UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

May 11, 2005
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations, (218) 726-8830,
Jean Jacobson, Editor, LSBE Bureau of Business and Economic Research, (218) 726-8730,
Jim Skurla, Business Development Specialist, UMD Center for Economic Development, (218) 726-8758,
For the complete report please see:

Northeast Minnesota 2004 Workforce Survey
Completed by UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research

The UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), a division of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, has completed its report for the Northeast Minnesota 2004 Workforce survey. The report was commissioned by the Minnesota State Legislature.

Authors of the report are Jim Skurla, BBER Acting Director; Rick Lichty, UMD Professor of Economics, and Donald McTavish, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota.

Survey data was collected from households in seven counties of Northeast Minnesota, Crow Wing Country, and the Port Cities of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin. Participating households answered questions about under-employment, over-employment, and mis-matched skills employment. This survey project is a continuation of the BBER survey data collection started in 1996.

The BBER conducted a series of surveys in order to study the current labor force and report on workers who might be available, under what conditions, and how they can be found. Workforce data and analysis is needed for business recruiting, economic development strategizing, and government policy makers.

Some research cited in the study includes:

  • There appears to be 31% under-employment in the effective labor force of the study area (22% unemployed who want to work, plus 9.1% employed who want to work more). This amounts to approximately 81,800 people in Northeast Minnesota.
  • 28.9% of the currently employed wish to work less. This includes: those who want fewer jobs (1.9%), fewer hours at current jobs (21.7%), or both fewer jobs and hours (5.3%). This would amount to about 76,300 of the currently employed in the study area.
  • 36.9% of those currently employed have job skills they would like to use but are not used in their jobs. Some 23.3% of those currently employed have one or more valid certificates or degrees that are not used in their current job. Some have both unused skills and unused certificates/degrees. In this region about 127,700 people would be considered mis-employed.

For complete BBER report, please see:

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