Survey: 67% Of Minnesota Manufacturers Say It’s difficult To Attract Qualified Candidates

Enterprise Minnesota released their 2014 State of Manufacturing Survey and while generally good news it is a mixed bag of sentiment:


  • 84% are confident in the financial future of their company

  • 45% see in an increase in gross revenue… 47% stay the same


  • 54% see a flat economy… 37% see economic expansion

  • 25% will invest more in employee development… 67% the same

Not so good:

  • 51% say Minnesota is not on the right track as a competitive business location

  • 31% have an employee development and retention program for less experienced employees

Regarding jobs…

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Minnesota Jobs Scene: Q1 2014

I started writing this post more than a week ago and set it aside to work on a couple of other things. With the Target layoff announcement yesterday I thought I should pick this up. See my .

There have been a number of “what happens next” from former Target employees and local and national media wondering about the Minnesota jobs scene.

When I first started writing this I was surprised at the number of companies who were saying they were unsure of their 2014 hiring plans.

And a large number of people who are still thinking about their job and career path and they are wondering what the market is like… is this time to make a move.

With the Target folks it is more immediate, like right now… what are they going to find.

Let’s see if I can handle this well enough for the moment with this one post.

I have a bunch of anecdotal data from hiring managers, companies, associations and personal observations here in Minnesota and I believe that generally we have a positive jobs scene:

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Minnesota IT Job Search And Career Advice

The past couple of weeks I have seen a noticeable significant increase in the number of Minnesota IT professionals reaching out to me via Twitter, LinkedIn, email and shared people connections looking for job search, career, annual review and need to ask for a raise advice.

Maybe the increase is because I have not been attending user group events this summer (#GoneFishing) and absence has made the IT folks hearts grow fonder.

Paul DeBettignies Fishing, Minnesota Recruiter, Minnesota Headhunter

Could be... I doubt it.

My opinion: it’s the beginning of a shift in our IT community... those doing the work are more than ever weighing their options. And they (you) are being more aggressive about.

These are a sample of the questions from the past weeks:

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10 Hardest To Fill Jobs: Summer 2013

A frequent question I receive is:

“What are the hardest jobs to fill?”

With almost all of my recruiting in IT and related skill sets it’s all "relative” now… everything is to some degree hard to fill.

When it comes to jobs outside of IT I am not as clued in so when I came across this from CareerBuilder Releases List of Hardest-to-Fill Positions (July 18, 2013) I bookmarked it.

Below are the 10 hardest to fill as reported in the CareerBuilder survey.

Before those a few interesting bits of info:

35% of hiring managers currently have positions that have remained open for 12 weeks or longer

Note: 12 weeks seems really long to me, I would like to know more about “why” this is. While I have my opinions I would like to hear theirs.

41% of employers reported that they continuously recruit throughout the year

Note: I would have thought this number to be higher

10 hardest jobs to fill:

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Top 10 Best And Worst Cities For U.S. Jobs | Minneapolis #4 Best City

I think this is the first survey of 2011 and it comes from Forbes using statistics and analysis of the biggest 50 cities from ,'s monthly Job Search Difficulty Index for Major Cities and

It should not be surprising that Florida and California did not do so well.

Also not surprising is Minneapolis and St Paul rank as the 4th best city:

Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Job-seekers per opening: 2.68

In the Twin Cities area "employment is expected to recover fully by mid-2011, far earlier than nationally," according to a recent Moody's analysis of the region. Look for growth in manufacturing and professional services jobs like accounting. Did we mention that the metro is home to the Mall of America, a retail and tourist destination, which is expanding?

Best U.S. cities for jobs:

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Federal Reserve Beige Book | December 2010

This months Beige Book shows a continuation of very slow but positive growth in the economy and in employment and labor markets.

In no way can we consider this to be great news but another report that shows we are going in the right direction.


  • Economy:

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicate that the economy continued to improve, on balance, during the reporting period from early/mid-October to mid-November.

Economic activity in the Boston, Cleveland, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts increased at a slight to modest pace, while a somewhat stronger pace of economic activity was seen in New York, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.

Philadelphia and St. Louis reported business conditions as mixed.

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Minnesota Jobs And Employment Report: November 2010

The up and down yo-yo that is the Minnesota job market continued in November of 2010 according to the numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

-5,100 jobs with the unemployment rate remaining at 7.1%

October numbers of +14,100 were revised to +16,000

So far in 2010 we are +48,000 Minnesota jobs.

Some things to look at with the numbers for this month:

- A spike in government jobs may coincide with the hiring of election judges

- Little or no increase in temporary hiring

- 7,000 temp jobs have been created in 2010

- Labor force participation dropped (again) to 71.6 percent the lowest rate since mid 1988

- The under/unemployed number is 13.8%

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Minneapolis - St Paul Ranks #13 in the U.S. With 98,600 Tech Jobs

TechAmerica Foundation has come out with their Cybercities 2010: The Definitive Analysis of the High-Tech Industry in the Nation’s Top 60 Cities.

