Minnesota employers added 5,000 jobs last month, about twice the average monthly rate for the past year, and the state’s unemployment rate dipped to 3.8 percent.
Over the past year, Minnesota has gained 31,978 jobs, up 1.1 percent to 2.9 million, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday. That works out to an average of about 2,700 new jobs each month.
“Minnesota’s economy remains fundamentally strong, with steady job growth and rising wages. Those trends are likely to continue through 2017,” said Shawntera Hardy, the department’s commissioner, in a statement.
The performance in November was a rebound from the loss of 12,500 jobs that the department said the state experienced in October. The unemployment rate came in at 4 percent in October. Although the agency’s data is adjusted for seasonal variations, month-to-month volatility is not unusual and numbers are subject to revision.
In both October and November, the increase in overall employment compared to the year-ago month was the same at 1.1 percent. That growth continued to trail the growth rate job additions nationwide, which was at 1.6 percent in November.
Minnesota employment has been growing more slowly than in the U.S. In part, that’s a reflection of the state’s relatively strong position in the broader national economy, where unemployment is 4.6 percent. It’s also a sign of Minnesota’s slowly growing population and the difficulty that some employers have had finding workers.
Rochester continued to add jobs at the fastest rate of any of the metro areas in Minnesota, up 2.6 percent from November 2015. St. Cloud was next with 2 percent growth, followed by the Twin Cities at 1.4 percent, Duluth at 0.6 percent and Mankato at 0.4 percent.
By job sector, construction added the most jobs in Minnesota last month — 3,400 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Education and health services, leisure and hospitality, financial activities and information also posted gains.
Trade, transportation and utilities and the logging and mining sector were steady, while jobs in professional and business services, government, manufacturing and other services all fell.