Minnesota job vacancies up, labor market improving

    A we're-hiring sign is posted outside of a Target store on Feb. 12, 2019 in Sausalito, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Job vacancies went up 14% in the last quarter of 2020 compared to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. 

    “These job vacancy numbers show us there’s a lot of opportunity in Minnesota right now,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. The state now has more than 127,000 job openings. 

    The biannual vacancy survey found that there were 1.1 unemployed people for every Minnesota vacancy, while the state had 0.7 unemployed people per vacancy in the fourth quarter of 2019, indicating a looser labor market. 

    The metro had more than 75,000 vacancies, and greater Minnesota had 51,000. The Twin Cities remains more competitive for employers looking for workers than greater Minnesota, with 0.9 seekers per job in the metro compared to 1.3 unemployed people per vacancy outstate. Jobs in health care and social assistance remain in high demand, accounting for about 25% of all vacancies. 

    Unemployment fell to 4.3% in March — about two percentage points lower than the national rate — according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is down seven percentage points from its peak in March 2020.

    Gracie Stockton
    Gracie Stockton is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She was awarded the 2021 Kaufman scholarship from the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication and joined the Reformer as an intern. Gracie also studies theatre and Russian, and is an artist in her free time.