MANKATO — Job vacancies in south-central Minnesota have risen to an eight-year high, which the state reports is a sign that employers are feeling more confident about the economy.
There were 2,715 job vacancies in the nine-county area, compared with 2,362 the year before. The median hourly wage offer for those jobs has fallen, though, from $12.45 to $10.97.
The three careers with the most job openings — transportation, construction and food preparation — combined for an average median hourly wage of $9.18.
There haven’t been this many job openings in south-central Minnesota since 2005, when there were 3,472.
The available jobs have changed, too. In 2005, only 12 percent of jobs required a certification or a license, though 28 percent do today. But only 22 percent required related work experience, compared with 38 percent in 2005.
Statewide, job vacancies hit a 12-year high of 72,570, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. There are 2.1 unemployed people for each vacancy, a drop from the ratio of 2.6 a year earlier.
Statewide, the median wage offer was $12.50 per hour.
In a press release, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said “This increase in job vacancy numbers offers fresh evidence that the economy is recovering rapidly from the recession. Minnesota employers are feeling confident about the economy and are looking for people to fill their open positions.”
The agency conducts its job vacancy survey twice a year.