compared with 4.8 unemployed Minnesotans for each vacancy last year.

“These findings point to an improving economy that is returning to levels not seen since before the recession,” DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement. “Minnesota employers haven't reported this many job openings since the second quarter of 2007.”

But the bulk of the new openings is for part-time employment (38 percent), or temporary or seasonal work (23 percent).

The numbers come from DEED's biannual survey of about 13,000 firms in 20 industry sectors from throughout Minnesota.

There were a total of 29,500 job openings in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area-or about 54 percent of the total vacancies. The remaining 25,200 vacancies were located throughout Greater Minnesota.

On an industry basis, health care and social assistance accounted for 17.9 percent of vacancies, followed by retail, which made up 12.4 percent of openings.

A total of 9.8 percent of the employers that were surveyed said they expect to increase employment levels during the next six months-down 1.4 percent from a year ago. About 86.8 percent of employers said they expect to keep staffing levels the same.

Access DEED's complete findings here.