Minnesota employers added 2,500 jobs in January, enough to leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 3.3 percent, state officials announced Thursday.
Government, hospitality, business services and other services hiring led the way, adding more than 4,900 new workers.
The retail, transportation and utilities sector added 400 jobs while manufacturing and construction each grew by 100 positions during the month. Mining and logging was flat.
The government alone added 2,700 jobs during January.
On the flip side, sectors such as education and health, financial activities and information services lost 3,200 jobs in January.
During the last 12 months, Minnesota employers added 20,116 positions to create a 0.7 percent growth rate. That lags the nation, which has boosted its job rolls by about 1.5 percent during the same period.
Still economists and state officials said they were not disturbed. Minnesota’s unemployment rate remained at 3.3 percent during January, compared to 4.1 percent for the nation.
“Minnesota launched the year on a positive note with 2,500 new jobs,” said Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “While job growth over the past year was slower than earlier data suggested, the economy is still growing and businesses are hiring.”
Economists, such as Ernie Goss at Creighton University, said that employment in Minnesota continues to grow despite worrying signs that include rising interest rates, rising raw material costs and uncertainty about whether the United States is about to create a trade war.
The concern stems from President Donald Trump’s push for aluminum and steel tariffs because of what he perceives as a trade imbalance between the U.S. and countries such as China.