Tag Archives: Employment

Map: Where Minnesotans Are Moving to

Forbes has an online interactive map showing migration around the Country.  Below is an image I got when I clicked on Hennepin County, MN.  The red lines are showing people moving out of Hennepin County and black lines are showing people moving in.  About the data, they are saying their data comes from the IRS and is for the year 2008.  I know 2008 sounds like really old data, but if you remember the twin cities losing population post – that is when we saw the decline in population and the height of our unemployment in the Twin Cities.  Reversing these trends requires job growth in our region.  I would like to see more recent data also, but this is some really interesting information – click on the image to go to their interactive chart and click around the Country to see if you begin to see a pattern.

click on map to link to Forbes interactive map



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Chart of the Day: Housing Starts vs. Unemployed

Sometimes a Picture is worth a thousand words…  This one speaks volumes.

click to enlarge

Linked from Captain Capitalism


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Minneapolis/St Paul Residential Construction Employment

I was inspired to see what kind of data was available for the Twin Cities metropolitan area for the Construction Employment from a post on Calculated Risk.

The graph below shows the number of total construction payroll jobs in the U.S., including both residential and non-residential, since 1969.

Construction employment is down 2.175 million jobs from the peak in April 2006, but up 53 thousand this year through the September BLS report.

Unfortunately this graph is a combination of both residential and non-residential construction employment…

…Usually residential investment (and residential construction) lead the economy out of recession, and non-residential construction usually lags the economy. Because this graph is a blend, it masks the usual pickup in residential construction following previous recessions. Of course residential investment didn’t lead the economy this time because of the huge overhang of existing housing units.

Read Full Article


I decided to take a look at our Region’s Construction Employment.  Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Growth, MN Deed, breaks it down to Residential Construction.  The data here only goes back to 2005, but it paints a pretty good picture of our situation.

We had a peak Residential Construction Employment of 12,409 jobs in the Twin Cities metro area in July 2006, we have continually lost Residential Construction Jobs since.  We are down 58% to 5,157 Residential Construction Jobs as of August 2011.  Keep in mind, the impact goes a LOT deeper into the economy than this figure.  Think about all the auxiliary business that is created with new housing; appliances, building materials, landscaping, financing, decorating, the list goes on and on.

I am having difficulty drawing the same conclusion as CalculatedRisk based on this information. From our Region’s perspective, we are still bouncing on the bottom with no major improvement in Residential Construction employment. The key difference is that we are comparing Residential Construction Employment to their “Construction Employment”.

If we look at the similar data they are using, we can see that in the Chart below.  This is the  seasonally adjusted construction Employment for Minnesota, includes greater Minnesota. The construction employment gains do not appear to be coming from the Residential sector at this time.

Are we at the bottom?  I believe we are, but I also believe we will be “Catfishing” or “bouncing” along the bottom for a while longer.


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MN Adds 5,800 jobs in August – Unemployment Rate unchanged

Ever wonder how you can add employment and yet the unemployment rate stays the same?  It always seems like “fuzzy” math to me…  But then again, I am no economist – I am only looking into the employment situation because this is the key factor holding the real estate market down.

Basically the report indicates Minnesota added 28,400 jobs in August, of which 22,600 were government workers going back to work after the State shutdown.  (wow.  that’s a big number!) 

According to their news release:  5,800 private sector jobs were created and we still hold at a 7.2% unemployment rate.

 …other sectors that gained jobs during the month were trade, transportation and utilities (up 4,100), construction (up 2,200), education and health services (up 1,400), manufacturing (up 1,200), and professional and business services (up 700).

The construction industry has added 7,500 jobs in the past four months, the first gain in jobs during the summer construction season since before the housing crash in 2006.

Job losses occurred in Minnesota last month in leisure and hospitality (down 3,300), financial activities (down 200), other services (down 200) and information (down 100). Mining and logging was unchanged.

Read Full Report from State of Minnesota DEED (Department of Employment and Economic Development)


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US Bureau of Labor Statistics Report: Unemployment Rate unchanged – Sept 2 2011

This report was released this morning which looks like it sent stocks tumbling.  I am not certain why the stock market reacts to this – was their really expectations that the unemployment rate changed?  Really?

