Minnesota Adds 1,300 Jobs in March, Yet Unemployment Ticks Up to 3.2 Percent

Minnesota Adds 1,300 Jobs in March, Yet Unemployment Ticks Up to 3.2 Percent

Construction led all industries, adding 2,800 positions, while manufacturing shed 1,100, the most job losses of any sector.

Continuing a consistent upward trend that began in December, Minnesota’s unemployment rate has risen from 3.1 percent in February to 3.2 percent in March, according to the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). This despite adding 1,300 jobs over the month.

The rate rose in the face of a growing jobs base because the number of Minnesotans looking for work also rose.

Total employment is now up for the year by 7,605 jobs, or 0.3 percent, compared to March 2018.

Three of Minnesota’s five Metropolitan Statistical Areas also now report year-over-year growth. St. Cloud at 1 percent, Rochester at 1.3 percent, Mankato 0.2 percent. The Twin Cities was flat, while only Duluth-Superior saw a decline—0.5 percent.

DEED commissioner Steve Grove sees another positive sign amid the rising unemployment rate.

“Unemployment insurance claims remained steady last month,” said Grove. “This suggests that Minnesotans may be looking for better employment opportunities.”

The March job gains follow a February in which 7,800 jobs were shed—an adjusted figure from what was initially reported (8,800 jobs lost in February).

Construction led all industries in recent job growth, adding 2,800 positions in March. Other sectors which saw gains include: leisure and hospitality (up 600), trade, transportation, and utilities (300), and mining and logging (100).

Meanwhile, six of 11 major industries lost jobs, with manufacturing shedding the most—1,100. Other sectors that experienced job losses were: financial (down 600), education and health care (600), professional and business services (400), information (400), and government (100).