The Northwest region of Minnesota is mostly rural and has an economy dominated by agriculture. With a population of 595,370 in an area of 29,904 square miles and 26 counties, it contains wide expanses of agricultural land and 29.5% of the state’s farms according to the USDA in 2012. The region contains only 8% of total employment in Minnesota based on DEED’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Some of the largest cities in this region include Moorhead (pop. 42,005, #21), Bemidji (pop. 14,594, #70), and Brainerd (pop. 13,371, #78).
DEED identifies three distinguishing industries of the Minnesota’s Northwest: pipeline transportation; fishing, hunting and trapping; transportation equipment manufacturing. The Northwest contains over 40% of the state’s jobs in these three industries. This is reflected in the industries that saw the most job postings online during the first three quarters of 2016. The vast majority of jobs were posted by freight trucking companies – both long-haul and local – or by temp and staffing agencies hiring for drivers, manufacturing, and agricultural labor.
Capturing the job openings in agriculture, fishing, hunting, and related positions can be challenging, as many positions are not publicly advertised. The chart below shows the number of production agriculture, environment, fishing, and hunting jobs that were advertised online in the region during the first three quarters of 2016. Counts for farm workers, breeders, fish and game wardens, and equipment operators were likely significantly higher than what these counts reveal.
Although DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics found administrative support positions to employ the most people in the region in 2015 and food service to have the most vacancies, it was actually transportation jobs that were advertised much more frequently. Transportation jobs comprised 25% of all jobs advertised online in Nothwest Minnesota in the first three quarters of 2016. Healthcare practitioners and sales positions are also in high demand, making up 14% and 8% of the total 58,800 jobs in the region, respectively. Education, training, and library occupations are increasing in demand in this region, with job postings up by 66% since 2015. Hard skills in demand in the Northwest include pediatrics, quality assurance, geriatrics, behavioral health, and technical support experience.
For more information on Minnesota’s Northwest, view our new report here.
TalentNeuron Recruit for online job counts. www.wantedanalytics.com
DEED Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) http://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/qcew/
DEED Distinguishing Industries https://mn.gov/deed/assets/sept-2015-trends-distinguishing_tcm1045-212016.pdf
DEED Occupational Employment Statistics https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/oes/