The number of job vacancies in Minnesota rose slightly during the last three months of 2016, most of which were in the health care and retail industries.
 
Local employers reported approximately 97,400 unfilled positions, according to figures released Monday by the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). That’s up slightly during the same period of 2015 when there were 96,100 vacancies.
 
Jobs for nurses, social assistants and other health care staff made up about 23 percent of the open positions. Openings for retail workers were second with 16 percent of the state’s available jobs, followed by accommodation and food services (about 14 percent), manufacturing (about 8 percent), and administration and waste services (about 7 percent).
 
Notably, 43 percent of those job vacancies were for part-time work, defined as fewer than 35 hours per week. Another 9 percent were for temporary or seasonal work.
 
Smaller businesses, in particular, appear to struggle with finding workers. For every 100 jobs at businesses employing nine or fewer employees, over 5 jobs were left unfilled. Businesses with 10 to 49 employees had just under 5 positions open for every 100 jobs. Meanwhile, businesses with 250 or more employees had about 2 vacancies using the same scale.
 
Many of the vacancies are due to an outflow of residents to other states and an aging population. The latest projections from the Minnesota State Demographic Center found that as the state’s workforce growth rate slows, so too will the growth of the Minnesota economy.
 
More information on DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey can be found here.

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