The Potluck

Survey: Workforce diversity in many industries doesn’t reflect state demographics

By: - February 19, 2020 11:44 am

Most Minnesota industries are whiter than the state’s overall population, according to a 2016 survey by the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The industries that most closely matched the state’s racial demographics were health care and leisure and hospitality, reporting that 17% and 15% of employees, respectively, were not white. Roughly 16% of Minnesotans were people of color in 2016, according to Census data.

Although construction was the least diverse of the 11 industries surveyed, 75% of construction firms surveyed said they were “actively working to increase racial diversity in entry-level positions,” according to DEED.

Education, government and health care were three industries implementing best practices by making diversity training available to all employees, the survey results say.

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.