Minnesota reportedly added 3,300 jobs in June, though the state’s unemployment rate held firm at 3.3 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
But as in the past, the state’s most recent employment figures are liable to change as DEED gathers more information. For example, May’s figures were initially reported as 100 jobs gained, but DEED just revised the count to 2,000 jobs gained. And March gains were initially reported as 1,300 but have since been revised to 1,500.
DEED commissioner Steve Grove was unavailable Friday for comment on the data changes, but former commissioner Steve Hine told TCB in May 2018 that it happens because some employer survey responses often come in late.
If June’s job figures are accurate, the uptick would mark the first time since February 2018 that the state has gained jobs in four consecutive months.
In addition to job gains and the stagnant unemployment rate—which has remained at 3.3 percent since April, after climbing up month by month from a historic low last fall—DEED found that labor force participation increased slightly over June to 70 percent.
DEED commissioner Steve Grove sees the labor force participation increase and job gains as “encouraging signs,” according to a statement.
Still, Grove admits Minnesota employers are still having a hard time finding workers.
“Our workforce development teams at DEED are working to connect these employers to job seekers to fill some of the most in-demand jobs currently out there,” said Grove.
DEED noted one entity carrying out this work is the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership (MJSP), which brings educational institutions and businesses together to secure grant funding to train workers across the state. In June, MJSP awarded $3.4 million to 26 projects that will train more than 3,9000 workers.
Several of the projects are connected to the manufacturing industry, which is one of the sectors that actually saw job gains last month—adding 1,400 positions.
Education and healthcare, as well as other services, led all sectors in gains, both adding 1,500 jobs. Other sectors that saw growth include financial activities (up 400), leisure and hospitality (up 400), government (up 200), and logging and mining (up 100).
Meanwhile, professional and business services led in losses, shedding 1,500 jobs. Other sectors that saw declines were transportation and utilities (down 300), construction (down 200), and information (down 200).
Regionally, all five of the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas experienced over-the-year growth in June, with Rochester logging the highest growth—1.4 percent. It was followed by St. Cloud (1.3 percent), Mankato (1.2 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul (.4 percent), and Duluth-Superior (.1 percent).
Minnesota’s unemployment rate remained lower than the national average of 3.7 percent. Oftentimes, as Grove told TCB in April, unemployment rate does not trend parallel to job gains because the number of Minnesotans looking for work increases as job openings do.