Jun. 7—Job vacancies have climbed to a record high in Minnesota, the Department of Employment and Economic Development said Tuesday as it announced its Summer of Jobs campaign.
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said during a press conference that openings climbed in the fourth quarter of 2021 to reach over 214,000 vacancies, up 68 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.
The Twin Cities metro area had nearly 127,000 job vacancies while Greater Minnesota had just over 87,000 vacancies, according to DEED, though openings in Greater Minnesota increased slightly faster than in the Twin Cities over the year.
The Summer of Jobs campaign, which kicks off statewide next week, aims to connect employers and job seekers.
"The job vacancies are persistent across our economy, and we're going to spend some time in the Summer of Jobs campaign highlighting some of those in-demand jobs for workers to be aware of and demonstrate the resources we have to help people find roles in those positions," Grove said.
The campaign will include job-shadowing opportunities, highlight industries such as manufacturing, health care and technology, and share opportunities for employers to find talent in groups such as immigrant communities, Minnesotans with disabilities and people recently released from correctional facilities.
Angelina Nguyen, a research director at DEED's Labor Market Information Office, said demand was highest for food preparation and serving workers.
"The second highest is the 'sales and related' occupational group," she said. "'Health care practitioners and technical' are next."
There were almost 20,000 openings in health care practitioner and technical occupations.
Health care support jobs hit a record with more than 18,000 vacancies.
Transportation and material moving occupations saw the fifth highest number of vacancies.
Retail trade jobs accounted for 19 percent of total openings.
At Minnesota State University from which thousands of new graduates are looking for their first jobs, Career Development Center Associate Director Mandy Weister said the top six employers hiring Mankato graduates are either health care systems or schools.
"Really, across the board, a lot of industries are hiring new college graduates. Our new graduates will have a choice before them," she said.
Weister also noted that employers are hiring more college graduates than in previous years.
"Our National Association of Colleges and Employers indicate that employers who have responded, they do an annual report on spring hiring and fall hiring, they're planning to hire a third more college graduates from the class of 2022 even than they were in the class of 2021," she said.
With Generation Z growing in the workforce, Weister said there are also things employers can do to make their openings competitive for younger applicants, including being flexible for employers, demonstrating values of inclusion, and providing growth and development opportunities.
"If you are a savvy employer, you would do well to make sure that your company, your culture, your practices are going to align to attract those candidates," Weister said.