Minnesota job seekers had a smaller number of want ads to peruse last month according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine index released Monday, but the state's job market is still among the strongest in the nation.
The number of online job postings for Minnesota dropped by 500 to 105,900 in February. But compared to the rest of the country, the state has one of the more competitive labor markets.
For every job opening in Minnesota, there are 1.54 people looking for work. That's about half the national average. Nationally there are 2.91 job hunters for every open position.
Minnesota's relatively robust demand for workers is enough to rank the state fifth behind Vermont (1.39), Nebraska (1.36), South Dakota (1.2) and North Dakota, where there's "a giant sucking sound." North Dakota has only 0.74 job hunters per vacancy, thanks in large part to the energy boom that has poured rocket fuel into the state's labor market.
Amid lots of discussion about a skills gap in the U.S. now, the Conference Board adds this caveat:
It should be noted that the Supply/Demand rate only provides a measure of relative tightness of the individual State labor markets and does not suggest that the occupations of the unemployed directly align with the occupations of the advertised vacancies.