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In Minnesota, job openings up 15 percent in second quarter -- Employers report 63,000 openings

ST. PAUL - Job vacancies in Minnesota climbed 15.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the same period a year ago, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Employers reported nearly 63,000 openings during the quarter, up from 54,700 openings during the same period in 2011. Statewide, there were 2.6 unemployed people for each vacancy, compared with 3.6 unemployed people per vacancy during last year's second quarter.

"Job vacancies in the state have returned to levels that we haven't seen since before the Great Recession," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "While finding work remains difficult for many people, the latest survey is a positive sign that the labor market is recovering."

According to the survey, 34,600 vacancies (54.9 percent of the total) were in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, while the remaining 28,400 openings were in Greater Minnesota. Compared with a year ago, job vacancies were up 16.8 percent in the Twin Cities and 39.8 percent in Greater Minnesota.

Jobs in health care and social assistance accounted for the most vacancies (16.5 percent), followed by accommodation and food services (13.4 percent), retail trade (11.5 percent), educational services (10 percent) and manufacturing (8.2 percent).

Middle-sized firms (10 to 249 employees) accounted for 64.5 percent of the openings, while large firms (250 employees or more) had 21.3 percent of the vacancies and small firms (fewer than 10 employees) had 14.3 percent of the vacancies.

Among other findings of the study:

Forty-two percent of the openings were for part-time jobs (fewer than 35 hours per week).

Nineteen percent were for temporary or seasonal work.

Forty-four percent required some level of post-secondary education or training beyond a high school degree.

Forty percent required related work experience.

The median wage offer was $11.06 per hour.

Fifty-five percent offered health insurance.

DEED conducts the Job Vacancy Survey twice a year to measure hiring demand and vacancy characteristics by industry, occupation and firm size in Minnesota. About 10,300 firms in 20 industrial sectors were surveyed in the latest study.

A full report can be found at

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at