[Updated] No, Minnesota Is Not Going To Need 200k New Tech Jobs In The Next Decade

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Updated 9/12 – Both MSP TechHire & St. Paul Full Stack have scrubbed the inaccurate stat from their websites and MinnPost has fixed their article to reflect ~75k per DEEDs analysis.

The Star Tribune refuses to do so and is continuing to perpetuate misinformation at this point.

Original 9/5: In a era of political propaganda and media manipulation — citizens, constituents, and consumers of information must fight for their right to evidence behind any claims made by the public sector.

In this regard, there’s a false narrative originated from the city of Minneapolis (MSP TechHire to be specific) stating the demand for tech jobs in Minnesota is expected to be 200,000 over the course of the ten years, from 2016-2026.

The stat first came to our attention in a Star Tribune article from July when author Neal St. Anthony inaccurately stated the following:

“The Department of Employment and Economic Development [DEED] predicts that more than 200,000 new tech jobs will be created in Minnesota in the next decade.”

As we reached out and asked the author for more specifics to support such a claim, he acknowledged that the source was wrong (saying it came from MSP TechHire, not DEED), while revealing that there was no actual journalism involved in the story, rather it was a copy and past sort of line taken at face value (and inaccurately attributed at that).

He did agree to amend the article after the fact — but has yet to do so — while Shane Delany from DEED says their figures actually suggest something closer to 75k tech jobs in demand from 2016-2026:

“2016 – 2026 has a gain of 9,174 computer and mathematical jobs. If you count estimates of openings from labor force exits (17,971) and occupational transfers (50,346) then the total job openings would be 77,491 that need to be filled from 2016 – 2026.

SOCCode 150000 SOCTitle Computer and Mathematical Occupations 2016 Estimated Employment 100,985 2026 Estimated Employment 110,159 NumericChange 9,174 PercentChange 9 Exits 17,971 Transfers 50,346 Total Openings = 77,491”

(We have not yet reviewed the method or data used by DEED either)

So when asked the City of Minneapolis/MSP Techhire about the statistic (since that’s where St. Anthony now claims it came from in the first place) – seeking some basics around: where did it come from, how was the number determined, and where is the raw data to back it up?

These are the basic elements of verifying any claim made by anyone in any context…PROVE IT!

Tammy Dickinson from the City of Minneapolis Employment and Training department replied to our inquiry with the following:

“We had access to Burning Glass data that was used to provide those stats. That said, that estimate was provided to us many months ago and  is dated. I think it may make sense to use the DEED data for a closer and more current estimate at this time.”

Unable to provide the source data or methodology they used to support the 200k figure they claimed, she admits above that the data was outdated and recommends using DEEDs figure of ~75k going forward, adding:

“We had a relationship with Burning Glass to gather that last predictive data estimate, but are not planning to use them this time around. Our communications department worked with them to gather that and that staff person has transitioned to another role in the City. I am planning to go the DEED route this time while also looking at RealTime Talent just to see if there are any wide discrepancies between them.”

When asked just how many months old (are we talking 2 or 24?), and if this was the first time they realized the data deviated by such a wide margin from DEEDs ~75k figure (which itself has not been objectively validated by a 3rd party), Dickinson declined to answer. She was asked directly via email and telephone though refused to say just how off the data was?

So we let it rest at that point, for the misinformation seemed to be cleared up and it was assumed that the City of Minneapolis and its MSP TechHire Subsidiary took the appropriate measures to scrub the bad stats from their site as they said they would.

But this week it was again stated in an article article on MinnPost that: “MSP TechHire predicts that there will be more than 200,000 tech jobs available in Minnesota in the next decade…”

When asked, article author Steve Grove referred to this Full Stack St. Paul link as his source* yet there is no primary source behind that statement?  It simply says “The state predicts…” which is patently false, since DEED (aka the state) only says ~75k in actuality, and the 200k figure which came from the City of Minneapolis from back who knows when is not supported by any current valid research, to their own acknowledgement!

*The Full Stack St. Paul website has removed the 200k figure as of 9/7

Comments

  • UofM_Grad_Student


    I confused as to exactly what the author’s point is.

    The title says: “No, Minnesota Is Not Going To Need 200k Tech Jobs In The Next Decade”. But, the estimates the author is disputing are for the number of new tech _job openings_. That is, these are estimates of the number of new tech job openings that will need to be filled. This should lead to a discussion about whether Minnesota will develop or attract enough trained tech workers to fill these jobs. Which, of course, was what the original Strib article was about.

    Perhaps, the headline should have read “No, Minnesota is Not Going To Need 200k Trained Tech Workers in the Next Decade”. Of course, that headline would still be misleading, although perhaps less so.

    Beyond that, there seem to be lots of other government claims that warrant dispute and discussion. Like, claims that Google and other tech companies are “rigged” and are “suppressing voices of Conservatives” (or at least the nutty Right). Or, claims that a trade war with China will help, rather than hurt, the tech industry.

    • http://tech.mn Jeff Pesek

      +added “new” to the title to closer match the body.

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