The State of Minnesota currently is experiencing many positive economic circumstances. First, “most people who want a job have one, with the state’s unemployment rate floating around 3.4 percent. Meanwhile, nearly seven in 10 working-age Minnesotans either have or are looking for jobs, ensuring employers have a robust talent pool from which to hire.”  Second, smaller towns and cities in the rural parts of the State are affirmatively seeking younger people to move in. 
However, “[o]ver the next ten years, Minnesota is forecast to have far fewer people entering the labor force than previous decades — a problem for employers, who may have problems filling critical jobs as baby boomers retire and others drop out of the workforce.”
This problematic future was endorsed by Cameron Macht, a regional analysis and outreach manager at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. He said, “It’s definitely a major issue for employers in the state, and looking forward it may become an even bigger deal.”
There are at least three key factors contributing to this problem.
First, working-age residents who are not working or looking for jobs now amount to about 30 percent of this group. “Many are in Greater Minnesota [the rural parts of the State], where in some counties nearly half of the adult population has dropped out of the workforce.”
Second, in excess of half of the state’s workforce dropouts are 65 and older — a number that is likely to increase as more baby boomers reach retirement age.
Third, roughly 60% of this group are women. Among those staying home, lack of sufficient childcare could be of concern, and Census data shows about a quarter of married couples with children under 18 reported at least one spouse outside the workforce.”
“Foreign-born populations also affect these rates, as they accounted for both a 60 percent jump in labor force growth from 2007 to 2017 but a 25 percent increase in those outside the workforce.”
 Hargarten, Minnesota faces a labor growth slowdown. This data helps explain why, StarTribune (Sept. 1, 2019).
 Rural Minnesota Endeavoring To Attract Young People, dwkcommentaries.com (Sept. 2, 2019).
3 thoughts on “Minnesota Facing Slowdown in Labor Force Growth”
Minnesota Lacks Skilled Labor (9/20/19)
As emphasized in this post, the State of Minnesota faces a demographic challenge in meeting the demand for labor: an aging population and retiring workers. In addition, the State has a lack of skilled labor.
“Roughly 92% of private employers in the State in a recent poll reported “ difficulty filling some or all salaried and hourly craft positions” versus the national average of 80%, and nearly a half of the survey participants “believe it will become even harder to hire [such people ] over the coming 12 months.”
The owner of a Minnesota construction company welcomed efforts to draw more workers from “communities of color” and said, “Construction is a great place for people new to the country to get jobs and get ahead” and “Minnesota needs to be the most welcoming place for immigrants.”
Spencer, Skilled labor remains big issue for Minnesota employers, StarTribune (Sept. 9, 2019).