No one in America found a job last month. Not one person. But in Minnesota, the job vacancies listings have shot up in recent months.
This leads to some pretty interesting possibilities. Could it be that Minnesota is not part of the United States? Or, perhaps more likely, it confirms our long-held belief that we are special, and as the nation goes, so does Minnesota not necessarily go.
The nationwide numbers, released this morning by the U.S. Department of Labor, indicate an absolutely even month for American unemployment in August, with 9.1 percent of employable persons out of a job.
Our local good news comes via the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which found that second-quarter job vacancies in the state rose 32 percent compared to the 2010 numbers. In total, there were 54,700 vacancies listed in the state last quarter. Admittedly, some of those job openings are better than others: For example, the Timberwolves still can't find a head coach since they fired Kurt Rambis.
In the land of the free, home of the long line at the unemployment office, the percentage of people without jobs has stayed solid at just over 9.1 percent since April. That's 14 million people who can't draw a paycheck, but presumably still need food and shelter like those who are getting paid.
What's worse, a lot of those people haven't gotten any money in a long, long time: About 43 percent of the unemployed, or six million people, are categorized as "long-term" unemployed, without work for seven months or longer.
When the statistics focus in on black Americans, it gets even worse, with 16.1 percent unemployment nationwide. Whites are unemployed at 8 percent even, and Hispanics come in at 11.3 percent, the USDL reports.
Minnesota's advantage in the job-searching field probably comes thanks to its healthcare jobs, and the USDL specifically cited that area as one of few that's actually growing. Finally, America's terrible health problems are paying off.
The Minnesota findings are hugely bolstered by health care jobs, as the MDEED writes:
Health care and social assistance had the most vacancies (17.9 percent), followed by retail trade (12.4 percent), accommodation and food services (11.8 percent), and manufacturing (10.9 percent).The Twin Cities is doing better than outlying areas, with more than half the second-quarter vacancies coming in Minneapolis-St. Paul or her suburbs.
There's some bad news at the tail end of the MDEED findings, though: Only 9.8 percent of employers surveyed reported that they'd be adding more jobs in the next six months. That number is down a bit from last year, and might indicate the state, like a glass of unemployed water, has sought its own level.