MINNEAPOLIS -- A new report has ranked Minnesota first in the nation for job creation.
The Gallup's annual Job Creation Index report put Minnesota on top based on workers' reports of hiring activity at their place of employment. Georgia and Utah came in second and third.
"The business outlook in Minnesota for 2016 is pretty strong because we are blessed with several large corporations, a lot of different industries," said Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership.
CNBC recently ranked Minnesota the best state in the national for business. Last August, Forbes ranked Minnesota number one for fastest-growing states for tech jobs.
But Weaver said we have more jobs than employees.
"Trades are really hurting right now. In other words, plumbers, welders, carpenters. There's a big market for those jobs and a lot of kids aren't going into those fields," Weaver said.
That concern is also being felt on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) side.
"One of the biggest concerns of my organization, the large companies in the state is, 'Will we have the talent five years in Minnesota to do those jobs?' It's a real concern," he said.
General Manager Amy Tolzman of Famous Dave's in Plymouth said they are looking to hire for barbecue season. Their challenge is filling kitchen jobs: line cooks, prep cooks and dish washers.
"From what I hear, yes throughout the industry. And not just in the Twin Cities. I hear a lot in the Chicago market and everywhere that that's where the need is," Tolzman said.
Another challenge is improving the education level in Minnesota--specifically in Minneapolis schools.
"Less than half of the children of color, students of color, are graduating from high school. That's a big problem when you have a labor shortage," Weaver said.
Governor Mark Dayton is also trying to address the economic disparities among Minnesotans of color. He created a new Office of Career and Business Opportunity at the Department of Employment and Economic Development to help improve access to jobs and business opportunities for Minnesotans of color.
This is the third time Minnesota has placed in the top ten states for job creation since Gallup began tracking the Job Creation Index in 2008. Minnesota also ranked in the top ten in 2012 and 2013.