MN Jobless Rate Up Despite Job Gains in Oct.

The state unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent in October to 7.1 percent, but remained well below the national rate of 9.6 percent.

Minnesota employers added 14,100 jobs in October, but the additions weren't enough to offset the unemployment rate-which increased 0.1 percent from September, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Over the past year, Minnesota has gained 42,100 jobs at a growth rate of 1.6 percent. Its October unemployment rate is below the U.S. rate, which held steady at 9.6 percent in October.

“Minnesota employers have added jobs at triple the pace of the U.S. rate in the past year, and lead the national rate of growth in eight of 11 industry sectors,” DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy said in a statement. “I am encouraged by these signs indicating that Minnesota is recovering from the economic downturn.”

McElroy also noted in a statement that employment in the temporary help sector, a leading indicator, continues to grow and has returned to pre-recession levels.

Professional and business services sector added the most jobs in October (6,500). Other gains occurred in transportation and utilities (up 3,900), other services (up 2,900), leisure and hospitality (up 2,300), education and health services (up 2,000), government (up 500), financial activities (up 300), mining and logging (up 200), and information (up 100).

The construction and manufacturing sectors didn't fare so well, as each sector lost 2,300 jobs in October.

Job gains have occurred in the following sectors over the past year: education and health services (up 14,400), leisure and hospitality (up 13,000), professional and business services (up 10,000), manufacturing (up 8,800), trade, transportation, and utilities (up 7,800), information (up 2,100), and logging and mining (up 500).

In the past 12 months, the state saw job losses in construction (down 6,500), government (down 4,700), other services (down 2,300), and financial activities (down 800).

The Twin Cities gained 9,600 jobs in October, the metro area's strongest month in 5.5 years. These gains helped the Minneapolis-St. Paul area improve its annual growth rate to its highest level since mid-2006.

All the other metro areas-Rochester, Duluth-Superior, and Mankato-also saw job gains over the last year, with the exception of St. Cloud, which saw no change over the previous year.