Minnesota is Falling Behind the Nation in Job Growth
Hiring at Minnesota government agencies, hotels and other hospitality companies picked up in January, resulting in an overall gain of 2,500 jobs during the month, according to data released Thursday by the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Minnesota’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.3 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate, by comparison, also held steady at 4.1 percent.
With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation (12th), Minnesota has struggled to spur job creation over the past 12 months. In that time, the state has gained just over 20,000 jobs—amounting to a 0.7 percent growth rate—whereas the nation’s average growth rate is more than twice that at 1.5 percent.
“While job growth over the past year was slower than earlier data suggested,” DEED commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement, “the economy is still growing and businesses are hiring.”
Organizations in the local government sector added 2,700 jobs in the month of January—the most of any industry. Leisure and hospitality businesses followed in second with 1,200 new jobs, followed by the professional and business services sector (up 500), other services (up 500), trade, transportation and utilities (up 400), manufacturing (up 300) and construction (up 100).
Some of those gains were offset by a loss of 1,700 jobs in the education and health services sector, as well as employment drops in financial activities (down 1,400) and information (down 100). Employment in the logging and mining industry, however, remained unchanged in the first month of the year.
In the last 12 months, the rate of job growth has been strongest within the construction (up 3.7 percent) and government (up 1.8 percent) sectors in Minnesota. Yet, the nation on average is beating the state in its rate of job growth in construction (up 4.3 percent across the U.S.) and nine out of the remaining ten job sectors monitored by DEED. Only in the government sector is Minnesota beating the national rate, which is up only 0.1 percent.
Across Minnesota, the rate of job growth has been its highest over the past year in the Mankato area (up 2.9 percent), while it’s been slowest in St. Cloud (up 0.2 percent). No regions have dropped below zero during that time, according to DEED.