Minnesota jobless rate drops to start 2015

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Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in December, according to January figures from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. 

State employers cut 5,200 jobs during the month. Those figures, combined with revised figures that reduced November’s gains by 4,000 jobs, brought job growth in Minnesota over the past year to 33,400. Jobs are up 1.2 percent in the state from one year ago, compared with 2.2 percent nationally.

“While December’s job numbers are disappointing, the state unemployment rate fell for the fifth consecutive month and is now at its lowest level since April 2001,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “This drop in unemployment occurred as the labor force participation rate ticked up to 70 percent, and as the employment-to-population ratio rose again for the fourth consecutive month.”

Trade, transportation and utilities led all industrial sectors in December with 4,100 new jobs. Other sectors with gains were other services (up 400) and information (up 300). Logging and mining held steady.

Sectors that lost jobs were government (down 4,200), education and health services (down 1,500), manufacturing (down 1,400), financial activities (down 1,100), leisure and hospitality (down 900), professional and business services (down 600) and construction (down 300).

Over the past year, nine of 11 sectors have gained jobs: professional and business services (up 11,995), education and health services (up 8,910), manufacturing (up 7,589), leisure and hospitality (up 4,891), trade, transportation and utilities (up 1,329), logging and mining (up 648), other services (up 480), government (up 140) and construction (up 127).

Sectors that lost jobs over the past 12 months were financial activities (down 2,503) and information (down 206).

In the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the following regions gained jobs in the past 12 months: Mankato MSA (up 3.7 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.8 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 1.8 percent) and Rochester MSA (up 0.7 percent). Jobs in the Duluth-Superior MSA fell 0.7 percent during that period.

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