Minnesota Jobless Rate Down to 7.7 Percent
In July, the construction industry lost 600 jobs, according to the state’s jobs agency. Leigh Trail / Shutterstock.com

Minnesota Jobless Rate Down to 7.7 Percent

But at the same time “job growth is slowing.”

The state’s unemployment rate for July dropped to 7.7 percent, down from 8.6 percent in June, according to the latest numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Minnesota added 32,500 jobs for the month, led by gains in the leisure and hospitality sector.

But state leaders have not broken out the economic recovery party hats just yet.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but job growth is slowing, a sign that this recovery will likely take some time,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a statement. “It’s important for Minnesotans to know that many employers are hiring now, and that resources are available to help people prepare for in-demand jobs through CareerForce.”

CareerForce is a DEED program that offers training and other resources for jobseekers.

July job gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (17,200 jobs); arts, entertainment, and recreation (4,900 jobs); government (6,200 jobs); and health care and social assistance (3,700 jobs).

But other sectors saw losses. Professional and business services lost 900 jobs, as did the information sector. Construction lost 400 jobs.

DEED statistics also show clear racial disparities in state’s unemployment picture. For July, the unemployment rate for Blacks was 15.3 percent, more than double the unemployment rate of 6.3 percent for whites. At the same time, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 8.6 percent for July.

Year over year, Minnesota has lost 256,062 jobs. All sectors have fewer jobs than a year ago.

According to the latest statistics from DEED, a total of 914,767 Minnesotans have filed unemployment insurance claims from March 16 through August 17.

New federal statistics on Thursday found that another 1.1 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, an uptick from the previous week and a sign that layoffs are not slowing down. Last week’s report of 963,000 unemployment claims for the week ending August 8 was the first time that weekly filings had been under 1 million since mid-March.