October’s unemployment rates came in lowest for Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. Metro area at 5.4 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said this is the lowest among 49 metropolitan areas with a Census 2000 population of 1 million or more.
Stalled growth in metro area
Good news about should be received with caution because much of decline is due to workers dropping out of the labor force or finding seasonal work. For example, the metro area has 11,000 fewer unemployed since the previous month. While 9,800 job-seekers were hired, an equivalent number (10,700) dropped out of the workforce, according to BLS estimates. That means half the gain was the result of discouraged workers not applying for a job in the last four weeks. Worse yet, some workers probably could not find a job to apply for in the last four weeks.
Stalled growth in Minnesota
State-wide estimates show little change over the past year. The civilian labor force did not change by much while those employed increased by 19,600 That is only a 0.7 percent annual increase.
Stalled job growth forecasted for nation
“Hiring activity will decrease” and “job cuts will rise in the manufacturing and service sectors,” according to the latest Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) survey, released Dec. 1, 2011. SHRM surveys human resource executives monthly at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service-sector firms making up more than 90 percent of the nation’s private-sector workers. This marks two consecutive months of forecasting a downturncompared with hiring activity a year ago.
Some leading indicators are up
Black Friday sales were up 6.6 percent nationwide over the previous year, according to Chicago-based ShopperTrak. They estimate retail purchases were worth $11.40 billion for that one day.
“The Employment Trends Index posted a large increase for the second straight month,” according to Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board. “The better than expected growth in economic activity in recent months is likely to lead to some acceleration in job growth in the beginning of 2012. However, this improvement may be short lived, in particular as the U.S. economy slows down once again in the coming quarters.”
Where are the most job listings in Minnesota?
Even when job growth is stagnant, employers are hiring, employers are laying off, workers are getting hired and workers are quitting on their own. Job seekers can stay active in the job market with MinnesotaWorks.Net. It lists over 50,000 position openings and has 69,000 active resumes on file. Minnesota job seekers are reminded of the Minnesota Works new online workshop registration. One need only select a local WorkForce Center and select a workshop of interest.