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Minnesota Records Most Job Openings In 12 Years

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Wednesday brought good news for anyone looking for a job.

Minnesota's new job numbers show that the second quarter openings reached the highest level in 12 years, with employers reporting more than 72,000 openings -- an increase of 15.3 percent from the same period a year ago.

But almost half of the openings are for part-time jobs that average about $12.50 an hour.

And that means a lot of workers are ending up stringing together a few part-time jobs to make ends meet.

At a job fair in south Minneapolis employers said they're hiring.

"We are looking for full- and part-time applicants to come in," Discount Tires store manager Mike Mockabee said. "Either seasonal work or people who are looking for careers."

Stacey Duren was at the job fair and said it's been hard to find full-time work.

"Been putting lots of applications and hearing no word back," she said.

New figures from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said that 45 percent of the current openings are part time. That comes as no surprise at Hired, a non-profit job placement company, Communications Director Jeff Ambroz said.

"Some of our clients are working multiple part-time jobs and some of them wish they could get benefits," Ambroz said.

Christpher Puto, Dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, said companies across the country are using more part-time workers because they are easier to lay off if the recovery sputters. Sixty-eight percent of the new openings are at midsize companies that have fewer than 250 employees and openings are spread across many fields, ranging from medical to retail.

"That shows a pretty broad base of stability and the companies that continue to deliver value are continuing to deliver value and that is why they can continue to hire the extra people," he said.

Also: the number of openings increased 22 percent in the Twin Cities metro area, but rose about six percent in greater Minnesota.

Jobs in health care and social assistance accounted for 19.4 percent of the vacancies. Other major categories included retail trade (13.4 percent), accommodation and food services (11.4 percent) and manufacturing (7.4 percent).

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