MSP Metro Workforce Report May 24 – 30, 2020
The impacts of COVID-19 have reinforced an ongoing need for workers to fill critical jobs in each sector of the MSP metropolitan workforce. These impacts have also exposed historical trends related to stable earnings and turnover, top skills, and demographics such as race and ethnicity, which are a call to action as we work together to build an economy that works better for all.
RealTime Talent begins highlighting the critical needs of employers in the 7-County Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro (MSP) by lifting up the top jobs, skills, and certifications advertised by employers, as well as the top locations that employers are advertising openings aligned with five of the region’s most critical sectors. This report focuses on jobs that require an Associate’s degree or less and includes an in-depth analysis of one occupation that is high-demand, high-opportunity, and/or high-growth. Given the disparity of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer these insights to guide the many people who will be seeking work and those who advise individuals seeking work.
Next, we dig into the needs of MSP employers for Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, including the current unemployment rates in these occupations, wages, and demographics of employment in this career.
1 SOURCE: All data in this section is from new jobs posted online in the 7-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro between May 24-30, 2020. Data includes staffing agencies and represents deduplicated new job posts from all corporate websites and job boards. Trend comparison to a prior period refers to the week immediately prior. All data was gathered from TalentNeuron Recruit, www.wantedanalytics.com on June 7, 2020.
2 All sectors are defined as job families that are related by skills, competencies, and career pathways, with the exception of Government jobs. The Government sector is identified by city, county, regional, and state government employers.
Occupations in Focus: Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers
Across all industries in the MSP Metro, stable turnover sat at about 10.9% as of 2018—and on average over the past 24 years. In in the Transportation and Warehousing Industry, which employs the largest share of Laborers and Materials Movers the stable turnover rate also reached 10.9% in 2018, a 20-year high for the industry.
In the Transportation and Warehousing Industry, there is not enough data on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) working in the industry to establish clear trends in stable turnover or separations disaggregated by race and ethnicity year-to-year. However, When comparing non-Hispanic White workers to Black and African American workers in this industry, 19.3% of Black or African American workers were starting or returning to new jobs in the industry in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 9.4% of White workers in the industry. Black and African American workers also have higher separation rates in the industry, at 18.2% of Black or African American workers leaving their jobs in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 8.4% of White workers leaving their jobs in that quarter. Of course, this includes all occupations within the industry and talent of all skill levels, experience levels, and tenure—as long as they were employed at a company for at least a full 4-quarter period.,
 Stable turnover is defined as the rate at which stable jobs—positions held by the same employee throughout an entire year—begin and end. Stable turnover is calculated by summing the number of stable hires in the reference period and stable separations in the next period, then dividing by the average full-period employment.
 U.S. Census Bureau. Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI), 2018. Stable turnover is calculated by summing the number of stable hires in the reference quarter and stable separations in the next quarter, then dividing by the average full quarter employment. The 4 quarters are then averaged.
 Occupation name shortened from Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Materials Movers.
 Yearly average separations are the estimated number of workers whose job with a given employer ended in a given quarter. The quarters are averaged to account for seasonality. It is a useful measure of what types of workers are leaving their jobs, either voluntarily or involuntarily.
 U.S. Census Bureau, Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI). 7-County Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area. Race categories are for non-Hispanic individuals. Accessed at https://qwiexplorer.ces.census.gov/static/explore.html#x=0&g=0 NAICS 44-45
In Transportation and Warehousing, White non-Hispanic workers saw a 60% increase in average monthly stable earnings from 1995-2017, from $2,854 to $4,558. Black and African American workers, however, only reached the 1995 White worker wages in 2016. As of 2017, non-Hispanic White workers in Transportation and Warehousing were making nearly 56% more than Black and African American workers in the industry.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for Laborers and Material Movers was expected to decline, and the MSP Metro was forecast to have an excess of talent in this occupation. In fact, over the next five years, it was estimated that there would be 133 more individuals seeking work in this field than job opportunities available every year, for a total 5-year excess of talent of 665 workers.
