MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – State employment officials say Minnesota gained 6,600 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate for black Minnesotans dipped to a near two-decade low.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Thursday that the state gained 6,600 jobs in June, helping Minnesota reach a record total job number of 2.96 million jobs — the highest seasonally adjusted number recorded in state history.

“Minnesota gained 17,300 jobs over the past two months, the state’s strongest growth spurt in more than a year,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy, in a press release.

After the state gained more than 45,000 jobs over the last year, DEED says Minnesota’s growth rate is at 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate is at 3.1 percent, well below the national average of 4 percent.

“Overall employment in the state is at a record level and continuing to grow, however, we must continue to invest in communities where job growth is not as strong,” Hardy said.

For black Minnesotans, the unemployment rate has continued to fall.

From May to June, the rate dropped from 6.1 percent to 5.6 percent, reaching the lowest levels seen since 2001.

Still, the black unemployment rate is double that of white Minnesotans, which has remained steady at 2.6 percent.

For Hispanic Minnesotans, the unemployment rate has seen a significant increase in the last month, climbing from 4.4 percent in May to 5.3 percent in June.

Even so, DEED says Minnesota’s economy is running close to its full potential.

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