Minn. Adds 6,200 Jobs In Feb., But Unemployment Rises

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota gained 6,200 jobs in February, but the unemployment rate popped up 0.1 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Mark Phillips, the department’s commissioner, said Minnesota has recovered more than 81,000 jobs since the recession.

“The labor market recovery appears to be gaining steam, with three consecutive months of strong job growth,” he said.

The state has added 32,300 jobs in the last three months and reclaimed more than half of the 156,300 jobs that the recession cut, the department said.

However, the state unemployment rate also rose seasonally-adjusted 5.7 percent.

February’s gains came chiefly from education and health services, which amounted to 5,100 jobs, DEED said. Next in line came government (2,500 jobs), followed by construction and hospitality (both up 1,300 jobs), information (900 jobs), logging and mining (200 jobs), and other services (500 jobs).

Professional and business services brought most of February’s losses (down 4,000 jobs). Transportation and utilities cut 900 jobs, manufacturing dropped 600 and financial activities slashed 100.

These numbers, however, don’t quite reflect over-the-year job gains and losses. In the last year leisure and hospitality cut 10,200 jobs and the government dropped 5,500 jobs, DEED said.

Over-the-year gains came chiefly from professional and business services (February’s losers), which are up 14,200 jobs. Other significant gains came from education and health services (11,000 jobs) and manufacturing (6,400 jobs).

In Metropolitan Statistical Areas over the last year, Mankato MSA saw a 4 percent jump in job gains. Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA experienced a 0.9 percent uptick in jobs.

On the other hand, Duluth-Superior MSA felt a 1.7 percent drop in jobs.

The national unemployment rate in February remained unchanged at 8.3 percent, DEED said.


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