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Minnesota Job Growth Remains Weak

Construction, manufacturing, and education/health services all lost jobs in 2019

Minnesota Job Growth Remains Weak

By many measures the economy remains robust. Job growth in Minnesota, however, is not one of the numbers that instills confidence.

For the month of December, the state added a mere 200 jobs according to the latest report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The latest statistics were released on Thursday morning. For the full year, the state added less than 4,000 nonfarm jobs in 2019 – 3,978 jobs, to be precise. That works out to an average of adding only about 330 jobs per month for the year.

A deeper look at DEED’s numbers shows that less than half of the jobs added were in the private sector. For the full year, Minnesota added 1,897 jobs in the private sector but added 2,081 government jobs.

The good news? The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.3 percent. Minnesota also boasts a strong labor force participation rate of 70.3 percent, well above the national rate of 63.2 percent.

At the same time, DEED revised the jobs numbers for November from a loss of 3,000 jobs to a loss of 2,600 jobs. The employment figures are something of a moving target and are regularly revised. DEED will report a revision for the 2019 annual numbers in March.

The state’s biggest growth sector was leisure and hospitality, which added 14,579 jobs in 2019.

But those gains were offset by losses in other sectors. Construction lost 4,675 jobs for the year and manufacturing shed 3,919 jobs. Education and health services lost 4,671 jobs and the information sector lost 4,816 jobs.

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