In the past few weeks we received validation of a trend that many of us have been feeling for a while. Greater MSP is prospering and gaining momentum.
A number of sources have confirmed this in their own way, and when put together, paints a very positive picture of our region’s workforce, business climate and economy.
May unemployment figures for our region were released recently and our region has an unemployment rate of 4%. This is over two percentage points below the national average of 6.1% and is the lowest of any major market in the U.S. A figure this low typically means that the region is at full employment.
However, a study released by Brookings Institution on July 1, 2014, showed that of the top 100 metros, the Minneapolis Saint Paul region was the easiest place to find STEM talent. The report found, among other things, that the average STEM job was open 21 days in the region. This compares to a figure that in over 80% of the top markets, STEM jobs are open more than 30 days. And these jobs pay on average $56K, which compares favorably with many markets where employers pay well over $60K for the same jobs.
There are other positive signs for future talent availability. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation released a report which rated Minnesota as #2 for talent pipeline this year. The report cited work done by the Governor’s Workforce Development Council for bringing leaders from the private, public and education sectors together to recommend ways to better align the state's workforce skill development with real-world needs. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is focused on building a globally competitive workforce and through its Job Skills Partnership, offers grants to private employers to facilitate workforce skills training partnerships with private industry.
Workforce quality has always been a hallmark of the region. With a labor force participation rate that is over 72% and one of the highest in the nation, our workers are engaged and help ensure their employers’ success. It is one of the reasons that business and people prosper here.