Minnesota shows solid January job growth

Minnesota gained 3,000 jobs in January

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state showed strong job growth in January and has wages increase more than the rate of inflation.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released the January jobs report, and it shows the state gained 3,000 jobs from December to January. Minnesota has seen job growth for nine out of the past 12 months.

Although the report looks at the state as a whole, workforce development in Duluth has seen job growth in the area.

“What we’ve seen is just an ongoing positive movement, is ongoing continued job growth with continued recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, more businesses opening up, existing businesses expanding,” said City of Duluth Director of Workforce Development Elena Foshay. “ I think we’ve got a lot going for us in our region, a lot of great opportunities, and a general sense of optimism overall.”

Statewide, the Education and Health Services sector gained 23,649 jobs, which is up 4.5%.

“When we think about employment and we think about what happened with the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” said Duluth Public Schools Superintendent John Magas. “We’ve had gone through some periods when we had quite a few staff shortages. I would say we still have staff shortages in some areas: bus drivers, custodians, food service employees, and paraprofessionals.

According to Magas, Duluth Public Schools is one of the largest employers in Duluth with over 1,500 employees. 

“When we think about employment, it’s not just to help our students. That’s the most important purpose, but the employees that we have also contribute to the economy,” said Magas. “They go to fish fries and buy clothes and get gas and much of that, you know, over $100 million a year goes into the Duluth economy.” 

In addition to the solid job growth in January, wages at a state level were up 5% over the year. This is almost two percent higher than the inflation rate of 3.1%. 

“Employers have had to raise wages to be competitive and to attract workers and because of inflation, have really sort of demanded those higher wages because they need that to service needs,” said Foshay.”The result is we’ve seen a fairly significant increase in average wages across our region, which is great news for workers and great news for businesses because when you’re earning a good wage, a worker is more likely to be retained to stick around long term.”