Minnesota job openings hit 12-year high

Job openings in Minnesota reached a 12-year high in the second quarter of the year.

Employers in the state reported about 73,000 job openings in the second quarter,  up 15 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a survey from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

"We're seeing the strongest  level of job opportunities that exist out there than we have seen in twelve years -- really in a sense, the strongest on record," said Steve Hine, who runs the state's labor market office.

The job vacancy report reflects a healthy labor market, he added.

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The median wage employers offered fell to $12.50 an hour in the second quarter, down from about $13 an hour in the same period last year. Stronger consumer spending is boosting demand for workers in lower-wage sectors like restaurants and bars, which pulls down the overall average.

The ratio of job seekers to open positions improved in the second quarter. There were about two people chasing every job opening. Last year it was more like 2.5 people for every opening.

While there are fewer unemployed Minnesotans, most of the improvement stemmed from a big increase in the number of job postings.

Other findings from the survey:

  • 45 percent of the openings were for part-time employment, up from 40 percent a year earlier;

  • 16 percent were for temporary or seasonal work;

  • 52 percent offered health insurance.