By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s unemployment rate held steady at 4% in June as the state recorded its first month of job losses since December.

The Minnesota Department of Employment of Economic Development reported the new numbers Thursday, explaining that the state lost 600 jobs last month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Officials cautioned that growth has been uneven as the state recovers from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, when looking at three-month averages, job growth was recorded in each period this year, even if the most recent period was up only 0.3%.

As for unemployment, June’s rate is half of what it was a year ago, when it was at 8.7% during the initial pandemic lockdown.

“We know that our recovery from the pandemic will take time, both nationally and at the state level,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said, in a statement. “The good news is there are lots of great opportunities in our economy right now, and we’re spending every day finding new ways to connect workers with jobs in the industries most in demand.”

Many businesses in Minnesota are looking for workers. Just this week, the Minnesota State Fair announced that it’s looking for 1,000 workers for jobs at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together.

Unemployment is not affecting all Minnesotans equally. Yet, there are signs of progress. According to DEED, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans dropped in June to 4.5% from 6.9% in May. For Latino Minnesotans, unemployment remained steady at 6.6%. For white Minnesotans, unemployment fell to 4.9% in June from 5.1% in May.

At the national level, the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point in June to 5.9%. The nation has also seen steady job growth so far this year as industries reopen and the pandemic’s grip continues to loosen.