MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s unemployment numbers have receded from their May peak of 9.9%, as reported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, to 8.6% in June.

The May figures represented the highest jobless levels on record going back to 1976.

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In June, 84,700 payroll jobs were added, with the largest figure being drawn from the leisure and hospitality industries. Those areas also represented the largest gains in May. The gains in June reflect people returning to work after the relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions that, in spring, kept many businesses completely shuttered.

In particular, June saw the reopening of indoor service at many restaurants and bars.

“Many Minnesotans who were laid off are beginning to return to work — which is a good sign. Yet our unemployment rate remains more than double what it was before the pandemic,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. “To continue to see positive trends in our economy, we need to continue to be safe as we reopen our economy to avoid the volatility we’re seeing in other states that are dialing back due to troubling COVID-19 outbreaks. That means wearing masks and practicing social distancing.”

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Of the newly added jobs, 300 were in government and the remaining fell into the private sector.

Beyond leisure and hospitality, other areas showing gains in June were trade, transportation, and utilities. Education and health services were also cited by DEED as showing job growth in Minnesota.

However, DEED reported that construction jobs were down by 2,000, financial jobs (including real estate and rentals) down by 1,500 and information jobs by 200.

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“Minnesota’s unemployment rate continues to trend better than the national unemployment rate, which fell to 11.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis in June, down from 13.3% in May,” DEED reported.