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Job Vacancies Decline to 111,753 in Second Quarter of 2020

Vacancies drop 23.7% from second quarter of 2019 - but median wage offers reach record high

ST. PAUL – Minnesota employers reported 111,753 job vacancies in the second quarter of 2020, down 23.7% from second quarter 2019, according to Job Vacancy Survey results released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic (DEED). This survey took place during the peak period of pandemic-related job losses this past spring and is the first survey since 2016 to indicate that there are more unemployed workers than job vacancies.

Statewide, there were 2.4 unemployed persons for each vacancy. This is the highest number of job seekers per vacancy reported since 2012, when there were 2.6 unemployed workers for each opening. However, it is still significantly lower than the peak of 8.2 job seekers per vacancy reached in the midst of the Great Recession in 2009.

“Many Minnesotans are out of work right now and facing a challenging labor market, but at the same time, there are still employers who are hiring for good-paying jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “At DEED, we are partnering with businesses across the state to highlight those jobs in a campaign called #GoodJobsNow. We want job seekers to know there is opportunity out there, despite the pandemic-fueled downturns.”

The #GoodJobsNow campaign can be found at

The 111,753 vacancies identified in the Job Vacancy Survey translate into a job vacancy rate of 4.0%, or 4.0 job openings per 100 jobs. This rate is down from 5.3% one year ago, and is the lowest posted since the second quarter of 2016, when there were 97,580 vacancies and a job vacancy rate of 3.6%. While job vacancies overall were down 23.7% over the year, part-time vacancies declined only 17.2%, whereas full-time vacancies dropped 27.7%.

Regionally, 65,879 or 59% of all job vacancies were located in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, while the remaining 45,874 vacancies, or 41%, were located in Greater Minnesota. Compared to one year ago, the number of job vacancies decreased by 23.4% in the Twin Cities and 24.1% in Greater Minnesota.

Statewide, the Health Care & Social Assistance industry had the most job vacancies, followed by Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services. Sixteen of the 20 industries saw a year-over-year decline in the number of vacancies posted, with the biggest drops in Accommodation and Food Services, Manufacturing, and Health Care and Social Assistance. Information saw the biggest increase over the year. For more information, visit the Job Vacancy Survey page.

Wage offer information for job vacancies is also gathered during the survey. At $15.95, the median wage offer for open positions is up 6.3% from one year ago and is the highest ever reported. Over the year, median wage offers rose the most in vacancies requiring an associate’s degree, up 8.0%, followed by those requiring a high school diploma, up 6.8%. Wage offers also increased more for part-time vacancies than for full-time vacancies. There are multiple reasons why wage offers are up, including temporary higher hourly wages offered by some employers to encourage employment in customer-facing jobs during the pandemic.

The Second Quarter 2020 Job Vacancy Survey is the first such Job Vacancy Survey to collect information during the pandemic. DEED’s Labor Market Information (LMI) Office conducts two Job Vacancy Surveys each year. The Fourth Quarter 2020 Job Vacancy Survey is underway now. The survey is conducted by mailing surveys and collecting employment posting data from websites for a representative sample of Minnesota businesses. The survey time period for the survey results released today is any point in time during the second quarter that the employer completes the survey. There were greater challenges than normal this year in receiving completed surveys, yet there was still a 78% survey response rate.

The Job Vacancy Survey allows DEED’s LMI Office to estimate hiring demand and job vacancy characteristics by industry, occupation and firm size in Minnesota. These data provide job seekers and career counselors with information on occupations showing hiring demand within their region. The information also helps employment, training and education providers understand current labor market conditions in their region and tailor services to better meet customer and employer needs. Finally, the data provides a leading labor market indicator.

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 its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.


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