Minnesota’s Talent Pipeline: Workforce
Moving from postsecondary into the workforce, about 103,000 students complete their degrees at Minnesota institution, including online institutions. Of these, about 52,000 are confirmed as going into the Minnesota workforce within two years after completing their degree, based on SLEDS data. However, 21,000 leave the state, do not enter the workforce, or are otherwise unable to be tracked as employed or still in school in Minnesota. There are about 14,000 students who never complete their degree and choose to enter the workforce with some college education but no award each year.
In Minnesota, we have about 2.7 million people between the ages of 18 and 64 who were employed as of the fourth quarter of 2019 based on the most recent 5-year ACS estimates. Minnesota has the second-best labor force participation rate in the nation, with about 84.5% of the population in that age range participating in the labor force. At that point in time, we had an unemployment rate of just 3.76% (or 105,000 people), one of Minnesota’s best rates in history. Nevertheless, by April of this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the statewide unemployment rate was estimated at 8.1%, according to MN DEED. Historically, our state’s highest unemployment rate ever was 8.9% in 1983. Some estimates suggest that our state’s unemployment is closer to 25% based on applications for unemployment insurance to date and more inclusive definitions of unemployment.
In the total workforce, there are about 67,000 newcomers between 25 and 64 years of age coming to Minnesota each year—55,000 coming from other states, and 13 thousand coming internationally. Granted, these gains in newcomers are offset by people leaving Minnesota and individuals leaving the workforce. About 53,000 working-age people leave the state each year, and around 20,000 people retire. These retirement estimates are conservative as they are based on the number of workers claiming retirement benefits.
The most critical leakages in our workforce opportunities are the lost opportunities due to unequal employment by race and ethnicity. If we were to equalize labor force participation and employment rates for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, we would have had about 19 thousand additional workers in Minnesota’s workforce as of the fourth quarter of 2019.
SOURCE: AGES 18-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Status, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated inequalities in employment opportunities. Analysis of the demographics of individuals impacted by layoffs since March 15th show that people between the ages of 20 and 34 years, people without a postsecondary degree, women, and people of color have lost their jobs at a higher rate than older workers, people with degrees, men, and White workers. The below shows unemployment insurance applications between March 15 and June 1st in the 7-county metro alone, where 425,582 people had applied. The unemployment applications in the metro alone account for over 15% of all previously employed people statewide based on 2019 estimates.
SOURCE: MN DEED, Unemployment Insurance Statistics. MSP Metro applications filed between March 15 – June 1, 2020.
Accessed 6/2/2020 at https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/unemployment-insurance-statistics/
Our Work at the Workforce Level
RealTime Talent supports the efforts of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Workforce Development Boards (WDBs), and community-based organizations (CBOs) to identify and develop pathways into high-wage and high-opportunity careers. Through in-depth workforce supply and demand analysis, customized forecast modeling, and sector-based career lattices, we support these organizations in program development and evaluation, workforce outcome benchmarking and goal setting, and employer strategy design.
We are now at a crossroads in our state’s history. If we are to rebuild our economy and redesign the social and economic structures to build a society that works for everyone, we will need every employer, education administrator, job counselor, policymaker, and worker engaged and maximized to the fullest potential. In closing, consider this question: What are the policies and practices that will need to be addressed to eliminate leakages in our state’s talent pipeline?
SOURCES: 1) Median (2015 -2019),MDE Analytics, State/District/School/County Enrollment, https://public.education.mn.gov/MDEAnalytics/DataTopic.jsp?TOPICID=2; 2) Median (2014-2018), MDE, 4-Year Graduation Rate, 2014-2018; 3) Median (2013-2017); MN SLEDS, Statewide, Graduates Working, 2013-2017; 4) MN SLEDS, Statewide, College Enrollment 2013-2017, http://sleds.mn.gov/#collegeActivity/orgId–999999000__groupType–state__ECODEVREGION–FOC_NONE__collegeActivityCOHORTID–2018__p–3; 5 & 6) Median (2014-2018)MDE 4-Year Graduation Rate; 7) Minnesota Office of Higher Education, student enrollment database. Not award-seeking and unavailable program type not shown in this graphic (85,363 additional enrolled); 8) Median (2015-2017) U.S. Department of Education, IPEDS Completion Survey via MN Office of Higher Education, Degrees Awarded in Minnesota, and data found at https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=2119; 9) Median (2016 & 2017)MN Office of Higher Education, Student Enrollment Data 2016 & 2017; 10) Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Educating for the Future, 2019 Update, https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/pdf/EducatingfortheFuture2019_final.pdf; 11) Median (2013-2017) MN SLEDS, Statewide, College Enrollment 2013-2017; 12) Minnesota Office of Higher Education & National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Reaching 70 Percent Attainment Goal, 2020, Minnesota Office of Higher Education & National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, Reaching 70 Percent Attainment Goal, 2020 13) Median (2013-2017) MN SLEDS, Statewide students not tracked in-state, 2012-2016; 14) Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Educating for the Future, 2019 Update, https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/pdf/EducatingfortheFuture2019_final.pdf; 15) Ages18-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Sample, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org; 16&17) 2014-2018 ACS 5-yr Estimates, Migration Status, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.; 18) Ages 25-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Sample, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org; 19) 25) AGES 18-64, 2014-2018, ACS 5-year Sample, Employment Status, IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org; 20) OASDI Beneficiaries by State and Zip Code (2011-2018, Median)