Rochester jobs come/go

Minnesota State Roundup

Published May 1, 2003  | May 2003 issue

Rochester, home to over 89,000 people, is experiencing declining employment activity from the city's largest employers, Mayo Medical Center and IBM Corp. Traditionally, Rochester has had the state's fastest employment growth—25 percent faster than the nation and state from 1993 to 2002. But nonagricultural jobs dropped 2 percent, or by 1,705 jobs, during third quarter 2002.

Though the Mayo Clinic, with about 26,000 employees, plans to fill 700 new positions this year, that is 100 fewer than average. Added to other vacant Mayo jobs, about 1,800 workers will be hired during 2003, lower than the historic levels of 1999 and 2000. IBM in the past year has laid off about 200 workers, bringing its workforce to 4,600 workers, down about 400 from year-end 2001.

In addition, other Rochester businesses have severely trimmed their payrolls. The recent layoffs highlight the decline in high-tech jobs—about 8 percent fewer computer-related employees as of June 30, 2002, compared with the same period in 2001 in Olmsted County.

In addition, workers in computer and mathematical jobs submitted more than three times as many initial unemployment claims in 2002 as in 2000.

Kathy Cobb