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State Fair Jobs: 2,700 Down, 300 to Go

The Minnesota State Fair hires about 3,000 people for 12 days every year, and vendors need additional workers. (Minnesota State Fair)
The Minnesota State Fair hires about 3,000 people for 12 days every year, and vendors need additional workers. (Minnesota State Fair)
August 7, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. – An estimated 5,500 jobs will be created for the 12-day Minnesota State Fair, which starts Aug. 24.

The state unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, so analysts say job seekers have plenty of low-paying jobs to choose from.

State Fair jobs pay minimum wage, or a little higher – $9.50 to $10 an hour. So this year, the fair is having trouble finding enough workers, according to spokeswoman Danielle Dullinger.

"You know, this year I would say that it's a little harder to find people to work for us,” she states. “Last year this time, we maybe had more applicants than jobs, and this year we might have more jobs than applicants."

Dullinger says the fair has hired about 2,700 people and is looking for about 300 more. Vendors are expected to hire an additional 2,500 workers.

Dullinger says she expects a lot of people to apply for jobs this week and next, and that fair-goers probably won't notice if there ends up being a worker shortage.

"Whether that's people picking up double shifts or working more, we're still going to be able to put on an excellent fair," she stresses.

Dullinger adds people who work for the fair must be available all 12 days.

Shane Delaney, director of communications for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, says because of the tight labor market this year, many employers have had to raise wages to fill their ranks.

"There's about 97,000 job openings statewide, and that is about a 1-to-1 ratio with the number of people that are looking for a job," he states.

And compared to the nation as a whole, Minnesota has a higher percentage of people who work multiple jobs, at 7.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Laurie Stern, Public News Service - MN