Local Look blogs: Newly Updated 2017 Regional Profiles!

Local Look Blog

Each month, DEED's Regional Analysis & Outreach unit produces a series of blogs exploring local labor market information. Please contact your regional analyst for more information. 

After adding new population, labor force, and industry employment data, DEED's Regional Analysis and Outreach Unit released updated 2017 Regional Profiles in August. These annual publications outline a variety of demographic, labor market, and economic information and analysis for each planning region and economic development region (EDR) in the state. This month's blogs highlight major demographic changes, labor market shifts, and employment trends that stood out over the past year.

Central Minnesota: Central Minnesota experienced rapid growth in the size of the available labor force over the last 16 years, but has slowed in recent years due to changing economic conditions. The region’s labor force continued growing even during the recessions in 2001 and 2007, then suffered a drop in labor force between 2010 and 2011, before starting to expand again in 2013 as the region’s economy improved.

Twin Cities Metro: At the broadest level of analysis, the Twin Cities region can be summed up nicely in one word: growth. The region's population, international immigration, labor force, industry employment, and wages are all growing. Accounting for over half of Minnesota's population and over 60% of total employment, the Twin Cities metro continues to be the driving force for growth in the state; and the region continues to grow despite an aging population and a tight labor market.

Northeast Minnesota: An important, if not worrisome, aspect of Northeast Minnesota's population is that it has remained relatively stable over the past 16 years. Census data show that the Arrowhead has grown by just 3,009 people since 2000, a 0.9% increase. The state gained 600,473 new people since 2000, with Northeast contributing very little to the overall gains. In addition, Northeast Minnesota saw a decrease of 721 residents in the past year, dropping from 325,803 people in 2015

Northwest Minnesota: Even with the tight labor market conditions, Northwest Minnesota's economy continued growing in 2016. For the second straight year, the region added jobs at a 0.6 percent clip, a gain of just under 1,300 jobs in the past year. Interestingly, three of the four economic development regions added more jobs in 2016 than the year before, but in EDR 1 – Northwest, employment shrunk by 1.5 percent

Southeast Minnesota: There are strong signs that Southeast Minnesota is doing well. The number of jobs and workers in the region increased, and payrolls and wage offers also were trending upward; while unemployment rates and the cost of living decreased. While there is still some work to do to help improve the labor market and economic characteristics of the region, things overall are looking good.

Southwest Minnesota: Southwest Minnesota has seen employment ups and downs over the past decade, but ended 2016 with about 1,200 fewer jobs than it had in 2006. The region entered the recession later than the state, still experiencing job growth through 2008, before suffering severe declines in 2009 and 2010. Since then, Southwest has recovered much more slowly than the state, which gained jobs at an 8.1% clip from 2011 to 2016, compared to a 2.4% increase in the region.