Minnesota job market approaching major makeover? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Minnesota job market approaching major makeover?

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Even though Minnesota is one of just 16 states that recovered all jobs lost during the Great Recession, those numbers don't show how much the job market is about to change or why old metrics may no longer apply.

When it comes to the state economy, it seems the job market is just as hardy as the Minnesotans who fill it. Employers added 9,500 jobs in December, with most coming in trade, transportation and utilities. Construction is also up 7.5 percent in Minnesota, which is triple the growth rate in the rest of the country.

"We're really firing on all cylinders in that respect," Steve Hine, research guru for the Department of Economic Development, said. "We're seeing strength in every area, with the possible exception of manufacturing."

Hospitality was also down in December, likely due to the subzero temperatures keeping people inside and tourists looking at sunnier spots to visit.

The unemployment rate in Minnesota is currently 4.5 percent compared to 6.7 percent nationally, but those numbers don't take into account those who have stopped looking or workers who would rather have a full-time gig. If you factor those details in, the adjusted unemployment rate is 10.4 percent -- affecting one in 10 people.

Yet, these numbers are only a snapshot in time. They also don't communicate the undercurrents in the market that may affect the economy in the coming years. Headhunter Steve Kenney says Baby Boomers will start reaching 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day for the next 20 years -- but it's unlikely they'll leave the workforce all together. He believes they'll work less.

"People are more mobile," he said.

By 2020, 40 percent of the workforce is expected to be comprised of freelance or temp workers.

"Skill sets are changing so fast," Kenney explained. "It does offer lots of flexibility, balance in life -- wonderful way to have career with lots of variety, even if it has a little insecurity."

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