The biggest holiday hiring spike in a decade headlined a Minnesota job report full of good cheer, as the state added 10,800 jobs in November.
Stores, delivery companies and similar businesses drove the gains, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
“We’ve seen strong retail sales this holiday season so far,” said Steve Hine, a labor market economist for the state. “November’s job gains on an unadjusted basis was the strongest we’ve seen in about ten years.”
Also pointing to the strength of consumer spending were hiring gains in leisure and hospitality, a category that’s suffered most of the year. Restaurants, hotels and arts and recreation businesses hired 3,200 people in November. The gains were bolstered by upward revisions to the October job numbers showing that instead of losing 8,100 jobs the state lost only 4,800.
Minnesota has now gained 55,200 jobs in the past year, a growth rate of 2.1 percent, compared with job growth nationally of 1.4 percent during that period.
The state has more than 2.7 million jobs and has clawed back just over 100,000 of the 156,300 jobs it lost in the recession, according to the monthly report. (State economists believe the numbers are better than the monthly reports indicate.)
The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.7 percent in November, compared to a 7.9 percent U.S. jobless rate.