ST. PAUL - There were 137,000 job vacancies reported by Minnesota employers in the final three months of 2018, a 20% increase over the year before.

According to a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, vacancies greatly outnumber the state’s unemployed.

“There are essentially two job vacancies for each unemployed person in Minnesota, ” DEED spokesman Shane Delaney said.

Minnesota’s current unemployment rate sits at 3.2% seasonally adjusted.

“Minnesota continues to experience strong hiring demand statewide,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. “This tight labor market highlights the importance of… lowering barriers to employment so that all Minnesotans can find work.”

Retail salesperson was the most vacant occupation, with 7,400 openings. There were 6,800 vacancies for personal care aides and 6,700 for food service workers.

The Twin Cities metro accounted for 76,500 vacancies, an 11% annual increase from the year before, while greater Minnesota tallied the remaining 60,400, a 34% increase.