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How a forecast of high-skills jobs in Minnesota was twisted out of shape

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It’s been one of the most quoted economic statistics in Minnesota public life, cited by a chorus of business, education and political leaders since the recession.

By 2018, 70 percent of jobs in the state will require postsecondary education.

The projection gained currency at the State Capitol and bolsters the argument that Minnesota suffers from a skills gap that leaves employers unable to fill jobs because workers aren’t prepared for them.

But five years after the claim surfaced in a report from Georgetown University, it isn’t coming true.

The share of jobs that require training beyond high school in Minnesota is growing only moderately, and the share of open jobs today that require postsecondary education is actually shrinking.

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