Minnesota Added 10,200 Jobs in January
Photo by Caitlin Abrams for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Minnesota Added 10,200 Jobs in January

The state’s unemployment rate also fell to 2.9 percent.

Minnesota saw some encouraging labor trends at the start of the new year, though it’s anyone’s guess if those will continue in the months ahead.

In January, the state added 10,200 jobs as its unemployment rate dipped to 2.9 percent, marking a small improvement over the prior month. In total, Minnesota has gained back about 71 percent of the jobs it lost in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest jobs report from the state’s jobs agency.

In a call with reporters on Thursday morning, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) commissioner Steve Grove said the latest report showed “largely really good news.”

“We’ve continued four months straight now of job growth,” Grove said. “We were uncertain about what the jobs picture would look like during January when rates for Covid were quite high in the state, but the economy really performed.”

Still, the ongoing war in Ukraine will present a “whole host of uncertainties” in the months ahead, Grove noted. On Tuesday, president Joe Biden banned the import of Russian oil in response to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. That move is likely to spark an “energy crisis” back home, Grove said.

Where were Minnesotans finding work in January? Perhaps unsurprisingly, after months of state-mandated closures, the leisure and hospitality sector appeared to be on a rebound. That sector added nearly 49,000 new jobs in January, up 26.7 over the same month last year. The number of government jobs in Minnesota also ticked up a modest 1.2 percent year over year. White-collar work, in general, appears to be faring well.

“The sectors that are closest to full recovery are local government, information, wholesale trade, financial activities, and state government,” said Angelina Nguyen, DEED’s director of research.

All regions of the state appeared to be heading toward recovery at the start of the new year. The Duluth-Superior region logged the biggest percentage growth in jobs year over year. That region added 4,394 new jobs in January, up 3.5 percent over the prior year. Rochester was close behind with 4,131 jobs, also up 3.5 percent. The Twin Cities metro, meanwhile, added 46,731 jobs, marking a 2.7 percent increase.