MN Adds 1,200 Jobs in May, But Jobless Rate Climbs

The unemployment rate climbed slightly in May to 6.6 percent-marking the first time this year that it has increased-but it still remains well below the national rate of 9.1 percent.

Minnesota's unemployment rate increased in May for the first time this year even though the state added 1,200 jobs during the month.

According to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state's jobless rate climbed to 6.6 percent in May, up 0.1 percent from April but well below the national rate of 9.1 percent.

DEED also revised figures from last month. The agency said that 2,600 jobs were lost last month instead of the 5,200 job losses that were originally reported.

Despite the slight increase in May's jobless rate, the agency stayed positive about the state's condition and future.

“The private sector in Minnesota has shown steady improvement, adding 7,300 jobs in the past two months,” DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement, adding that initial claims for unemployment benefits continue to drop.

Phillips also noted that Help Wanted OnLine, a national organization that measures online job postings, reported that the number of advertised job vacancies in Minnesota jumped 14,000 in May, the third-biggest increase among all states.

Most sectors reported adding jobs in May. Construction led the way, adding 2,200 jobs. Other gains were in professional and business services (up 1,900), financial activities (up 500), trade, transportation, and utilities (up 500), other services (up 200), information (up 100), and education and health services (up 100). Leisure and hospitality and mining and logging remained unchanged in May.

Job losses occurred during the month in the government (down 4,200 jobs) and manufacturing (down 100 jobs) sectors.

Over the past year, jobs were added in professional and business services (up 11,400), education and health services (up 7,400), manufacturing (up 4,500), leisure and hospitality (up 3,500), information (up 600), trade, transportation, and utilities (up 500), logging and mining (up 400), and other services (up 200).

The following three sectors have lost jobs in the past 12 months: construction (down 6,700), government (down 6,000), and financial activities (down 600).

In the past year, job gains occurred in the Rochester metro area (up 1.3 percent), the Duluth-Superior metro area (up 0.3 percent), and the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area (up 0.1 percent). Since last May, job losses have taken place in the St. Cloud metro area (down 1.5 percent) and the Mankato metro area (down 0.9 percent).