Is the Census the best job opportunity?

The Iron Ranger had a simple exercise she wanted us to try. Go to the MinnesotaWorks Web site and search for all jobs within 25 miles of the 55792 (Virginia) Zip code posted in the last 30 days and see what you find.

I found 81 full- and part-time jobs posted, but 36 were temporary Census jobs.

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I haven’t had a chance to follow up with her, but I think I got her point. In some parts of Minnesota, the temporary needs of the Census, not the long term needs of private employers, are driving the job opportunities.

MinnesotaWorks is a service provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. It doesn’t hold every job listing, but it’s a free service tied in with the state’s job placement efforts, so it’s a decent barometer of openings in selected parts of the state.

I checked the neighboring Zip codes around Virginia and found pretty much the same thing — regional Census jobs, paying $11 to $14 an hour, making up a third to a half of the new employment listings the past 30 days.

It’s only one way to look at the employment situation in one of the hardest hit areas of Minnesota in the recession.

But it reinforces the expert consensus that Minnesota’s jobs machine will not come roaring back in 2010.

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Got a different take on the job climate around your part of Minnesota? Post below and tell us what you’re seeing or contact me directly.

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