Minnesota Eliminates 1,300 Jobs as State Unemployment Rate Falls in February
Photo by Tony Webster/CC

Minnesota Eliminates 1,300 Jobs as State Unemployment Rate Falls in February

Leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, education and health services among top sectors for added jobs.

Minnesota employers eliminated 1,300 jobs in February, but the loss was offset by a larger-than-previously-reported gain in jobs in January.

The state's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on Thursday corrected its employment report from January which found employers added 2,500 jobs. The actual amount was 4,900 jobs, the agency said.
 
However, with February's drop in employment, Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent.
 
“Minnesota’s unemployment rate is at a level last seen in August 2000,” said DEED commissioner Shawntera Hardy in a statement. “While that indicates a tight labor market, it translates into improving job opportunities for those who have struggled to find work in the past, and a more aggressive push for those workers from employers.”

Leisure and hospitality led all sectors in February with 3,400 new jobs, followed by manufacturing (up 700), education and health services (up 500) and trade, transportation and utilities (up 400). Construction, and logging and mining also saw job gains.

The professional and business services sector, however, lost 4,600 jobs. Additional industries which saw declines were government (down 1,100), information (down 500), financial activities (down 400) and other services (down 100).
In the past year, Minnesota has gained 22,626 jobs, marking a growth rate of 0.8 percent, while the national job growth rate in that period was 1.7 percent.
 
In that 12-month stretch, education and health services added the most jobs overall (nearly 8,500), followed by government, construction, trade / transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and other services. The sectors of financial activities, information, professional and business services, and logging and mining lost jobs on the year.
 
The Minnesota region of Mankato remains the most improved, in terms of job counts, of any area in the state, with a 2.9 percent job increase over the last 12 months.
 
Minnesota remains among the states with the lowest unemployment rates (tied for 12th).