Minnesota employers added 6,400 jobs in September, bouncing back from losing 6,600 in August, as broader measures showed the state jobs scene continuing to improve at a stronger pace than the nation’s.
The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent last month from 3.8 percent in August, a lower level than the national rate of 4.2 percent for September.
The latest data, released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, again revealed volatility on a month-to-month level.
But it also underscored the traits on the job scene that have held for several years: Minnesota outpacing the country, health service jobs growing fastest, the Twin Cities outperforming other parts of the state and joblessness among blacks twice as high as among whites.
“Minnesota’s job expansion is now eight years strong, with the state adding more than 337,000 jobs since September 2009,” DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement. “During that period, the overall unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to the current low of 3.7 percent.
“Minnesota’s economy is headed in the right direction.”
Over the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, the state added about 41,000 jobs, growth of 1.4 percent, to its labor base of about 3 million people. That’s a slightly slower rate than the 1.7 percent seen for the 12 months ended Aug. 31, when the state added nearly 50,000 jobs.
All the agency’s figures are adjusted for seasonal patterns.
In September, the Twin Cities saw job growth of 2.1 percent, while the other metro areas saw growth of 1.3 percent or less.
Professional and business service employers added the most jobs during the month.
But for the 12 months ended September, health services and education employers led the way.
Broken out by race, the data showed that black unemployment stood at 8.5 percent in September, down from 8.9 percent in August but up from 7.9 percent a year ago.
White unemployment held steady at 3.1 percent from August. Latino unemployment was 5.3 percent, down from 5.4 percent in August.
The race data is subject to more volatility and random error due to relatively small sample sizes, the jobs agency says.