State Job Vacancies Climb Nearly 31 Percent

ST. PAUL – Job vacancies in Minnesota climbed 30.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 from the same period a year ago, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The agency said employers reported 33,800 openings, compared with 25,900 openings in the fourth quarter of 2009.

DEED’s semi-annual Job Vacancy Survey also showed that the state had 5.8 unemployed people per vacancy in fourth quarter 2010, compared with 8.2 unemployed people for each vacancy in the same period a year earlier.

“These findings are another indication of an improving economy,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. “At the same time, they point to a continued tight labor market where job seekers face challenges finding work.”

The Twin Cities accounted for 61.2 percent of the job vacancies, with 20,700 openings. The remaining vacancies, 13,100 (38.8 percent of the total) were in Greater Minnesota.

The Twin Cities had 5 unemployed people per job vacancy in the fourth quarter, while Greater Minnesota had 6.9 unemployed people for every job vacancy.

The most job vacancies were in health care and social assistance (21.4 percent of the total), followed by retail trade (12.2 percent), manufacturing (10 percent), and professional, scientific and technical services (6.6 percent).

Firms with 50 or more workers accounted for 63.9 percent of job vacancies. Firms with 10 to 49 workers had 22.4 percent of the vacancies, and very small firms with fewer than 10 workers had 13.7 percent of the vacancies.

Among other findings, the survey indicated that 39 percent of the job vacancies were for part-time employment (fewer than 35 hours a week) and 14 percent were for temporary or seasonal work. About 45 percent of the jobs required education or training beyond a high school degree.

Eighty-four percent of businesses said they expect to keep employment levels about the same in the next six months, while 7.8 percent expect to add workers and 8.1 percent expect to decrease staffing levels

DEED conducts the Job Vacancy Survey in the second and fourth quarters each year to gauge hiring demand and vacancy characteristics by industry, occupation and firm size in Minnesota. About 13,000 firms in 20 industry sectors are surveyed statewide.

A full report can be found at

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at