A state survey indicates that most Minnesota employers believe they have workforces that reflect the diversity of their customers and communities.
The poll of some 1,000 employers came from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Compared to their customer bases and local community residents, about 60 percent of the employers said their workforces are comparably or more racially diverse.
DEED analyst Ellen Bendewald worked on the survey and said employers believe diversity is good for business.
"Most employers are simply trying to attract the best applicants," she said. "And the best applicants in Minnesota are increasingly from communities of color, as the state becomes more diverse."
Race, gender and age are the most common factors employers consider in assessing their diversity efforts.
But there's a substantial gap between large and small employers. About three quarters of large employers said they are trying increase racial diversity. Only about a quarter of firms with 50 or fewer workers reported making such efforts.
Bendewald attributed that to larger firms having human resources departments with the capacity to focus on diversity. The survey had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.