For the short-term, demand for talent in these roles remains high due to shifting product pipelines and needs in the Manufacturing, Transportation, Warehousing, and related industries. Economists are continuing to assert that long-term forecasts will likely hold true once the pandemic subsides, and so effective workforce development programs will build out mindful career pathway development for individuals taking jobs today in Labor and Material Moving occupations. Destination occupations in demand and high shortage five years from now that could have related skill sets and knowledge, but would require additional education or training, include Logisticians, General and Operations Managers, and Management Analysts.
Laborers and Material Movers (SOC 53-7062) manually move freight, stock, or other materials or perform other general labor. This occupation includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified, but excludes “Material Moving Workers” (53-7011 through 53-7199) who use power equipment, “Construction Laborers” (47-2061), and “Helpers, Construction Trades” (47-3011 through 47-3019). Nationwide, 53.3% of people employed in these roles have a high school diploma or less.
The currently employed population in these occupations is younger than most other roles in the metro, with 22.3% of workers currently employed as Laborers and Material Movers being under the age of 25. Well over half have a high school diploma or less, and another 21% have some college education but no degree. By ethnicity, 7.3% of workers are Hispanic, with most of these being White-Hispanic. While 80.6% of the working population in these occupations is white, 12.2% identify as Black or African American and 4% as Asian. The vast majority of workers in this occupation are male (80.1%).
Typically, new job postings for Laborers and Material Movers spike in June and October/November, signaling peak periods in online sales and delivery services. However, data on job postings for these positions in March, April, and May of 2020 are signaling a deviation from the typical seasonal hiring pattern for these roles, with April and May 2020 seeing 4-year highs in deduplicated job postings for Laborers and Material Movers. Across positions advertised on any job board in the region, the volume of deduplicated available Laborer and Material Mover positions were up by 61% in the period from June 2019-May 2020 compared to the prior 12-month period, hitting 6,246 unique positions advertised.
Other Laborers and Material Movers Market Insights
As of 2019Q4, total employment for Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers (SOC 53-7062) in the Twin Cities 7-County Metro was 30,607. Over the past three years, this occupation added 2,275 jobs in the region and is expected to increase by 969 jobs over the next seven years, or at an annual average rate of 0.4%. There were about 1,643 people unemployed with prior work experience in these occupations and potentially seeking reemployment as a Laborer or Material Mover. Looking at the broader occupation category of all Material Moving Workers (SOC 537) which is broader and more inclusive, about 48,273 were employed in the region as of the last quarter of 2019 and 2,658 people were unemployed (5.7% occupational unemployment). In a typical year, about 2,483 people can be expected to exit Material Moving Worker occupations. However, between March 15 and June 1, 2020, nearly 4,000 Material Moving Workers applied for unemployment insurance out of 750,526 total applications in the region. Based on historic trends and this volume of unemployment applicants, current occupational unemployment can be estimated at approximately 11% as a conservative estimate.
 MN DEED, Unemployment Insurance Statistics for 3/15/20-6/1/20. Accessed on 6/6/2020 at https://mn.gov/deed/data/data-tools/unemployment-insurance-statistics/
The majority of employed Applications Software Developers in the MSP Metro work in the first and second ring suburbs, especially in the zip codes of suburban Hennepin County. However, despite workplaces being concentrated on the west side of the metro, more workers in this occupation actually live on the east side of the metro.
The following table illustrates the industries in the Twin Cities 7-County Metro which most employ Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand. The single industry most employing this occupation in the region is Employment Services, NAICS 5613. This industry employs 6,965 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand—employment which is expected to increase by 209 jobs over the next ten years; furthermore, 9,583 additional new workers in this occupation will be needed for this industry due to separation demand, that is, to replace workers in this occupation and industry that retire or move into a different occupation.
Report released on 6/9/2020 by RealTime Talent on the INSIGHTS blog at www.realtimetalent.org. All data in the first section of this report is from TalentNeuron Recruit, accessed 6/7/2020 at www.wantedanalytics.com. Data from the Occupations in Focus section of this report is from TalentNeuron (job postings) and Jobs EQ, a tool of Chmura Economics, accessed 6/4/2020 unless otherwise noted. Contact Erin Olson, Research Strategist at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or inquiries.