Minneapolis - St Paul with 98,600 tech jobs rank #13, here is the Top 10:

  • New York
  • Washington, DC
  • San Jose/Silicon Valley
  • Boston
  • Dallas – Fort Worth
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Seattle
  • Philadelphia
  • Houston

It is important to note that these are 2009 numbers.

53 of the 60 cities lost jobs in 2009 with Minneapolis - St Paul down 3,800 jobs from 2008.

Some more statistics:

Average salary is $81,600, or 65 percent higher than the average private sector wage

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Minnesota Recruiters Hiring And Jobs Survey | Fall 2010


We just completed our 3rd hiring survey and little did I know when I started doing these surveys how much more of an education I would get regarding employment, hiring and job creation leading into and coming out of a recession.

I have followed these kinds of statistics for my 13 years and being able to see this in “real time” is fascinating.

Let me get the disclaimers and details out of the way out of the way:

- This is not a scientific survey but it does give a good read on what is going on

- This is a blind survey and no one (me included) gets to know who participated and what their answers are

- 2,100 were sent the survey link and about 10% replied

- The survey was open from Oct 5th to the 15th

Between events, conferences, conversation and client feedback the survey results match what I have been seeing which is this:

The Great Recession put us into ICU. We have been upgraded to Critical, Serious and now Fair condition. I doubt we see Good condition until Q2 2011 and we may still be in the hospital much of 2011.

That while there are pockets of strength in hiring and the number of jobs open (and opening) will continue to grow it will do so at an anemic pace.

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Minnesota Business Community Lacks Confidence

The has released their 7th annual Minnesota Business Barometer Survey and to be honest, I am a bit shocked at the low level of confidence.

I would have that it would be a bit better, not great, but better than the numbers show:

  • 30% said the state’s economy was improving
  • Nearly the same number said
  • 20 % said they were more profitable than last year
  • 30 % said they were less profitable
  • Just over 40% said Minnesota was emerging more slowly than other states from the recession

There is some good long term news:

  • 79% said they were optimistic about Minnesota's economic future over the next 10 years
  • 18% said they were pessimistic

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The Great Recession: December 2007 To June Of 2009

Woo Hoo, is dead. Well, at least according to the experts who make the call.

A committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research has decided that it started in December of 2007 and ended June of 2009.

Click Business Cycle Dating Committee, National Bureau of Economic Research to see the full report and here is the introduction:

CAMBRIDGE September 20, 2010 - The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months.

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Anecdotal Analysis Of The Minnesota Job Market Q3 And Q4 2010

Over the past six weeks between Recruiter and HR events, meetings with senior management in companies of all sizes and industries, what I hear from job seekers and what I see from job postings here is an anecdotal analysis of the Minnesota job market as we end the 3rd quarter of 2010, ready???

I don’t have a (definitive) clue.

My Magic 8 Ball has a cracked lense and some moisture has gotten in there making it difficult to see the answer to my (all of our) question.

Yep, that’s what I have come up with.

Hold on here is some information you can use to come up with your opinion and do me a favor, tell me what you are seeing.

Please note that this is not scientific and specific to skill set, industry, education attained or salary range unless otherwise stated. But it does come from enough varied sources that I feel comfortable giving an opinion.

What I know I know:

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2010 U.S. And Minnesota IT Jobs See Increase In Q3 To Continue In Q4

While the Minnesota and U.S. IT employment did not get hit as hard as the 2001-2003 recession no doubt many jobs were lost.

Here in Minnesota we saw a noticeable tone change to the positive this spring, specifically March 2010. By noticeable I mean it went from “sucks” to “eh, the light at the end of the tunnel may not be a freight train coming at us after all.”

Yeah, it was that bad but we have seen a significant number of jobs posted and filled in Q2 and Q3 and expect this to continue into Q4.

I am talking about the IT job market in general, the aggregate. Certainly throughout the “Great Recession” we have seen pockets of strength:

  • .Net
  • Java
  • C++
  • PHP
  • Mobile
  • SharePoint

Many with those skill set had no idea that there were bad times going on.

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Minnesota Jobs And Employment Report: July 2010

It’s been a while since I blogged about jobs reports and with some mixed signals we are getting in the local and national economy it is time to start following them again.

Today the State of Minnesota (all states), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), released job numbers for July 2010.

9,800 jobs were created for the month. June numbers were revised up from -3,700 to -800.

The unemployment rate is at 6.8% unchanged from June.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.5%

40,900 jobs have been created since the beginning of 2010 and we are +29,100 over the past 12 months.

Job Gains - July (Year to Date):

5,500 (+14,200) Education and Health Care

4,300 (+11,100) Professional and Business Services

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Minneapolis Ranks #1 In Medical Device & Minnesota #6 In Quality Of Life

Business Facilities magazine (July/August 2010) ranks cities and states on a number of different categories.

We missed on a few I thought we should be on and a few we need to get better with so we can be ranked.

From the 2010 Business Facilities Rankings Report:
Metro Rankings

Top 10 Metro – Medical Devices and Equipment

#1 Minneapolis, Minnesota

#2 New Haven, Connecticut

#3 Salt Lake City, Utah

#4 San Jose, California

#5 Madison, Wisconsin

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