Impoving The Lives Of Minnesotans Through Jobs

First off, I wanted to tell you that I went to the town hall meeting on Saturday. I didn’t realize that the items I wrote about related to the Affordable Care Act were not obtained by our former governer and that our present governor applied for them all. That was a real shocker to hear.

I was impressed by the speakers. First of all  I want to talk about Drew Digby fron Northwestern Minnesota who gave us the true update of the work force economy.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a 6.7% unemployment rate in Duluth, MN.  (It was 7.3 in 2010). We are better off than other places in our state. Employers are hiring. Since Febr. 1 there were 431 jobs posted within 25 milies of Duluth. 

Did you know that the maxium unemployment you can get is 86 weeks?

 A  higher level of education and/or certification can help you move up a notch in the work force.

In Duluth government jobs have declined. People are reasonably well paid in government jobs. Actually 9.86% are government jobs in Duluth whereas 19% are governement jobs on the Range. This is like comparing different types of apples and situtations.

We all know that “the job market is job specific.” You may lose a job at Essentia Health and a specialist nurse or physican may be hired. They may lay off RN’s and hire LPN’s to save money. Some 237 were laid off in the health care industry in our city. Health care is growing in Northeastern Minnesota. Health care is also restructing. This includes the 2,000 that work in group homes, a thriving industry.

There is about three thousand some looking for jobs and ten thousand some unemployed  in our city. It is hard to support a family on $9.00 an hour jobs, which makes up 25-35% of our work force. This is why there is a lot of poverty, I suspect.

Young folks are staying in Duluth, MN. For the age group 25-44 they are making $200 more than the average salary, more than those ages 45-64.  The median age of young folks in Duluth is 35 years. There is a lot of diversification of young people in our city. There are older folks leaving and retiring to sunny areas of this country to suck up vitamin D.

Here’s the Good News; Bad News. The work force in 2010 is 3.5 % higher than in 2005. There is still the question on how are we training our workers. Healthcare (job specific), architecture and engineering are still great jobs  in our city. Even Johnson Controls has learned to market and expand else where in the state with their tentacles and good marketing.

Education still matters. Training has its advanatges.  

What about manufacturing jobs in Duluth? There are 4 1/2%  manufacturing jobs in Duluth whereas 12% of the jobs in Minnesota make up manufacturing.

We know that port jobs have declined.

Then as far as people of color, our works force is made up of 10% of people of color. That doesn’t seem like a lot to me. I hope we are not still discriminating.

If we look at construction jobs this makes up the highest category of unemployment right now. We had work projects in Duluth, many out of towners were hired, and they didn’t stay in Duluth.