Minnesota Adds 4,300 Jobs in August
Plumes of smoke rise above a factory in St. Paul. Sanita Wongyongsin / Shutterstock.com

Minnesota Adds 4,300 Jobs in August

Manufacturing sector leads employment gains

Minnesota added jobs in August, but the numbers were a little underwhelming. The state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Thursday morning that 4,300 jobs had been added last month.

“It did cool compared to July,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a virtual press conference to discuss the latest statistics.

The private sector fared better, adding 6,200 jobs. That was offset by a loss of government jobs in August.

But the overall employment outlook got a boost from revisions to the state’s July jobs numbers. Last month, DEED reported that the state gained 14,500 jobs in July. DEED has now added another 2,600 jobs to July’s count which would raise the tally to 17,100 new jobs.

“It is worth noting July was even stronger than we thought it was,” said Grove.

The state lost 416,300 jobs from February to April 2020 due to the pandemic. Minnesota has since regained 272,700 jobs – 65.5 percent of those that had been lost.

DEED’s statement on the new statistics noted: “Job growth has been uneven coming out of the pandemic recession, with some relatively dramatic swings from month to month.”

Grove said that the delta variant of Covid-19 is one factor behind the bumpiness and uncertainty of the state’s job market.

For August the manufacturing sector added the most jobs.

 Sector  Jobs gained/lost
Manufacturing +2,300
Leisure & Hospitality +2,000
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities +1,500
Financial Activities +1,300
Professional and Business Services +900
Construction +600

 

Job losses for August were led by cuts in government.

 Sector  Jobs gained/lost
Government -1,900
Education & Health Services -1,200
Information -600
Other Services -500

 

The state’s statistics also confirm that employers are paying higher wages as they compete to attract workers.

“We do continue to see hourly average wage rates go up,” said Grove. “Since August of 2019 wages are up 8 percent.”

Grove noted that wages in bars and restaurants is up even higher, showing a 13 percent gain since August 2019.

“The wage growth is clearly showing that employers are having to raise wages to get workers in a very, very tight labor market,” said Grove.