How the MSP Region is Addressing the Growing Talent Crisis with Analysis of Real-time Labor Market Data
In the last few years, a range of online analytical tools has enabled a clear view of our dynamic and constantly changing labor market. For the first time, this data is available to job counselors and planners not just as information for reflection, but as a real-time action tool to direct jobseekers to the best opportunities. This report outlines our approach to taking the first step in addressing this crisis: documenting the labor shortage and skills gap, identifying the impact that our programs and initiatives could have on closing those gaps, and building a strategy for a more systematic and employer-led long-term solution.
We believe workforce development must now be based on a real-time feedback loop. Without a clear line of sight into the current labor market realities, it is impossible to advise job-seekers effectively, meet employer talent needs, or plan effective educational systems. We have learned that in a program-rich, systems-poor environment, context in real dataand short-term outcomes can help move out of the spin-cycle of planning and into systems change.
However, a strong report alone will not lead to systematic change, better programs, or improved outcomes without engaging the necessary leaders to take the next step. Even after reviewing the wealth of LMI, job postings, and educational data at our disposal, it is still essential to get out in the field and talk to employers, training program managers, K-12 educators, and postsecondary directors get their take on the accuracy and relevancy of the data and your conclusions from it. Only then can we identify solutions that ensure employers have the workers required to sustain and grow Minnesota’s economy.
Real Time Talent and MSPWin will continue to promote and expand demand-driven solutions that are grounded in the realities of talent supply limitations and opportunities. We hope that this implementation guide is an important step toward building the next generation of cross-sector, employer-led education and workforce collaboratives to address the workforce challenges of our time.
Click HERE to read the full report.
If English isn’t your only language, you can find some great opportunities that leverage your unique skills
¿Se Habla Español? Chances are good that you do, because speaking a language other than English is at an all-time high in the United States.
As of 2015, one in five Americans—nearly 62 million people—speak a language other than English at home, an increase of 50 percent since 1990 (U.S. Census Bureau). Here in Minnesota, the number of people speaking more than one language has been on a steady rise, and now nearly 12 percent of prime working age adults speak a language other than English at home (U.S. Census Bureau). And this population is fairly well-educated. Over half (54 percent) have an associate degree or higher or at least some college. Classrooms are seeing a dramatic rise in linguistic diversity as well, with 75 percent of Minneapolis classrooms having at least one student speaking a language other than English, according to data from Minneapolis Public Schools. Considering that multilingualism is expected to keep growing in Minnesota, it’s more important now than ever to bring this linguistic diversity into our workplaces.
In Minnesota, the most common languages are Spanish, Hmong, and the Cushite language family including Oromo, Somali, and Sidamo, but nationwide the largest increases have been among speakers of Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. These happen to also be the sought-after languages employers hire for, according to the Center for Immigration Studies and New American Economy. In fact, bilingualism was one of the top five most in-demand hard skills in Minnesota in 2015 according to online job posting data (TalentNeuron Recruit).
These trends mean more job opportunities are opening up for bilingual workers in most states. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of online job postings targeting multilingual or bilingual workers more than doubled in Minnesota, matching trends nationwide. However, since a peak in the summer of 2015, counts of job opportunities specifically indicating a need for multilingual workers has been on a moderate decline—despite overall counts of job opportunities continuing to rise.
Using TalentNeuron Recruit, we identified the most in-demand occupations for people with bilingual skills, as well as the top cities and companies where you can find these jobs. Explore the lists below to get a picture of the bilingual job landscape in Minnesota.
Top cities hiring bilingual workers
Most Minnesota jobs hiring bilingual and multilingual individuals are located in large metropolitan areas, where the populations themselves tend to be more diverse or growing substantially.
|City||Number of Bilingual Jobs available in July 2017||
Percent of Total Local Jobs available in July 2017
|2. Saint Paul||330||2%|
|4. Saint Cloud||83||1.4%|
|6. Eden Prairie||59||1.1%|
Top companies hiring bilingual workers
These employers had the most job opportunities open in July for a bilingual skill set in Minnesota.
- Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.
- Wells Fargo
- H&R Block
- The Valspar Corporation
- U.S. Bank
- CSL Plasma
- Planned Parenthood
- Wireless Vision
Top jobs hiring bilingual workers
Sales and business development has the highest demand currently for bilingual workers, with 817 jobs available in Minnesota in this function area—up 30% from July of last year. These are the top occupations requiring bilingual skills in Minnesota (to the 8-digit SOC level).
- Customer Service Representatives
- Retail Salespersons
- Social and Human Services Assistants
- Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers
- Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
- Merchandise Displayers and Window Trimmers
- Registered Nurses
- Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers
- Healthcare Support Workers
Want to read more on this topic? Let us know in the comments.
RealTime Talent has been featured in the StarTribune twice so far this month, along with several organizational partners that make use of our data tools. In the Viewpoints interview with Neal St. Anthony that ran on May 6th, Project for Pride in Living and Jason Bruns, director of the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence at Minnesota State University Mankato, were highlighted for how they use TalentNeuron Recruit with students and job-seekers. Among those partners featured in the second article were the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Itasca Project, and Aaron Corcoran who has supported the work of the many workforce centers and Minnesota State partners in the Twin Cities.
It’s no secret that there is huge demand for Home Health Aides across the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics put out a report early last year, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) followed suit in June 2016 with their article, “H is for Home Health Aide.” But will these positions be attractive to future workers who will have increasingly more choice in our nation’s job market and are looking for opportunities that offer a living wage and professional advancement? Maybe not, unless employers start changing what they offer.
As many Minnesotans age and require additional medical attention (the population of Minnesotans over 65 years of age will increase by more than 400,000 people between 2014 and 2024), the need for Healthcare Support Professionals is increasing rapidly. Couple that with a growing preference to receive care in the home rather than in a care facility, the demand for Home Health Aides is skyrocketing. In 2016, there were approximately 27,550 Home Health Aides working in the state and 4,457 Home Health Aide job openings advertised online; the occupation ranks as the 21st most in-demand position and the 20th most common occupation in Minnesota today. Demand is projected to grow by 30.1 percent (9,254 jobs) between 2014 and 2024–the third highest growth rate of any occupation in Minnesota. However, these positions offer some of the lowest salaries of any occupation in the healthcare industry, with a median wage of $24,944 and currently advertised positions only offering $20-26k as a starting salary–just barely hitting the threshold for a living wage for a single adult ($11.39 in Hennepin County). There may be little incentive to encourage workers to take on these roles as the number of job opportunities begins to exceed the number of available workers in the laborforce.
We are already observing high rates of job vacancies in entry-level healthcare positions that require an Associate’s degree or less. Online job postings in the Twin Cities Metro for low-experience, low-education Licensed Practical Nurses and Home Health Aides have increased more than 7% since 2015, dramatically greater than other entry-level healthcare opportunities. Hennepin County was home to 24% of the state’s total entry-level healthcare positions in 2016.
As Minnesota continues to face changing demographics, how will employers respond to ensure that they attract the candidates they need? Hopefully, we will start to see rising wages for entry-level healthcare positions.
For more data on healthcare occupations at the Twin Cities and Statewide level, check out our reports page.