Minnesota companies looking for workers to fill 146,000 job openings statewide

Minnesota companies are facing a big worker crunch as the latest employment numbers show more open jobs now than ever before.

The data shows there are slightly more openings than there are people looking for work, which means businesses across the Twin Cities and in Greater Minnesota are finding it even harder to hire qualified workers.

“Employers are really desperate to fill their workforce need, grow quarter over quarter...we set a record,” said Steve Grove, of the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Grove says the latest data shows there were 146,000 job openings across the state in the second quarter, the most ever.

The leading industries with openings are health care and social assistance jobs, which make up 19 percent of the vacancies.

After that, accommodation, food service, retail, manufacturing and educational services also had plentiful openings. Many of those jobs do not require advanced training.

Many jobs in health care require a college degree, but there are technical jobs and technical positions that don’t. There are personal care aides that don’t require those types of degrees. So there is a lot of opportunity in the healthcare industry for people without a college degree. But it’s more than just steering young workers into these jobs and careers. Companies are finding they too have to innovate in how they are making it easier for people to come work for them.

For example, Anderson Windows in Bayport, Minn. is searching heavily within communities of color to find job candidates. Their CEO personally recruited some of them at this year’s People of Color Job Fair. Other firms are taking different approaches.

“You see companies like Daktronics taking high school students and teachers by bus to their manufacturing plant there to get a sense of the kind of great things that they are building, what the careers look like there,” Grove said. “Giving students kind of a hands on look at what a career there could be.”