The shrinking workforce was a growing concern of employers in a Minnesota Business Benchmarks report by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
Employers noted that a well-educated workforce has always been one of Minnesota’s prime economic advantages. Minnesota is still second in the nation for students with at least a two-year degree. But the post-secondary numbers are in jeopardy due to the decrease in students who finish high school on time. At 81 percent, Minnesota ranks 33rd in that statistic. In addition, disparity continues to plague the state, with just 68 percent of minority groups graduating on time.
Strictly speaking, those numbers show only a shrinking workforce in terms of skilled workers. But an added concern is that the labor pool as a whole is contracting. Minnesota had a net loss of population between 2010 and 2015.
Chamber president Doug Loon said, “Minnesota has much to be proud of.” But, he added, the state has to stay competitive.