Minnesota Unemployment Rate Reaches Highest Mark In More Than 2 Years

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Reaches Highest Mark In More Than 2 Years

August employment figures show job losses in more than half of Minnesota’s major industrial sectors.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate climbed to 4 percent in August as the state lost 1,500 jobs, with most of the cuts coming from the construction and manufacturing industries.
 
Six of the state’s 11 major industrial sectors reported employment drops last month, according a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
 
The largest loss was construction (down 1,900), followed by other services (down 1,100), manufacturing (down 1,000), financial activities (down 700), leisure and hospitality (down 700), and professional and business services (down 200).
 
Trade, transportation and utilities led the job growth pack with 2,300 additions. Rounding out the list was education and health services (up 700), government (up 600), and information (up 500). Logging and mining was the only industry to remain steady.
 
Over the course of 2016, the distance between Minnesota’s unemployment rate and the national average has narrowed. At the start of the year, the state’s rate of 3.7 percent had more than a point lead on the national average of 4.9 percent.
 
Despite the nation’s rate remaining the same in August as it was in January, Minnesota has reverted back to a jobless rate it has not seen since June 2014.
 
However, according to DEED’s report, Minnesota has been steadily adding jobs over the past year. Nearly 41,000 positions have been created over the past year, a gain of 1.4 percent. Compared to the nation, job growth in the last 12 months was 1.7 percent.
 
Minnesota’s major metropolitan areas, in particular, have been experiencing strong year-over-year growth. Rochester and St. Cloud have led the state with job gains of 3 percent, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 1.8 percent), Mankato (up 0.6 percent), and Duluth-Superior (up 0.5 percent).

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