Minnesota employers added 6,600 jobs in June, fewer than in May but still enough to lift the state closer to the national rate of hiring, the state jobs agency said Thursday.
The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.1 percent, well below the U.S. rate of 4 percent.
Minnesota’s job market has been very tight for more than a year, with job vacancies outpacing the number of people who are counted as unemployed. As a result, it’s been nearly a year since the state added jobs at a rate above the national average.
But Minnesota moved closer to that last month, using data gathered over the 12 months ending June 30. For that yearlong period, Minnesota’s job growth was 1.5 percent, not far below the U.S. rate of 1.7 percent.
So far this year, the state’s employers added the most jobs in May, with 10,700, according to a revised estimate from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. That’s an upward gain from agency’s first estimate of 10,200 new jobs for May.
In June, leisure and hospitality employers led all others by adding 2,700 jobs. Manufacturers added 2,000 jobs and construction firms 1,500.
Of the 11 sectors that DEED uses to categorize employers, three showed declines in the number of jobs: government, financial employers and education and health services firms.
All five metro areas showed gains, with Mankato experiencing a 4.5 percent jump in jobs measured on a 12-month basis. Minneapolis-St. Paul had a 2 percent jump, St. Cloud 1.6 percent, Duluth 1.5 percent and Rochester 0.2 percent.
Teen unemployment was 6.9 percent in June, traditionally one of the peak months for employers to hire teenagers, and they are more sought after than a year ago, when teen unemployment was 12.1 percent.
The data by race, which stands out because of big month-to-month swings, was particularly volatile in June. It showed that black unemployment fell to 5.6 percent, a new all-time low and down a half-point from 6.1 percent in May. Meanwhile, the rate of unemployment for Latinos jumped to 5.3 percent in June from 4.4 percent in May, nearly a full percentage point.
Such wide swings are due in part to small sample sizes, which increase the prospect of random measurement errors, DEED said.