Minnesota employers cut 8,100 jobs statewide in October, by far the worst monthly job report of the year.
A massive positive revision to the September numbers helped offset the loss, but the state’s employment and economic development agency, DEED, reported major losses in administrative support and lower-paid business services jobs, which shed 4,800 jobs. State government lost 1,900 jobs, mostly in education, and durable goods manufacturing lost 800 jobs.
“Employment data for October does certainly reinforce the concerns we’ve expressed here, that the recovery, while it does continue, is a fragile one,” said Steve Hine, DEED’s labor market economist. “We’ll be paying a great deal of attention to Congress as they grapple with the so-called fiscal cliff.”
Hine said the weakness in business-to-business service jobs is a bad sign for the economy, even though many of the positions are on the low end of the pay spectrum and a large portion of them are temporary positions.
“You could see it as a leading indicator,” he said.
October’s losses were partially offset by upward revisions to the September numbers – from 5,900 jobs added to 11,000 jobs. One bright spot in the report was a gain of 1,200 jobs in the construction sector, a part of the economy that suffered heavy employment losses in the recession.
The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent. The labor force participation rate also held steady.
“Last month’s numbers are a reminder that the economic recovery on a month-to-month bases is at times uneven,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark said in a statement. “We’re encouraged, though, by the steady growth in many sectors, particularly construction, which has increased employment by more than 4 percent in the past year.”