Though the U.S. saw a strong job market and a low unemployment rate in the last few months, recent layoffs have affected thousands in Minnesota.
Workers throughout the state have to deal with major personnel cuts and are finding themselves back to searching for work. Over 4,000 people have lost their jobs this year across a variety of industries, but retail and manufacturing were hit the hardest. This comes after several retail stores closed not only in Minnesota but across the country as shoppers are now spending more time purchasing from online stores.
The trend grew steadily over the past several years as the convenience of online shopping has made it easier than ever for consumers not to walk or travel to brick-and-mortar stores. This has affected both smaller and larger retailers, resulting in their decision to greatly cut back on the number of physical stores they operate.
In addition to the rise of online competition, the increased use of technology, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), in retail and manufacturing jobs are huge factors in the recent string of layoffs. Self-checkout kiosks and AI-based processes have replaced employees in many cases. Other automation techniques and workforce outsourcing have made it even more difficult to find stable opportunities within these industries.
Further, Minnesota also felt a slow wage growth, followed the national trend over the last several months.
Despite all these challenges, the Department of Employment has released promising data revealing 140,000 open jobs throughout the state, particularly in the healthcare and technology industries.
Minnesota’s economy is quite diverse, which means that even though the retail and manufacturing sectors have taken a hit, skilled workers still have opportunities in the job market.
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