As Figure 1 shows, the Establishment survey — which measures jobs — shows strong job growth for Minnesota. So, too, does the Household survey. But notice how, from June to July, the number of jobs rose by 19,100 — a fact gleefully reported by the state’s media — while the number of people employed in the state fell by 2,320, a fact that got rather less coverage.
Figure 1: Employment, Establishment survey and Household survey, thousands
As at the national level, one would assume that these two facts are to be reconciled by a larger number of workers holding multiple jobs. That explains why the number of jobs grew at the same time that the share of the population in employment actually ticked down by 0.1 percentage points.
This is what we have seen at the national level since March and it will be interesting to see if it persists in Minnesota. Job growth generally is a good thing if it is bringing more people into employment, but if it is a result of people struggling to make ends meet then it is a symptom of something problematic. Hopefully Minnesota’s media will take a broader look at the employment figures from here on out.