Again, this is a very important figure for the housing market both nationally and regionally here.  This report is the national unemployment report:

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 9/2/2011

Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected
a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. The rate has shown little change since April. (See table A-1.)

CalculatedRiskBlog does great graphs on this data:

CalculatedRisk Blog Chart


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Hennepin County & Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota Unemployment Rates August 31 2011

 I have been preaching for many postings about what our real estate market needs to recover is JOBS.  It is difficult to buy a home if you don’t have a job…  The pricing won’t recover until we get the unemployment rate back to 3% – 5%, this gets more and more challenging the longer the recession (or this “recovery”) continues.  Assuming we retain population and households, we continue to add people to the workforce and need that many more jobs.  (as a side note, this may not be a problem referring to a  previous posting on the twin cities population and households moving away – which is directly related to JOBS.)

Twin Cities Region Unemployment Rate 07/01/2011 Released 09/01/2011

These charts come from US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics graphed by the St Louis Federal Reserve, just released today.

This chart shows us the unemployment rate for Minneapolis/St Paul – Bloomington region, aka. the Twin Cities metro area.  As you can see we are not back to where we should be,  we are at 7.5% unemployment rate.  A far cry from the 2% to 3% we were experiencing in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

We can zero in a little further to just Hennepin County.  Hennepin County is doing slightly better running at 6.9% unemployment rate.   Again a far cry from the 2%-3% unemployment rate and the 4%-5% rates through the first decade of the 2000’s.

Hennepin County Unemployment Rate 07/01/2011 Released 09/01/2011

If you are interested in seeing the real estate market turn-around restoring your home’s value – then we need to solve this employment problem.
How do we encourage business to stay or locate here and hire more employees?
Do we shift the tax burden over to the business’s property taxes so we can see our single family home’s property taxes stay lower? (which is what many municipalities are proposing..)  This is every bit as damaging to property values as higher single family property taxes, be it  in an indirect way. 
You will need to make your voices heard at the City, County and State level.  We need to create an environment to attract and retain employers in order to have employment, which in turn will provide economic growth including property values stabilizing or increasing. 


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Minneapolis St Paul Building Permits and Housing Starts

I just posted the Building Permits and Housing Starts for the State of Minnesota, and now I see they just released the Minneapolis/St Paul charts.  This is what counts for us, not the national stats or State stats – although they are a good barometer.

As you can see we are “bouncing along the bottom” still.  I wish we had data going back further to see how this compares to other recession periods.  Housing Starts and Building Permits will continue to bounce along the bottom until the region starts creating more jobs, supporting additional population (immigration and natural birth).  We need to keep a close eye on the employment figures, see chart following the permits and starts below:

These were released today (8/25/2011) from the US Department of Commerce: Census Bureau. 

Mpls/St Paul 1 Unit Housing StartsMpls/St Paul Housing Units Authorized 8/25/2011


Minneapolis/St Paul Region Employment/Labor Force July 2011

 As you can see with this chart, we have growing spread between employment and the labor force. (what the unemployment rate tracks).  This shows us we have approx 122,728 unemployed in the labor force in the Twin Cities 7 County region.  Assuming we could get to full employment, that is a lot of demand for housing.  But let’s just calculate the difference between Jan 2005 and Jan 2011, that is approx 55,259 additional unemployed workers in the Twin Cities 7 County metro region.  Not all of them will buy or rent housing, but a lot of them will.  Keep in mind, we have approx 26,000 properties for sale in the Twin Cities metro region…  If we use the old ratio of 1 housing unit to every 2 jobs (a number I pulled out of thin air..) we end up with demand for approx 27,629 housing units more than depleting our all of our supply. (double-check my math! I might have miscalculated on the back of a napkin here..)  If  that were to happen, builders would need to build approx 20,000 housing units to allow for immigration, new household formations, and move-up buyers.   If employment turns around quickly, we could end up with a housing shortage.  Not that we should be holding our breath right now, doesn’t look like anything promising that direction on the horizon yet..
Increasing employment is the only way this market will recover…



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