MN Adds 400 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Dips

MN Adds 400 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Dips

Although Minnesota’s private sector added 2,500 jobs in June, the addition was offset by a 2,100-job loss in government; meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate reached a post-recessionary low of 5.2 percent.

Minnesota employers added 400 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate decreased slightly to a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
 
The state’s labor market showed positive signs in May after the state’s employers cut jobs in both March and April. DEED originally stated that Minnesota gained 8,400 jobs in May; that number has since been revised to 10,300.
 
Steve Hine, DEED’s Labor Market Information Office research director, said in a Thursday conference call that June’s slow job growth “may just be a temporary lull.”
 
Job losses occurred primarily in government, which saw a decrease of 2,100 in June. Hine attributed the decrease to the decline in summer employment at state universities, as well as the timing of layoffs in state education. But “local government employment continues to hold up pretty well,” Hine said.

The professional and business services sector led all industries, adding 3,600 jobs last month. Hine said those jobs consisted primarily of administrative service positions. Other job gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (up 1,900); leisure and hospitality (up 1,400); logging and mining (up 200); and education and health services (up 100).
 
Other sectors that shed jobs in June included financial activities (down 1,200), construction (down 1,000), manufacturing (down 1,000), information (down 900), and other services (down 600).
 
Hine said the construction sector’s job losses are not a strong indicator of the industry’s success, considering its recent ups and downs. Although residential construction jobs decreased 1.6 percent from last month, civil construction increased 3.9 percent from May, and 6.6 percent over June 2012.
 
Hine said the manufacturing industry’s job losses are reflective of sensitive trade conditions worldwide.
 
Meanwhile, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement that the unemployment rate has reached a “post-recessionary low” at 5.2 percent—down 0.1 percent from May—after Minnesota’s private sector added 2,500 jobs in June.
 
“We have now recovered 95 percent of the jobs that were lost in the recession,” Sieben said.
 
“The decline in the unemployment rate was primarily a result of a drop in the labor force participation rate,” Hine added.
 
Temporary positions reached an all-time record of 68,200 in June, which Hine said is “indicative of a recent demand for labor growth.” He added that online job postings increased by 2,400 in June, halting a “recent decline seen by that measure.”
 
Additionally, the length of an average work week increased to 34.3 hours in June, an average matched only once, last September, since 2008.
 
Overall, Minnesota has added a total of 54,100 jobs over the past year—representing a 2.0 percent state growth rate, compared with a 1.7 percent national growth rate. Meanwhile, the state’s 5.2 percent unemployment rate remains below the nation’s unchanged average of 7.6 percent.

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